With only his family beside him, Barack Obama was sworn into office for a second term on Sunday, January 20 in advance of Monday’s public pomp, facing a bitterly divided government at home and persistent threats abroad that inhibit his effort to redefine America’s use of power, The New York Time reported.
But the low-key event seemed to capture tempered expectations after four years of economic troubles and near-constant partisan confrontation. And it presaged a formal inauguration on Monday that will be less of a spectacle than the first one, when the nation’s first black president embodied hope and change for many Americans at a time of financial struggle and war.
For Monday’s festivities, with the traditional parade, balls and not least the re-enacted swearing-in outside the Capitol, there will be fewer parties and fewer people swarming the National Mall; organizers expect less than half the 1.8 million people who flocked to the city last time.
Once the parties end, Mr. Obama’s second-term challenges are formidable, not least given his ambitious priorities of addressing the national debt, illegal immigration and gun violence.