By Nadia Trinidad, ABS CBN North America Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON DC – “I did it,” President Barack Obama told his youngest daughter, Sasha, as they shared a hug moments after he was officially sworn in Sunday, for his second terms as president of the United States, ahead of Monday’s pomp and circumstance.
Surrounded by family and friends, Obama took his oath before Chief Justice John Roberts. His hand resting on a bible used for years by First Lady Michelle Obama’s family, the president vowed to “preserve, protect and defend” the US constitution.
The president will repeat the swearing-in ritual again on Monday on the west front of the Capitol before a crowd of up to 800,000 people.
The smaller ceremony held on Sunday was a function of the calendar and the constitution, which says presidents automatically begin their new terms at noon (1700 GMT) on 20 January.
Because that date fell this year on a Sunday – a day on which inaugural ceremonies historically are not held – organizers scheduled a second, public swearing-in for Monday.
BIDEN TAKES OATH BEFORE SOTOMAYOR
US Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn-in on Sunday morning, committing him to four more years as the nation’s second in command. Surrounded by family and friends for his brief swearing-in at the Naval Observatory, his official residence in northwest Washington, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath of office to Biden, who placed his hand on a Bible his family has used since 1893.
Sotomayor was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court.
–with reports from the Associated Press