Scaled-back inauguration for Obama
US President Barack Obama will kick off his second term at his public inauguration on Monday.
WASHINGTON - Four years after making history by becoming the first African-American president, Barack Obama will kick off his second term on Monday with a scaled-back inauguration that reflects the tempered expectations for his next four years in office.
Lingering high unemployment, bitter political battles and a divisive re-election campaign have punctured the mood of optimism and hope that infused Obama's 2009 inauguration after a sweeping election win.
This time, Obama's inauguration will feature smaller crowds and a reduced slate of inaugural balls and parties to match the more subdued tenor of the times.
When Obama raises his right hand to be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts outside the U.S. Capitol at 18:55, it will be his second time taking the oath in 24 hours.
He had a private swearing-in on Sunday at the White House.
This was because of a constitutional requirement, that the president be sworn in on January 20.
Rather than stage the full inauguration on a Sunday, the main public events were put off until Monday.
Obama begins the day worshipping at St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House.
He will then take the oath again and deliver his inaugural address from the Capitol's west front overlooking the National Mall, where a crowd of up to 700,000 is expected to watch.
That is down significantly from the record 1.8 million people who jammed Washington in 2009 for Obama's first inauguration.
BIDEN'S 2016 "U.S. PRESIDENT" AMBITIONS
Was it just another slip of the tongue by Vice President Joe Biden, or a preview of the next presidential campaign in 2016?
Hours before he and President Barack Obama were due to be sworn in for their second four-year terms, Biden told supporters at the Iowa State Society inauguration ball late Saturday: "I'm proud to be president of the United States."
The audience laughed and then cheered.
Biden's son Beau, Delaware's attorney general, interrupted his father and told the crowd he had misspoken.
Although Biden will be a few days short of his 74th birthday on the next election day in 2016, he has hinted he is considering a run for president.
Biden's unannounced appearance at the "First in the Nation" ball in Washington was not too surprising.
The state was a key to the Obama-Biden team's victory over Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the November 6 election.
And because Iowa is an early battleground in the state-by-state process that determines the political parties' candidates for president, any big party thrown by state officials this weekend was virtually certain to draw at least one or two potential contenders for the White House in 2016.
Biden, known for the occasional gaffe on the campaign trail, corrected himself, and returned to a favorite line from the fall campaign.
"I'm proud to be vice president of the United States," he said, "but I am prouder to be Barack Obama's, President Barack Obama's, vice president."