Obama: US possibilties are limitless

2013-01-21 19:34
US President Barack Obama (Jewel Samad, AFP)

US President Barack Obama (Jewel Samad, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - President Barack Obama declared on Monday that a decade of war is ending, the nation's economy is recovering and "America's possibilities are limitless" as he launched into a second term before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands.

"My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together," Obama said, moments after taking the oath of office.

Trumpets blew fanfare and cannons fired as the country watched the president take the oath of office as the world's most powerful elected leader.

Obama's address touched on the broad gifts that bring the country together, and pointed to the work ahead, "the realities of our time."

"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit," he said. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."

While he was officially sworn in on Sunday, as required by law, the glitter of Inauguration Day - the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House, the night of balls, the ceremonial beginning of a new four-year presidential term - still enlivened staid Washington.

The celebration was pushed to Monday because 20 January fell on a Sunday this year.

That placed the grand ceremony on the US holiday marking the birthday of revered civil rights leader Martin Luther King jnr.

Obama, the politician who rose improbably from a history as a community organiser in Chicago and a professor of constitutional law to the pinnacle of power, faces a nation torn apart by partisan disunity, a still-weak economy and an array of challenges abroad.

The president also faces a less charmed standing on the world stage, where expectations for him had been so high four years ago that he was given the Nobel Peace Prize just months into his presidency. "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Nobel announcement in 2009 read.

Beginning with a prayer

The president, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia began the day at St John's Episcopal church, which was built in 1812 and is known as the church of presidents.

Obama later had coffee at the White House with congressional leaders, who play major roles in how the country is governed.

Monday's events had less of the effervescence of four years ago, when the 1.8 million people packed into central Washington knew they were witnessing history.

Obama is now older, greyer and more entrenched in the politics he once tried rise above.

Officials said crowds were about half what they were four years ago.

Obama was expected to follow the recent tradition of walking at least part of the way back to the White House, surrounded by cheers.

As he enters his second term, Americans increasingly see Obama as a strong leader, someone who stands up for his beliefs and is able to get things done, according to a survey by the Pew Research Centre for the People & the Press.

The survey shows him with a 52%  job approval rating, among the highest rankings since early in his presidency.

His personal favourability, 59%, has rebounded from a low of 50% in the 2012 campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.

Back to business

When the partying is done on Monday, it's back to business for a president who is leading a nation that is, perhaps, as divided as at any time since the Civil War 150 years ago.

That conflict put down a rebellion by southern states and ended slavery.

In light of the nation's troubled racial history, Obama's election to the White House in 2008 as the first black president was seen by many as a turning point.

In his first inaugural address, Obama vowed to moderate the partisan anger engulfing the country, but the nation is only more divided four years on.

While Obama convincingly won a second term, the jubilation that surrounded him four years ago is subdued this time around - a reality for second-term presidents.

He guided the country through many crushing challenges after taking office in 2009: Ending the Iraq war, putting the Afghan war on a course toward US withdrawal and saving the collapsing economy. He won approval for a sweeping health care overhaul.

Yet onerous problems remain, and his success in resolving them will define his place in history.

- AP
Read more on:    michelle obama  |  barack obama  |  us
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.