President Barack Obama took the oath of office, surrounded by close friends and advisers in a small ceremony at the White House.
This officially begins his second term as President of the United States. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath at 11:55 a.m. with the president using first lady Michelle Obama’s family bible.
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God,” Obama said, in the Blue Room of the White House.
Obama, 51, the nation’s first black president, has presided over an economy that is still recovering from the worst recession in a generation. While the world’s largest economy grew at a 3.1 percent rate in the third quarter, this year will bring growth of just 2 percent, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Over the next two months his administration will engage in a fiscal debate with Republican lawmakers, who hold the majority in the U.S. House, over raising the government’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit.
Roberts, who stumbled when swearing in Obama, read each line of the oath out loud, before the president repeated it with his right armed raised and his left hand on the family Bible.
At the end of a ceremony which lasted less than a minute, Obama hugged his wife and children before blurting out “I did it” to his youngest daughter.
Obama will take the oath of office for a second time at a time-honored outdoor public ceremony at the US Capitol on Monday.