Al Jazeera English | Barack Obama has been sworn in for a second four-year term as US president in private White House ceremony.
Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office on Sunday in the Blue Room of the White House, meeting the constitutional requirement that he do so on January 20.
Because that date fell on a Sunday this year, the traditional ceremonies surrounding the start of a president's term were put off to Monday, which coincides this year with the birthday of revered civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
"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.
First lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and a few reporters witnessed the ceremony.
Obama made no special remarks at Sunday's ceremony, surrounded by portraits of former White House residents. "I did it," he said.
On Monday, he will repeat the oath and give his inaugural speech on the steps of the US Capitol before hundreds of thousands of people.
Earlier in the day, Joe Biden was sworn in as vice president at the Naval Observatory by Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the supreme court, making her the first Hispanic judge to ever administer an oath of office for one of the nation's two highest offices.
When Obama first took office as the 44th US president in 2009, many Americans hoped the symbolism of the first black man in the White House was a turning point in the country's deeply troubled racial history.
Obama vowed to moderate the partisan anger engulfing the country, but the nation is only more divided four years later, perhaps as deeply as at any time since the US Civil War 150 years ago.
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