NPR : News

Live Blog: President Obama's Second Inauguration

As President Obama takes the oath of office again today and lays out his vision for the next four years, we're live blogging before, during and after the ceremony.

Be sure to hit your refresh button to see our latest updates. For more of NPR's live coverage, an online chat and to hear what's on the air, click here. To read related stories and get to our inaugural trivia quiz, click here.

Update at noon ET. We Must "Seize It Together":

"We possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention," says the president. "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together."

Update at 11:58 a.m. ET. New Times Require Change:

"We have always understood that when times change, so must we," Obama says. "That fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action."

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. The President Begins With "Self-Evident" Truths:

Quoting from the Declaration of Independence, the president talks of "our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.'

"Today," he says, "we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time."

Update at 11:51 a.m. ET. The President Is Sworn In:

No problem this time (as there was four years ago when the two men tripped each other up a bit). Chief Justice John Roberts just led Obama through the oath of office (for the fourth time, as we noted earlier).

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. James Taylor Sings America The Beautiful:

Accompanying himself on guitar, James Taylor sings America The Beautiful. A hug and handshake from the president for him afterward.

Update at 11:47 a.m. ET. Biden Sworn In:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor just led the vice president through his oath of office. Kisses, hugs and handshakes afterward from Biden's family and others on the podium.

Update at 11:44 a.m. ET. Good Reviews For The Battle Hymn:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) tweets that the choir's rendition was "awesome." CBS News' Mark Knoller calls it "breathtaking."

Update at 11:37 a.m. ET. "Act Courageously, But Cautiously":

Continuing the invocation, Myrlie Evers-Williams asks that the president be given "the will to act courageously, but cautiously when confronted with danger" and to act "prudently, but deliberately when challenged by adversity." Next: Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. The Invocation:

Myrlie Evers-Williams, civil rights activist and widow of slain Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers, uses her invocation to ask that "as we sing the words of belief — 'this is my country' — let us act upon the meaning that everyone is included."

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET. Theme Is "Faith In America's Future":

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is delivering the inauguration's opening remarks. He says the theme is "faith in America's future." Schumer says that "America always rises to the occasion. America prevails and America prospers," no matter the challenges.

Update at 11:22 a.m. ET. The President Is Announced:

President Obama has come to the steps of the Capitol, to more cheers from the crowd.

Update at 11:19 a.m. ET. Biden Arrives:

The vice president is making his way on to the podium.

Update at 11:17 a.m. ET. Who's Not There From The Cabinet?

Just as during the State of the Union, one member of the Cabinet stays away from the Inauguration just to make sure the "line of succession" continues in the event of emergency. Today, says CBS News' Mark Knoller, it's Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki

Update at 11:16 a.m. ET. Big Cheer For The First Lady:

As Michelle Obama arrives, the crowd gives her a nice greeting. Soon to be on the podium: Vice President Biden and the president.

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Clouds Come Over, Temps Go Down:

"The sun is gone and it is COLD!," tweets one person out on the mall, Liz Baker.

Update at 11:10 a.m. ET. The President's Daughters Are Taking Their Seats:

Following the arrival of Vice President Biden's children, the Obama girls — Malia and Sasha — have arrived on the podium with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.

Update at 10:56 a.m. ET. The President Is In The Capitol:

Others who have also arrived include former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Update at 10:43 a.m. ET. The President Is Headed To The Capitol.

Update at 10:40 a.m. ET. He Is "Honored And Grateful," Obama Tweets.

An Inauguration Day first? This message went out on the president's official Twitter page about an hour ago:

"I'm honored and grateful that we have a chance to finish what we started. Our work begins today. Let's go. -bo

Twitter isn't something previous presidents had to communicate with, of course.

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. The First Lady's Fashions:

For those anticipating what first lady Michelle Obama would wear on Inauguration Day, the first photo of her attending church with her husband in Lafayette Square, show her in a subdued checkered blue jacket by American fashion designer Thom Browne. The New York Times fashion reporter, Eric Wilson, says her coat and dress are custom made of "silk jacquard based on a necktie fabric."

Browne, who started out as a menswear designer, tells Wilson that being the first lady's choice is "one of those moments when I just can't believe that happened." The first lady had many choices for Inauguration Day, with designers sending her potential outfits for the entire weekend, which includes inaugural balls on Monday night. Her jacket and coat, along with her shoes by J.Crew, will ultimately go on display at the National Archives. Her oldest daughter, Malia, is also wearing J.Crew and The Wall Street Journal reports Sasha is wearing an outfit by the popular handbag designer, Kate Spade.

Update at 10:10 a.m. ET. At Church, President Is Urged To Leverage His Power For Others:

At St. John's Episcopal Church this morning, Pastor Andy Stanley from North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., delivered the sermon. He spoke of Jesus washing his disciples' feet and saying "now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you should also watch each other's feet." The president, Pastor Stanley said, should follow that example and "leverage" his power for the benefit of others. (From a "pool" report filed by Jenee Desmond-Harris of The Root.)

Update at 10 a.m. ET. Crowd Growing; Mall Filling:

The view west from the Capitol toward the Washington Monument shows that the National Mall is filling.

Update at 9:45 a.m. ET. Yes, There's An App For That:

The Inaugural 2013 Official Mobile App, which will include streaming video, is here. It's download site is here.

Update at 9:42 a.m. ET. First Family Back In The White House:

The service at St. John's Episcopal is now over. The president and his family are back at the White House. Vice President Biden and his family are also there. Next up for all of them: Preparing for the ride to the Capitol.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. A Panoramic View:

NPR's Arnie Seipel took a wide shot from his perch to the side of the Capitol.

Update at 9:20 a.m. ET. A "Bling-ed" Obama Jersey:

NPR's Jeff Brady, who's out on the National Mall, came across Cheryl Copeland of Chicago. He says she is quite proud of her "bling-ed" Obama 44 football jersey. Jeff got her to stop for a photo. (Later, he sent along word that she told him that Obama is "the 44th President and I have it bling-ed in red, white and blue. ... We are loving this history. We're loving this. I am so emotional and happy right now that I just want to scream!")

Update at 9:10 a.m. ET. A Twitter List:

Our Social Media Desk has put together a Twitter List to collect inauguration-related tweets from NPR's correspondents and others who are out reporting today.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET. First Family Arrives At Church:

The president, first lady Michelle Obama, their daughters Malia and Sasha and the first lady's mother — Marian Robinson — just arrived at St. John's Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Park from the White House.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. Crowd Is Gathering:

There were bundled-up folks heading toward the National Mall well before dawn this morning. Temperatures aren't expected to rise out of the 40s today and there will be gusty winds.

Four years ago, about 1.8 million people gathered for Obama's first inauguration. It's expected today's crowd less than half that size.

But while the crowd will be smaller, that's still a lot of people. Already, as USA Today writes, "they've filled street corners and [are in] in long snaking lines all around the Capitol and surrounding neighborhoods."

NPR's Ari Shapiro, who's out among the crowd, overheard this quip: "These hand warmers are like the stimulus. Maybe things would've been worse without them, but I can't tell."

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Two Terms, Four Oaths:

Obama, as NPR's Nina Totenberg tells our Newscast Desk, will be only the second person to have taken the presidential oath of office four times.

How's that?

Well, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to office four times. But Obama has had to deal with some quirky complications.

In 2009, as Nina reminds us, Obama was sworn in twice because he and Chief Justice John Roberts famously "messed up the wording" during the ceremony on the steps of the Capitol. C-SPAN has video of that odd moment here.

To quiet some of those pesky bloggers who were trying to make the case that Obama hadn't really taken the oath, he and the chief justice did it again in private the next day.

This year, Inauguration Day (Jan. 20) fell on a Sunday. Modern tradition, Nina says, calls for holding a private swearing-in on the Sunday and a public ceremony the next day. So, yesterday the president took the oath (again from Roberts) at the White House. And today they'll repeat the process in public.

So, two terms and four oaths.

Contributors to this post included: Padmananda Rama, Arnie Seipel, Ari Shapiro, Jeff Brady, Nina Totenberg and Tamara Keith.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Nina McLemore's Clothes Are A 'Weapon' Of Powerful Women

Nina McLemore designs clothes for powerful women: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Janet Yellen, Elena Kagan and others. She talks about how fashion can help women stand out in political office.

After Italy Quakes, Food World Delivers Support To Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

Amatrice was set to host the 50th celebration of pasta all'Amatriciana famously made there, but this week's earthquake devastated the town. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with food blogger Jeremy Cherfas.

Why Trump's Minority Outreach May Really Be About White Voters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has publicly tried to reach out to minority voters. But that outreach may really be aimed at improving his standing with suburban white voters.
WAMU 88.5

Want To Play Video Games Made In D.C.? Here's Your Chance.

An event called District Arcade brings together 23 locally made video games.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.