Powered by Max Banner Ads
Barack Obama has told the American people to “seize the moment”, in a speech in Washington DC inaugurating his second term as US president, the BBC reports. He issued a plea for political unity while embracing liberal causes such as immigration reform, gay rights and the fight against climate change. Mr Obama, 51, who is the 44th US president, was sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice John Roberts. Hundreds of thousands of people crammed the ceremony on the National Mall. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with dozens of senators, congressional leaders and other dignitaries, attended the event at the US Capitol.Shortly after exhorting the United States to continue its “never-ending journey” to live up to the ideals of its founders, on his way off the platform at the West Front of the Capitol, President Barack Obama stopped to drink in the scene before him, CNN informs. “I want to take a look one more time,” he told those surrounding him. Obama stole another such moment with his wife, at the first of two official inaugural balls they were scheduled to attend Monday night.In a roughly 18-minute Mr Obama called for “collective action” to preserve American freedom, which he linked to social and economic equality. “We, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it,” he said. In an era of congressional deadlock, the president said Americans must make hard choices to reduce the deficit and debt. Without making specific policy recommendations, Mr Obama said the US must overhaul the tax code, reform its education system, revamp the voting system and address climate change. Obama also referred to his just-launched campaign to curb gun violence. Mr Obama also said there was a need to “find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.” As he was sworn in, Mr Obama placed his left hand on bibles owned by legendary American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and President Abraham Lincoln. Vice-President Joe Biden publicly took the oath as well. After Monday’s speech, Mr Obama attended the traditional inaugural lunch, dining on bison and lobster with US lawmakers in the Capitol building’s Statuary Hall. White tents, trailers and generators lined the parade route, while nearby buildings were adorned with red, white and blue bunting. In the evening, the Obamas donned formal attire for two inaugural balls in Washington, where 40,000 people were expected to attend. At the Commander-in-Chief ball, Mr Obama thanked US soldiers who attended, saying their service “made possible” such days in the country’s history. He also greeted troops stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, via video link.