Pastor Rick Warren started the festivities by delivering the invocation. Obama had garnered criticism from progressives in his party for extending the invitation to Warren, who was socially conservative on LGBTQ and abortion issues, but Warren steered clear of controversy during his prayer.
Singer Aretha Franklin sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" shortly before Obama was sworn in, wearing a giant sequined bow hat that went viral immediately. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office -- making a tiny mistake that ultimately forced Obama to retake the oath the next day. The president then launched into a minute speech in which he called for a "new era of responsibility.
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you've bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation -- as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition. Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many -- and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Daughter Malia R looks on. Lakisha Smith cries as she watches the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on a large screen in the neighborhood of Harlem January 20, in New York City. Obama was inaugurated as the first African-American president of the U. Capitol Tuesday afternoon. Work continues on the inaugural platform at the U. A man walks on the inaugural stand at the west front of the U. Capitol January 15, in Washington, DC. Preparations for the presidential inauguration are under way for incoming U.
President Barack Obama. Former U. President George W. Bush embraces President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, after Obama's inaugural address at the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, Crowds fill the National Mall before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States at his inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, A spectator waits on the National Mall on the morning of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States at his inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, President Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, Michelle Obama watches at right.
A woman looks through binoculars at the Capitol building during the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, A man stands wearing a hat in support of U. Vice President Joe Biden took the oath of office for his second term on Sunday at a small ceremony at his official residence, using a bible with a Celtic cross on the cover that has been in his family since The U. Constitution requires the president and vice president to be sworn in on January Aretha Franklin sings during the inauguration ceremony for President-elect Barack Obama in Washington, January 20, An attendee prays during the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, First lady Michelle Obama L and U.
President Barack Obama escort former president George W. Bush and his wife Laura R down the steps of the U. Capitol after inauguration ceremony in Washington January 20, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. President Obama will be attending 10 Inaugural Balls. Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African American to be elected President.
President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia wave to supporters lining Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade after he was sworn in as the 44th U. President in Washington January 20, Capitol is pictured at sunrise before the inauguration of U. President Barack Obama in Washington, January 21, Recording artist Jay-Z arrives ahead swearing-in ceremonies for U. President Barack Obama on the West front of the U.
S Capitol in Washington, January 21, Capitol January 21, in Washington. Obama was re-elected for a second term as President of the United States. Capitol in Washington, January 21, President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U. Capitol in Washington January 21, A boy listens on the National Mall during the 57th inauguration ceremonies for U. Capitol, in Washington January 21, Beyonce sings the National Anthem during inauguration ceremonies for U. A woman listens on the National Mall during the 57th inauguration ceremonies for U.
A spectator watches U. President Barack Obama go by during the inaugural parade in Washington, January 21, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk and wave after emerging from the presidential limousine during the inaugural parade from the Capitol to the White House in Washington, January 21, See Gallery. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.
They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation. But in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given.
It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops, and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip, and plowed the hard earth. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions, greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift. And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.
We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.
All this we can do. All this we will do. Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
In , Obama Sr. This time, however, the crash was fatal. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, graduating in with a degree in political science. After working in the business sector for two years, Obama moved to Chicago in There, he worked on the impoverished South Side as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and the Altgeld Gardens communities. It was during this time that Obama, who said he "was not raised in a religious household," joined the Trinity United Church of Christ.
He also visited relatives in Kenya, and paid an emotional visit to the graves of his biological father and paternal grandfather. The next year, he met with constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe and their discussion so impressed Tribe, that when Obama asked to join his team as a research assistant, the professor agreed.
Not long after, the couple began dating. He also taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School between and —first as a lecturer and then as a professor—and helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clinton's presidential campaign. On October 3, , he and Michelle were married. They moved to Kenwood, on Chicago's South Side, and welcomed two daughters several years later: Malia born and Sasha born The book had a second printing in and was adapted for a children's version. The audiobook version of Dreams , narrated by Obama, received a Grammy Award for best spoken word album in Obama's advocacy work led him to run for a seat in the Illinois State Senate.
He ran as a Democrat and won election in During his years as a state senator, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans to draft legislation on ethics, as well as expand health care services and early childhood education programs for the poor. He also created a state earned-income tax credit for the working poor. As chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee Obama worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases after a number of death-row inmates were found to be innocent.
In , Obama made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. Undeterred, he created a campaign committee in and began raising funds to run for a seat in the U. Senate in With the help of political consultant David Axelrod, Obama began assessing his prospects for a Senate win. Bush's push to go to war with Iraq.
Obama was still a state senator when he spoke against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq during a rally at Chicago's Federal Plaza in October I'm opposed to dumb wars," he said. Encouraged by poll numbers, Obama decided to run for the U. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald. That summer, he was invited to deliver the keynote speech in support of John Kerry at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Obama emphasized the importance of unity and made veiled jabs at the Bush administration and the diversionary use of wedge issues.
After the convention, Obama returned to his U. Senate bid in Illinois. His opponent in the general election was supposed to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, a wealthy former investment banker. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June following public disclosure of unsubstantiated sexual deviancy allegations by his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan. In August , diplomat and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan. In three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers and tax cuts.
In the November general election, Obama received 70 percent of the vote to Keyes' 27 percent, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history. With his win, Obama became only the third African-American elected to the U. Senate since Reconstruction. Sworn into office on January 3, , Obama partnered with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. Then, with Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, he created a website to track all federal spending. Obama also spoke out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, pushed for alternative energy development and championed improved veterans' benefits.
The work discussed Obama's visions for the future of America, many of which became talking points for his eventual presidential campaign. Shortly after its release, the book hit No. In February , Obama made headlines when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
He was locked in a tight battle with former first lady and then-U. On June 3, , Obama became the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee after winning a sufficient number of pledged delegates during the primaries, and Clinton delivered her full support to Obama for the duration of his campaign. His running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden , became vice president. Obama's inauguration took place on January 20, When Obama took office, he inherited a global economic recession, two ongoing foreign wars and the lowest-ever international favorability rating for the United States.
He campaigned on an ambitious agenda of financial reform, alternative energy and reinventing education and health care—all while bringing down the national debt. Because these issues were intertwined with the economic well-being of the nation, he believed all would have to be undertaken simultaneously. During his inauguration speech, Obama summarized the situation by saying, "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met. Between Inauguration Day and April 29, , the Obama administration took action on many fronts.
Obama coaxed Congress to expand health care insurance for children and provide legal protection for women seeking equal pay. Housing and credit markets were put on life support, with a market-based plan to buy U. Loans were made to the auto industry, and new regulations were proposed for Wall Street.
Obama also cut taxes for working families, small businesses and first-time home buyers. Over his first days in office, President Obama also undertook a complete overhaul of America's foreign policy. He lobbied allies to support a global economic stimulus package. He committed an additional 21, troops to Afghanistan and set an August date for withdrawal of nearly all U. In more dramatic incidents, he ordered an attack on pirates off the coast of Somalia and prepared the nation for a swine flu outbreak. During his oration, Obama addressed the challenges of the economy, proposed a fee for larger banks, announced a possible freeze on government spending in the following fiscal year and spoke against the Supreme Court's reversal of a law capping campaign finance spending.
He also challenged politicians to stop thinking of re-election and start making positive changes. He criticized Republicans for their refusal to support any legislation and chastised Democrats for not pushing hard enough to get legislation passed. He also insisted that, despite obstacles, he was determined to help American citizens through the nation's current domestic difficulties. I don't quit," he said. In the second part of his first term as president, Obama faced a number of obstacles and scored some victories as well. In spite of opposition from Congressional Republicans and the populist Tea Party movement, Obama signed his health care reform plan, known as the Affordable Care Act, into law in March The new law prohibited the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowed citizens under 26 years old to be insured under parental plans, provided for free health screenings for certain citizens and expanded insurance coverage and access to medical care to millions of Americans.
On the economic front, Obama worked to steer the country through difficult financial times. After drawn-out negotiations with Republicans who gained control of the U. House of Representatives in the midterm elections, he signed the Budget Control Act of in an effort to rein in government spending and prevent the government from defaulting on its financial obligations. The act also called for the creation of a bipartisan committee to seek solutions to the country's fiscal issues, but the group failed to reach any agreement on how to solve these problems.
Also in , Obama signed a repeal of the military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevented openly gay troops from serving in the U. Armed Forces. In March , he approved U. Navy SEALs. Obama gained a legal victory in June when the U. Voting with the majority were two associate justices appointed by Obama— Sonia Sotomayor confirmed in and Elena Kagan confirmed in As he did in , during his campaign for a second presidential term, Obama focused on grassroots initiatives.
Celebrities such as Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker aided the president's campaign by hosting fundraising events. And we'll remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. Representative Paul Ryan. On November 6, , Obama won a second four-year term as president by receiving nearly five million more votes than Romney and capturing more than 60 percent of the Electoral College. Nearly one month after President Obama's re-election, the nation endured one of its most tragic school shootings to date when 20 children and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, Two days after the attack, Obama delivered a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims in Newtown and discussed a need for change in order to make schools safer while alluding to implementing stricter gun-control measures.
We can't accept events like these as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Obama achieved a major legislative victory on January 1, , when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bipartisan agreement on tax increases and spending cuts, in an effort to avoid the looming fiscal cliff crisis the Senate voted in favor of the bill earlier that day. Prior to the bill's passage, in late , tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over spending cuts and tax increases became a bitter political battle until Vice President Joe Biden managed to hammer out a deal with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Obama pledged to sign the bill into law. Barack Obama officially began his second term on January 21, , when U. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office. The inauguration was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and civil-rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers , gave the invocation. In his inaugural address, Obama called the nation to action on such issues as climate change, health care and marriage equality. We must act, knowing that today's victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall," Obama told the crowd gathered in front of the U.
Capitol building. The Obamas attended two official inauguration balls, including one held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx also performed. After the inauguration, Obama led the nation through many challenges—none more difficult, perhaps, than the terrorist bombings of the Boston Marathon on April 15, , which killed three people and left more than injured.
And it is also a fact that the accumulated disadvantages of years of institutionalized oppression have created yawning disparities in income, and in wealth, and in education, and in health, in personal safety, in access to credit. Accessed November 10, Commerce Secretary Announcement. Address at the National Counterterrorism Center. And Democrats talk about reforming our immigration so, yes, it is orderly and it is fair and it is legal, but it continues to welcome strivers and dreamers from all around the world. Former President George W. A man stands wearing a hat in support of U.
At a memorial service in Boston three days after the bombings, he told the wounded, "Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the same month, Obama also found his efforts for gun-control measures thwarted in Congress. He had supported legislation calling for universal background checks on all gun purchases and a ban on sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
In the wake of allegations of the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative political organizations seeking tax-exempt status and accusations of a cover-up in the terrorist killings of U. Experts also attributed the ratings slide to new revelations about the extent of the U. Obama defended the NSA's email monitoring and telephone wiretapping during a visit to Germany that June.
The event marked the first meeting between two U. Obama found himself grappling with an international crisis in late August and September when it was discovered that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians. While saying that thousands of people, including over children, had been killed in the chemical attacks, Obama called Syria's actions "a serious national security threat to the United States and to the region, and as a consequence, Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable.
The president worked to persuade Congress and the international community at large to take action against Syria, but found a majority on Capitol Hill opposed to military involvement. Obama then announced an alternative solution on September 10, , by stating that if al-Assad agreed with the stipulations outlined in a proposal made by Russia to give up its chemical weapons, then a direct strike against the nation could be avoided.
Al-Assad acknowledged the possession of chemical weapons and ultimately accepted the Russian proposal. Later that month, Obama made diplomatic strides with Iran. He spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the phone, which marked the first direct contact between the leaders of the two countries in more than 30 years. This groundbreaking move by Obama was seen by many as a sign of thawing in the relationship between the United States and Iran.
Obama found himself struggling on the domestic front in October A dispute over the federal budget and Republican desires to defund or derail the Affordable Care Act caused a day shutdown of the federal government. After a deal had been reached to end the shutdown, Obama used his weekly address to express his frustration over the situation and his desire for political reform: "The way business is done in Washington has to change.
Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do—grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.
Extra technical support was brought in to work on the troubled website, which was plagued with glitches for weeks. The health care law was also blamed for some Americans losing their existing insurance policies, despite repeated assurances from Obama that such cancellations would not occur. Under mounting pressure, Obama found himself apologizing regarding some health care changes. In an interview with NBC News, he said of those who lost their insurance plans, "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.
The fall of brought Obama additional challenges in the area of foreign relations.
Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States from to Before his .. In one of the last major speeches of his presidency, Obama strongly endorsed Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president, saying "there . Over speeches by Barack Obama. Complete and full text of each speech. forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
In the wake of these controversies, Obama saw his approval rating drop to a new low in November Only 37 percent of Americans polled by CBS News approved of the job he was doing as president, while 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the job. Echoes of the Cold War also returned after civil unrest and protests in the capital city of Kiev led to the downfall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's administration in February Russian troops crossed into Ukraine to support pro-Russian forces and the annexation of the province of Crimea.
In response, Obama ordered sanctions targeting individuals and businesses considered by the U. The president said the sanctions were taken in close coordination with European allies and gave the U. In addition to the ongoing troubles in Ukraine, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians erupted into violence in Gaza during the summer of At the same time, tens of thousands of Central American children were being apprehended at the U.
Many Republicans called for the rapid deportation of these illegal immigrants, while others considered the situation a humanitarian crisis.