21 January 2013 09:45 | By Keith Lin
PHOTOS: Barack Obama begins second term of office

US President takes oath of office at official private ceremony at White House Sunday, ahead of public swearing-in



Barack Obama begins second term of office (© Rex Features)
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Barack Obama took the oath of office to begin his second term as President of the United States at a simple private ceremony in the White House on Sunday, a stark contrast to the historic hope and promise that greeted his inauguration four years ago.

"I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear..." Obama said, promising to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" and to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Watched over by portraits of former presidents, he then hugged wife Michelle, who was wearing a blue dress, and children Malia and Sasha.

Obama will retake the oath in public in front of Capitol House on Monday morning (evening Asian hours) before delivering his first address to the nation in his second term of office. Tradition states that when the inauguration date falls on a Sunday, a private swearing-in is followed on Monday by the public festivities. READ FULL STORY
 
Click through the slideshow to see the (muted) festivities around Obama's inauguration

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