Under the Constitution, a president’s term ends at noon on January 20, and the new president has to be sworn in on the same day. The presidential inauguration usually takes place in public, but when Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday, presidents have shifted the public ceremony a day and opted for a swearing-in at the White House, which is what happened this year. Yesterday's ceremony took place in the Blue Room at the White House, and Obama took the oath of office on Michele Obama's family bible (see photo and watch video).
Today, which also happens Martin Luther King Day, will see a more lavish public reenactment. This public swearing-in is expected to draw about 800,000 to the National Mall to watch the poetry, music and oratory outside the U.S. Capitol and will include several nods to this president’s place in history as the first African American to hold the office. Obama plans to place his hand on two Bibles, one owned by the slain civil rights leader and another used by Abraham Lincoln at his swearing-in on March 4, 1861. Full story in LA Times >>
The cartoon shows a worried-looking Obama taking the oath on a pile of debt, surrounded by piles of debt—a reference to the U.S debt mountain, which currently stands at over $16 trillion and rising fast (see debt clock). Having avoided the fiscal cliff, one of Obama's priorities in his second term will be to deal with the exploding national debt.