Politics

3:41am

Mon January 21, 2013
Politics

Much Has Changed Since Obama's 1st Inauguration

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:01 am

President Obama's second inauguration is not expected to have record-setting crowds. Also, the president is not the same man as he was four years ago.

3:41am

Mon January 21, 2013
Politics

First Lady Also Starts Her 2nd Term

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A second term for Barack Obama, of course, always means four more years in the spotlight for his wife Michelle. The first lady's time in the White House has involved work focused on children and military families, as well as plenty of focus on her fashion, which was evidenced over the last few days with the reaction to her new hairdo, which included bangs.

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3:41am

Mon January 21, 2013
Politics

2nd Terms Are Historically Hard To Navigate

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama is the third president in a row to face the challenges of a second term, on the heels of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The last time there were three in a row, their names were Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. In the modern era, second terms have become notorious for getting derailed.

To find out what history may teach President Obama about navigating the next four years, we reached presidential historian Michael Beschloss. Welcome.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Thank you, Renee.

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5:42pm

Sun January 20, 2013
It's All Politics

Inaugural Trivia Quiz

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:51 am

Barack Obama arrives at his 2009 inauguration to become the 44th president of the United States.
Getty Images

See what you know about the wonkier points of the quadrennial festivities. Scroll to the page bottom for answers and explanations.

1) The Constitution says that a presidency ends and a new one begins on:

a) Jan. 20
b) Jan. 21
c) The third Monday in January following an election
d) It doesn't specify

2) How many presidents have chosen to affirm (rather than swear) to "faithfully execute the office ... "?

a) None
b) One
c) Two
d) Three

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5:08pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Politics

Will The Grass Be Greener In Obama's Second Term?

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 8:02 pm

A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. Some environmentalists hope President Obama lives up to campaign promises regarding climate change in his second term.
Jim Urquhart AP

One of the chief expectations of those who voted for President Obama is that he moves assertively to pass climate change legislation, whatever the political climate in Washington.

"We have a bipartisan common interest in moving away from fossil fuels towards clean energy," says Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. "The sooner that members of both parties in Congress realize that and develop solutions, the better off we'll all be."

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3:25pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Inauguration 2013

An Inaugural Memory: President Lincoln's Food Fight

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 12:27 pm

Menu for Lincoln's 2nd inaugural ball, March 6, 1865
Smithsonian Institution

A recently-published menu for Abraham Lincoln's lavish second inaugural ball in 1865 provides an interesting look at how different the nation celebrated its new president just seven score and eight years ago.

Smoked tongue en geleé and blancmange (a firm custard) shared room on the buffet table with roast turkey and burnt almond ice cream.

As Yale food historian Paul Freedman told Smithsonian Magazine writer Megan Gambino, the cuisine could best be described as "French via England, with some American ingredients."

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12:50pm

Sun January 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Takes Oath Of Office In White House Ceremony

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 1:04 pm

President Obama is officially sworn in Sunday by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House. Next to Obama are first lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson Family Bible, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Larry Downing AP

President Obama's second term officially begins Sunday: He took the oath of office in an intimate ceremony at the White House, fulfilling the constitutional requirement to take the oath before noon on Jan. 20.

NPR's Ari Shaprio reported on the swearing-in for our Newscast unit. Here's what he said:

"Family and a few close friends gathered in the Blue Room of the White House. The president placed his hand on a family Bible and recited the oath with Chief Justice John Roberts.

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6:03am

Sun January 20, 2013
It's All Politics

Presidential Double Take: The Difference Four Years Makes

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 3:56 pm

President Obama seems to have picked up a few gray hairs in the four years since he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009 (left). On the right, he's shown in December 2012.
Getty Images/AFP NPR

Every president gets sworn in once, but it's a smaller club of presidents who manage to get there twice. Here's a look at some recent presidents who served two terms. See who changed the most (or the least) in four years.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

6:03am

Sun January 20, 2013
It's All Politics

5 Questions About The Inauguration

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 12:28 pm

Workers seen through a fence adjust American flags on the Capitol during preparations Thursday for the inauguration.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

1) Why Monday?

Inaugural events are sprinkled over three days, with the most important one actually taking place out of the public eye on Sunday. That's when the official oath of office will be administered at the White House, on the date and time (noon on Jan. 20) specified by the Constitution. But because the 20th falls on a Sunday this year, the public festivities, including another oath taking, all happen Monday.

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6:03am

Sun January 20, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama So Far: Making History, Inspiring An Opposition

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 9:17 am

President Obama walks outside the Oval Office on May 3.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Any American president hoping to stake a claim to being viewed by future generations as great and transformative — or at least very good and effective — would be wise to choose his predecessor well.

To that end, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan probably couldn't have done better than to follow, respectively, James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

Similarly, President Obama no doubt benefited from comparisons to George W. Bush, who's unlikely to make many historians' lists of the presidential greats.

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