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Barack Obama Sworn In As 44th President of the US 1656

Just before noon today, Eastern time, Barack Obama was sworn in before the US Capitol building as the 44th President of the United States ( has already been updated to reflect the new President), and offered an inaugural address which outlined some of the challenges that the country currently faces, both within the country's borders and abroad. Obama's election has been called "a civil rights triumph," and his candidacy has inspired perhaps the most visible political involvement of young voters of any candidate since John Kennedy. Here's your chance to discuss the newest occupant of the White House and what you'd like to see happen over the course of his presidency.
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Barack Obama Sworn In As 44th President of the US

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  • Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:12PM (#26531753)

    He was actually sworn in shortly after noon, although he was President at exactly noon anyway.

    • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

      by timster ( 32400 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532027)

      Not really... the Constitution requires the incoming President to take the oath "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office". The exact wording of the oath is also stated.

      Which makes it all the more surprising that Mr. Strict Constructionist John Roberts would mess it up, but there you go.

      • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

        by Palshife ( 60519 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:20PM (#26533653) Homepage

        Read closely. "He" in your excerpt refers to the President, not the President-elect. The oath is something the President must make after his term begins.

        Also, check out section 1 of the 20th Amendment. "The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January...; and the terms of their successors shall then begin."

        President Obama's term started at noon, before he took the oath of office, as it should be.

        • Indeed it should (Score:5, Interesting)

          by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:36PM (#26535503) Homepage Journal

          And it should be clear *why* taking office should be time-based, not oath-based when you consider what might happen during wartime. Like, what if serious military shit was hitting the fan on the day of the inauguration? Under an oath-based system, the incoming president would probably have more pressing things to do then swear an oath on a bible. With a time-based system like we now have, it is very clear who is in power at all times. Oath-based, not so much.

          Before that amendment was passed, the incoming president would have to drop everything and get sworn in before deal with whatever. Lets not even forget that if he or she did something requiring executive privilege and wasn't technically sworn in. During the aftermath, without the amendment, everything the new president did prior to taking the oath would fall into question (i.e. were they technically president)?

          No, taking the the oath is more for show then a requirement. As it should be.

  • America, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:12PM (#26531755) Homepage Journal
  • by XanC ( 644172 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:12PM (#26531759)

    ...not going to happen, under this or any administration I fear.

    • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532031) Journal

      We can't have a perfect union. But we can still try to make it a more perfect one, right?

    • Unfortunately, the constitution is VAGUE.

      It doesn't even outline what the supreme court is supposed to do. What strict constitutionalists fail to realize is that the constitution is not a document written by a group of well meaning men with no political bias or agenda. Quite the opposite, it's the product of intense political bargaining. the 3/5ths Majority, the Missouri compromise, the commerce compromise... This document that we are governed by is meant to try to appease both federalists(with clauses stating that Congress has the power to provide for "general welfare" as well to do everything "necessary and proper" to do that. This is balanced by the 10th amendment placating antifederalists. The founding fathers did not have you in mind when they wrote the Constitution, they had their own interests and agendas in mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:15PM (#26531835)

    Hear hear!

    Black people have too long been denied the disappointment white people have known for decades.

  • So ... change ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DikSeaCup ( 767041 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:16PM (#26531841) Homepage
    How soon are you going to see it?

    What exactly do you think is going to change?

    For better or for worse?

    I don't know. I'm just suddenly very pessimistic about the whole thing. Guantanamo is probably a step in the right direction ... but when you're talking about a journey (of a committee, mind you, since it's not just the president running the country), it's going to be so easy for steps in the wrong direction to occur.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm an American. Proudly so. I voted for Obama. But I just wonder ... what, really, can he do? What will he do? And in the end, will most of us be happier about it?
    • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:29PM (#26532255) Journal

      I think one of the most amazing things about it all is how the replacement of one individual can really change the mood of so many people. Not just in the USA, but in the whole world. It's incredible how despite of all the bad decisions made over the previous administration, citizens of so many other countries are willing to give America the benefit of the doubt.

      I believe that we should show some gratitude for that willingness to forgive, and we can express that gratitude by tempering our cynicism, and giving the new administration a decent chance to try some things. I think that a large portion of the country is willing to do so, hopefully the obstructionists can be drowned out by people who still feel that it's worthwhile to be hopeful.

      But either way, if Obama tries to do even 5% of what he's said he wants to do, I'm having a hard time imagining how things could be run much worse than what we've survived through for the past eight years.

      • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:58PM (#26533013)
        And if you think that it was just the last eight years that got us to this point in history than you have no idea how bad things can get.

        Our current sitution is the build up from decades worth of neglect, folks. And in most likeliness a lot of the Americans reading this post played some part in it. It sounds ugly because it is ugly. But it's still true.
    • Re:So ... change ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:32PM (#26532333) Journal

      Well, his cabinet doesn't exactly give me warm fuzzies. But I am neither optimist or pessimist, only pragmatist. The Obama administration, like any before it, has a lot of people shouting lots of contradictory things at it and within it, monied interests expecting favors and grassroots movements struggling for recognition, and a whole mess of problems to which maybe no one actually yet has the right answer.

      Time will tell if the new executive can sort all these out better than the last one did. Although the odds do look better this time.

    • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:34PM (#26532385)

      Let's face it, none of us knows what he will do or if it will work. We looked at the choices available and made a decission, some with our minds and some with our hearts. Personally, I voted for Obama because his public stances agreed with mine on most issues while he also appeared intelligent and elequent.

      The decisions he's announced (and that have been leaked) so far seem to validate my decision. More money spent on infristructure (both digital and physical), closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison, and denouncing harsh interrogation practices are all good places to start.

      That being said, our nation and our world is in for a tough decade which will undoubtably involve countless difficult decissions. Like many difficult decisions, I fully expect some of them to have no 'right' answer, no easy solution, no quick fix. Undoubtably, I will be dissapointed with some of his choices, but I have no way of knowing how many or what the end result of those decisions will be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:16PM (#26531871)

    As the media orgasms all over itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:17PM (#26531893)

    After first cutting off Obama, he forgets to say "faithfully" in the pledge, then tacks it onto the end of the clause. Obama clearly recognizes the screwup and pauses where "faithfully" is supposed to go, letting Roberts correct himself. Roberts stumbles, realizing his mistake. Corrects it, sort of. Then Obama continues with Roberts' original phrasing.

    To anyone not overly familiar with Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution, it looked like Obama was confused- or stumbled, but he was just in shock to hear Roberts put things out of order.

    Nice one there, Roberts.

  • As Spock once said (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:17PM (#26531905)

    "After a time, you may find that 'having' is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as 'wanting.' It is not logical, but it is often true."

  • by moniker127 ( 1290002 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:18PM (#26531911)
    welcome our new African American overlords.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:19PM (#26531943)

    Otherwise, he's a party to discarding the rule of law.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:19PM (#26531945)

    You know, as a geek and an American who's concerned with his personal privacy, there was a single issue which I really took to heart during GWB's presidency and that was telecom immunity (a retroactive law mind you). When Obama went back and ended up supporting it and then continued to support it even into his presidency [], I really had to take the whole "Change" mantra with a big grain of salt.

    While I have been watching my Twitter log scroll by with people saying they are in tears over this historic moment and the supposed changing of the guard as President Bush left office, I just have to wonder how much really will "Change". And obviously, at least one very important issue, which should be a priority of all Americans, is being overlooked because someone is promising a whole bunch of shit which probably doesn't matter much.

    Yet, something which goes against the Constitution is going to be swept under the rug as not all that important because we have a great speaker who appeals to the masses with his great voice, speeches that blow the out-going fool's away, and his supposed "fit" chest as was shown round the world via the media's obsession with the man.

    I'm all for a new leader, God knows we needed someone better than GWB 4+ years ago. But man, "Change" is relative I guess. YMMV.

  • Fantastic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pz ( 113803 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532013) Journal

    He used the words "data" and "statistics" in his inaugural address in a positive tone, without being the slightest bit derisive. He said that he would, "restore science to its rightful place." There is hope for the US.

  • Already a victory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis ( 698691 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532017)
    He acknowledged that nonbelievers are American citizens, and reaffirmed the separation of church/state and science.
    • by hansamurai ( 907719 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:31PM (#26532325) Homepage Journal

      All right, now how about the separation of corporation and state?

    • As a non-American... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by leathered ( 780018 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:53PM (#26532893)

      I found the religious overtones of the ceremony quite disturbing. If he really wanted to reaffirm the separation of church and state he could have started there and then by doing away with the bibles, the preachers and the 'so help me Gods'.

    • by gslj ( 214011 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:07PM (#26533267)

      I noticed an odd fact in the prayer before the inaugurations. The qualities ascribed to God were that he is "one" and he is "compassionate." This seems to be a subtle reaching out to Muslims right there, since those are the qualities of God emphasized in Islam: "In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad), He is God, the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone." He could have mentioned salvation or the Trinity or other divisive attributes instead. When he does mention Jesus, he gives the name in several languages including, I think, Arabic. Probably to remind Americans that Jesus is not a property of the U.S. and remind Muslims that the prophet Jesus is honoured in Islam. Finally, he ends with the Lord's Prayer which, as well as being blessedly short, is something that no Christian denomination has trouble with.

      Just an observation: the reaching out to Muslims started before the Inaugural Speech.


  • free (Score:5, Funny)

    by ionix5891 ( 1228718 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532035)

    da weed!

    #1 voted issue

  • by Sybert42 ( 1309493 ) * on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:22PM (#26532057) Journal

    Will this affect the date of Singularity? Is Obama pro-singularity? Anybody see him with a bluetooth headset :) ?

  • by DodgeRules ( 854165 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:33PM (#26532377)
    ... of hearing "black this" and "Afro-American that" and he just became President. I just hope that the media (and America) can finally get over this whole "race" thing and let the guy do his job. For an election that wasn't supposed to be about race, we sure do hear a lot about it. To Obama: America and the world is watching - MAKE US PROUD!
    • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:44PM (#26532613)
      I agree and find it odd that the media has gone on and on about it while invoking MLK at the same time. Personally I think MLK would be disappointed that minority voters only felt compelled to stand up and have their votes counted because the candidate was of a minority race. I think King's real dream was that people didn't let the race aspect hold them back from being a participant in the system. Just like I'm sure he'd frown on the idea that people used the excuse of finally having a minority in the White House be a reason they suddenly feel they could do anything. People who really get his message should have felt this way all along.

      I just don't see this as the milestone the media claims it is and I'd like to think if Dr. King was alive today he'd agree with me on this.
      • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:11PM (#26533395) Journal

        I disagree. And that's historically been one of the big problems with really tackling the issue of racism, both in the USA and worldwide. We can't just magically jump to a point where race doesn't matter any more. And pretending that we can by trying to ignore the issue of race altogether is not going to work. There's just too many social and economic realities that are woven directly into race for the issue to just disappear and work itself out.

        There's been some interesting stories over the past couple months about how many European countries have always considered themselves far more progressive in terms of race than the US, but are now being forced to realize that a minority citizen would never be elected to their highest offices. They haven't solved racism any more than the USA has, they merely did a better job of pretending that it wasn't an issue.

        The demographics and particulars of American history have kept racism a bit more apparent in the US, and as a result, we've worked through it to the point where we now have a black man in the oval office. Things have often times been messy and ugly along the way, but that's how progress generally goes.

        Ideally, we want race to be a non-issue in our civilization. But race is a big deal. And it'll have to become a bigger deal before it can become an non-issue. That's just how it works.

  • by Jonah Bomber ( 535788 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:38PM (#26532445)
    I think the thing I'd most like to see is a tempering of the utter insanity that is the TSA. We aren't safer because we have to take off our shoes to board an airplane. We aren't safer because we make pilots go through metal detectors. We aren't safer because we're now required to having a driver's license to fly. We aren't safer because we aren't allowed to take our toothpaste (except in teeny tiny tubes) with us. The TSA spends so much time and energy policing our shampoo container size that it can't help but detract from their ability to actually catch potential bombs. Obama has spoken about changing our foreign response to September 11th, but I'd like to see a change in our domestic response as well. I'd like to see more common sense.
  • by Mashhaster ( 1396287 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:42PM (#26532571)

    That's what I want to see. Too long has the government attempted to fight the free market by throwing money at enforcement. We've spent too many billions on punishing otherwise nonviolent, law-abiding taxpayers. For all the time and treasure we've spent, is there any end in sight? Is there anyone who believes that drug enforcement is reducing the demand for drugs?

    In Mexico right now, we've got drug cartels fighting a paramilitary war with the police and Mexican army; that's ongoing. In California, we have national parks and public water supplies being polluted by unregulated growing operations.

    We have an out of control national debt, and an opportunity to create a domestic industry, tax it, and stop spending the billions on enforcing these out of date laws. Pretending what we're doing is working, or pretending the problem doesn't exist, doesn't change the facts of the situation. The longer we wait, the more powerful the organized crime syndicates get (just like the mob during alcohol prohibition).

    Tax it, regulate it, don't sell it to minors, and bust people for driving under the influence of it. Just stop pretending you can beat it by cracking down on suppliers or users; supply exists where demand exists, and demand will always exist, because people are human.

    Don't forget industrial hemp, too, because there's a lot that could be done with it. That would be a huge boon to the country, especially considering that we need new energy mediums and materials for various applications; hemp has one of the longest track records in human civilization as a useful industrial material, and prohibiting it because of marijuana is simply pointless.

    That's why I want to see Prohibition 2.0 (hemp/marijuana) ended. I'd also like to see a complete end to the War on Drugs, because like the War on Terror, it's not a war we can ever win. But, that's another post for another time.

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:46PM (#26532665)

    Looks like they've already got a Technology Agenda [] posted. This is change I can stand behind. Believe in? When I see it in action. Don't let this make us any less vigilant in protecting our freedom to share information in an open and uninhibited manner.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:19PM (#26533615) Homepage

    Who was that announcer? He sounded like the "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" guy. I half expected him to announce "In this corner, President Elect Barack H. Obama. In that corner, Chief Justice Roberts. Let's get ready to INAUGURAAAAAAAATE!"

  • by Jacques Chester ( 151652 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:39PM (#26534189)

    We missed you.


    The Rest of The Modern World.

    ps. Any chance you could have a word with Australia about internet censorship? That'd be swell.

  • by kabocox ( 199019 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:48PM (#26534437)

    The real one seems lame. Now the Lego one though was what should have made slashdot.

    Lego Obama Presidential Inauguration Brings Hope to Bricks Too []

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"