Politics

Politics
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Obama, Biden Take Oaths On Sunday

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

President Obama will be sworn in for a second term with fanfare at noon Monday, but the official swearing in was Sunday. Obama's second inauguration is a smaller affair than four years ago. But hundreds of thousands of people have come to Washington, D.C. nonetheless.

Politics
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Much Has Changed Since Obama's 1st Inauguration

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 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.

Politics
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

First Lady Also Starts Her 2nd Term

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 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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Politics
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

2nd Terms Are Historically Hard To Navigate

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 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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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Inaugural Trivia Quiz

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

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 6:51 am

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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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:02 pm

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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Inauguration 2013
1:25 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

An Inaugural Memory: President Lincoln's Food Fight

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

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:27 am

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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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama Takes Oath Of Office In White House Ceremony

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

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 11:04 am

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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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

5 Questions About The Inauguration

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

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:28 am

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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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama So Far: Making History, Inspiring An Opposition

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

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:17 am

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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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Presidential Double Take: The Difference Four Years Makes

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

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 1:56 pm

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/.

Politics
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

What Obama May Do Next, At Home And Around The World

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:05 am

Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, Scott Horsley and Michele Kelemen about President Obama's likely second-term agenda, from handling debt and the deficit to gun control and next steps in the country's relationship with Iran.

Religion
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

In Inauguration, A 'Worship Of The Nation'

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:05 am

Among the sentiments of love of country and national unity, presidential inaugurations also have a religious element. Host Rachel Martin talks with Stephen Prothero, professor of American religion at Boston University, about how the role of faith in inauguration ceremonies has changed over the years.

Inauguration 2013
10:27 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Presidential Oath: Not Always Perfect, But It Gets The Job Done

Barack Obama takes the oath of office beside his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.
Chuck Kennedy AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 4:20 pm

President Obama takes the oath of office for a second term on Sunday and Monday. By the time he is through Monday, he and President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be the only two presidents to have taken the presidential oath four times — Roosevelt because he was elected four times, and Obama because he will have taken the oath twice the first time and twice the second.

Obama took the oath twice in 2009 because he and Chief Justice John Roberts messed it up a bit the first time and redid it a second time in private to quell any questions about Obama being president.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

On His Campaign Promises Report Card, Obama Did 'Pretty Well'

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

PolitiFact has been keeping a list — a very long list — on the president's first term.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning political watchdog assesses the veracity of political claims, and this week, it released a report card on the promises Obama made during his first presidential campaign.

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Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Rev. Al Sharpton, In Six True-False Statements

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network (NAN), prepares to leave its corporate office for the WWRL radio station in New York, January 11.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 9:19 am

Editor's note: NPR's Corey Dade recently traveled to New York to interview the Rev. Al Sharpton about the unusual arc of his checkered career, from pugnacious street fighter for racial justice to savvy insider with ties to CEOs, a successful television show and the the ear of a soon-to-be second-term president.

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The Picture Show
4:31 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Presidential Access: Unguarded Moments, Captured On Film

President Truman, wearing a shirt that reads "Coach Truman, Athletic Department," leads exercises on the deck of the USS Missouri on his return trip to Washington from Brazil, 1947.
Byron H. Rollins/AP Courtesy of WHNPA

Every four years, we elect a president. And every term, the president is joined in the White House by his Cabinet and staff — and followed by a press pool intent on documenting the presidency. For those photographers, portraying the true personality and actions of a leader so protected can be difficult.

In 1921, a group was formed to help make access easier. The White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA) was started by 17 camera and motion-picture photographers who covered the daily activities of the White House.

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It's All Politics
3:53 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Inaugural Hijinks: 10 Odd Photos From Ceremonies Past

Scott Stewart AP

The presidential inauguration is a solemn and important occasion, of course, steeped in history and pomp. But it's also a time for parades and balls — and, sometimes, a bit of tomfoolery. As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, a look back at a few funny and unusual moments:

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The Salt
3:53 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Inaugural Balls Where Food Isn't An Afterthought

Guests arrive for the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington back in 2005 to celebrate President Bush's second term.
J. David Ake AP

Like everyone else in Washington, D.C., right now, we're gearing up for the long inaugural weekend, bracing ourselves for various events and balls around town that can be thrilling, patriotic, touristy and traffic-jamming, all at the same time.

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It's All Politics
3:52 am
Sat January 19, 2013

From The Archives: Inaugural Firsts, Ball Gowns And JFK

President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 1961.
AP

As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, we've been looking back through our coverage of inaugurations past. (And it's reminded us that a lot has changed, even from just four years ago.) Along the way, we ran across a few memorable features that we thought worth revisiting.

Inaugural Firsts

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It's All Politics
3:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Gun Owner From The Left, Sen. Leahy Leads The Debate

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., voted to allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains, but rejects suggestions that he'll slow-walk gun control efforts through Congress.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:13 am

President Obama says he's willing to use "whatever power his office holds" to stop gun violence, but the fate of many of his White House proposals will rest in no small part with one man: the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Politics
3:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

Politics
3:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
3:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Trend In Second Inaugural Addresses: They're Not Very Good

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

On Monday, President Obama will join a select group of presidents who have delivered a second inaugural address...

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITES OF INAUGURAL ADDRESSES)

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: My fellow citizens...

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Members of the United States Congress.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Members of my family and friends.

PRESIDENT DWIGHT EISENHOWER: We meet again, as upon a like moment four years ago.

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It's All Politics
1:40 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Speechwriters: After Bland First Inaugural, Second Is Tougher For Obama

President Obama gives his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:09 pm

A presidential inauguration is an event defined by huge, sweeping optics: the National Mall full of cheering Americans; a grandiose platform in front of the Capitol building; the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. And the centerpiece: a speech.

On Monday, President Obama will give his second inaugural address — and he faces a challenge in crafting a speech for this moment.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Republicans Offer Three-Month Increase In Debt Ceiling

As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.

But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.

His report continues:

"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ray Nagin On Corruption Charges

Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 corruption charges by a federal grand jury. They include "conspiracy to deprive citizens of honest services."
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 counts of bribery and other corruption charges by a federal grand jury. When he became the city's mayor in 2002, Nagin, a former cable TV executive, promised to revive New Orleans' economy, and its trust in the city's government.

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History
1:00 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Don't Know Much About Inaugurations?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are hoping your best dress is ready and your tux is pressed because President Barack Obama will be sworn in for a second term on Monday. But even if you don't plan to attend any of the events, you can dress up and watch at home.

And here to get us ready is Kenneth C. Davis. He is the author of the best-selling "'Don't Know Much About" series of books. His latest is "Don't Know Much About the American Presidents." And he's with us now.

Welcome and Happy New Year to you.

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It's All Politics
10:59 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Inauguration Mashup: The Speech In 11 Easy Steps

An 11-step guide to the perfect inauguration speech
NPR

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:29 am

May the eagles of democracy soar above the covenant that binds our great nation in an era of new beginning ... or something.

Have you ever watched an inaugural address and wondered: How DO those guys (because they're always guys) do it? Well, we've prepared this handy guide so you, too, can give a speech like the chief executive.

Our instructions are based on a century of recorded footage. William McKinley's address was the first to be recorded by a "motion picture camera" (in 1897). Calvin Coolidge was the first to be broadcast over the radio (in 1925).

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It's All Politics
8:25 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Key Player In '94 Assault Weapons Ban: 'It's Going To Be Much More Difficult' Now

President Clinton speaks to a member of the House on Aug. 11, 1994, lobbying for votes for the crime bill.
Marcy Nighswander AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

President Obama's proposed renewal of a ban on assault-style weapons is expected to be based on the legislation approved by Congress in 1994 that expired 10 years later.

But when the first assault weapons ban was approved — outlawing 19 specific weapons — it was a very different time, and Congress was a very different place.

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