WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama was officially sworn into office for a second term Sunday in a small private ceremony at the White House.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered the oath to the 44th president as he was surrounded by only a few family members.
Obama will participate in the traditional -- and much more flashy -- public swearing-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Monday, following the lead of his predecessors whose first day in office, as prescribed by the Constitution, fell on a Sunday. Between 600,000 and 800,000 are expected to attend Monday.
Obama kicks off a second four-year term with ambitions to overhaul the nations tax code, rewrite immigration laws, tighten gun regulations and combat global warming.
But he faces a fractured political climate -- in part fueled by a divided Congress and nation -- as he combats an array of domestic and foreign policy challenges and goals from boasting a still lagging economy to winding down the war in Afghanistan.
On Sunday, there was little fanfare -- or acknowledgement of the daunting tasks that lay ahead -- at the brief ceremony.
There were no speeches, no parades, no balls.
Obama, wearing a suit and blue tie, was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, their daughters, Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, just before noon in the small, oval-shaped Blue Room on the first floor that boasts views of the Washington Monument. Obamas half-sister and Mrs. Obamas brother were also in attendance.
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States so help me God, Obama recited.
As he uttered the words, Obama placed his left hand on a bible held by his wife and used by the first ladys grandmother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson, the first African-American woman manager of the bookstore at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Afterward, he hugged his wife and children. I did it, he said to his youngest daughter.
Obama followed presidential precedent in choosing the chief justice -- a man he did not support for the Supreme Court and who, in 2009, botched the oath requiring a do-over the next day.
A small group of reporters and photographers were present in the room to witness the proceedings following pressure from the media that journalists be allowed to witness history. Millions around the globe watched the event on television or the Internet. It is the seventh time that inauguration day has fallen on a Sunday, and the first since Ronald Reagans second term began in 1985.
Thank you everybody, he said before walking out of the room.
The First Family worshipped Sunday morning at the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, celebrating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday will be honored Monday across the nation. The crowd lept to its feet with applause when Obama was greeted.
In his sermon, the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton recalled the forward theme of Obamas reelection campaign in telling the story of Moses. He urged Obama to not allow obstacles to interfere Where forward is the only option.
Obama did not speak at the event but on Saturday he called the inauguration an affirmation that were all in this together and that weve got to look out for each other and work hard on behalf of each other.