Obama sworn in for 4 more years

By the time several hundred thousand in Washington, D.C., see President Barack Obama take his oath of office during inaugural ceremonies today, the chief executive will have already been officially sworn in for nearly 24 hours.

During a much quieter ceremony, held just before noon Sunday, the president officially was sworn into office by Chief Justice John Roberts.

But today the public will witness a repeat performance as Obama and Vice President Joe Biden take the more traditional oath on the U.S. Capitol steps, followed by the inaugural parade and, later in the evening, a couple of inaugural balls.

“It’s just a party-I hope they enjoy it while they can. At least our money’s not going into it,” said Gary Gaughan, 51, of Marietta.

He won’t be among the millions watching the inaugural festivities by television today.

“I won’t be watching because I’m working all day,” Gaughan said. “But it really doesn’t matter that much to me.”

Fifteen-year-old Haley Yeomans, of Lowell, isn’t planning to watch the ceremony either, noting Obama wouldn’t have been her pick if she had been able to vote in the November election.

But she conceded the presidential inauguration is a pretty big deal every four years, although she doesn’t believe the president’s second inaugural event today will be a big as his first in 2009.

“The last time he had a lot of people hoping he was the best choice-they were more excited,” Yeomans said. “This time I think some of those people will say they’re still OK with him, but others will be saying they’re not.”

Mandy Mote, 32, teaches high school social studies in St. Marys, W.Va.

“The inaugural is always a learning point for me,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity for my students. We’ll watch parts of it and they’ll reflect on why we have an inauguration. But I don’t know that this will be as big an event as 2009. Back then it was historical because Obama was our first African-American president.”

Doug Forshey, 32, of Caldwell said he’s not too interested in the inaugural ceremonies today.

“I didn’t vote for him, so I won’t follow the inauguration that close,” he said. “He just has another four years to go.”

Language arts teacher B.J. McMahan, 54, of Marietta says the inauguration is much like other celebrations in our culture.

“We have weddings, we have funerals and all sorts of other commemorative ceremonies-so why not inaugurations?” she asked.

McMahan noted the crowds may be thinner as Obama enters his second term simply because he’s already the sitting president.

“There’s no changing of the guard to a new president,” she said. “But I’ll be watching it anyway.”

According to The Associated Press, a crowd of perhaps 800,000 was forecast to attend today’s events in Washington D.C.-that’s somewhat less than the million-plus that thronged to the nation’s capital four years ago to witness the inauguration of the first black president in American history.