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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 2nd term of President Barack Obama is officially underway. Hundreds of thousands were in the nation's capitol to witness the President take the Oath of Office and hear the Inaugural address. Over 200 Tennessee National Guard troops were part of a massive security force there. For President Obama, there were plenty of differences from 4 years ago. He's grayer, the weather warmer, the crowds smaller, and the Oath of Office had no big slip-up. This time he was more aggressive in using his Inaugural address to reprise the central message of his campaign, making clear he believes he has a mandate.
"For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it," says President Obama.
The nation's first African-American President happened to be sworn in for a 2nd term on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, so he leaned on the words of both King and Abraham Lincoln.
"Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free," says President Obama.
Casting himself in the mold of those great civil rights leaders, he vowed aggressive action on a series of issues from climate change to immigration reform, and became the first President to use the word "gay" in an Inaugural address.
"Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts," says President Obama. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."
At a time when debt and deficits are front and center, he offered a vigorous defense of entitlement programs.
"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of healthcare and the size of our deficit," says President Obama. "But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."
Like every President since FDR, President Obama started his day early with a prayer service at St. John's Church, before departing the White House for one of the longest motorcades known to man for the ride to the Capitol. A star-studded affair - where else can one see Republican Paul Ryan mingling with Jay Z and Beyonce, who belted out the National Anthem? When the ceremony was over, there was a steady stream of Pomp and Circumstance waiting. From signing papers to officially nominating his new cabinet, to lunch with Congressional leaders and then the course of the parade. The First Family made their way back to the White House to review the rest of the parade from his grand, bulletproof review stand. Yet all of that could wait because before leaving the West front of the Capitol, the President decided to go off script and take in the vista of the National Mall. President Obama took in the moment, overheard saying he would never quite see this view again.
Monday, January 21 2013, 10:00 PM CST
Prince Edward presents Edinburgh's awards in Tenn.
May 23, 2013 22:00 GMT
By ERIK SCHELZIG Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward, is visiting Tennessee to promote one of the British royal family's charities, the Duke of Edinburgh's awards.
The prince presided over an awards ceremony at the governor's mansion in Nashville on Thursday for the first batch of young Tennesseans to participate in the leadership and character program.
About 80 youths received the award by participating in community service, skills development, physical fitness and adventurous journeys through the Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, LEAD Academy, Montgomery Bell Academy or the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Organization.
Following the event, Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam invited the awardees and their families to tea inside the governor's residence. Later on Thursday, the prince was scheduled to headline a black-tie gala at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville.
Bernanke signals Fed to maintain stimulus efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress that the U.S. job market remains weak and that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to end its extraordinary stimulus programs.
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