It will happen at noon today (EST). That is when Barack Hussein Obama will officially be sworn in for his second term as POTUS. Since it is Sunday, though, the public swearing in ceremonies, as you know, will not be until tomorrow (Jan. 21).
Presidents used to assume office in March, but the Twentieth Amendment was ratified in 1933, so ever since President Roosevelt’s second swearing in ceremony in 1937, inauguration day has been on January 20. (Missouri became the 36th state to ratify the new amendment, on 1/23/33, satisfying the requirement that three-fourths of the states approve it.)
Twice before, Jan. 20 fell on Sunday so the public ceremony was held the following day. Coincidentally, all three times (Eisenhower in 1957, Reagan in 1985, and now Obama in 2013) have been for a President’s second term.
So this is a big day for BHO—and even though his middle name has negative connotations for many Americans, I wish the President would go by the initials BHO (rather than BO!) and that BHO would become as commonly used as FDR and JFK.
This is not only big day for the President, it is the beginning of a very challenging four year term. The biggest challenge is, doubtlessly, the problem of national debt and the “spending” of the federal government. At least that is the source of the major opposition to the President in the House of Representatives.
Over the next three months we will be hearing more and more about the problem of raising the debt ceiling and about the adoption of a federal budget that will significantly reduce spending.
Actually, as you know, raising the debt ceiling is sort of a “no-brainer.” That doesn’t approve any additional spending; rather, is allows the federal government to borrow money to pay for past expenditures. But a large number of Representatives are likely not going to be willing to approve raising the debt ceiling—at least not for long—unless there are concomitant spending cuts.
Throughout his first term, there were relentless attacks on the President, verbal attacks perhaps more vicious than on any President in the last fifty years, or longer—although Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush were also often and strongly maligned.
It is hard not to think that part of the visceral criticism of BHO is racist. But one of my Thinking Friends, whom I believe when he declares that he is not racist, says that to him President Obama is “repulsive.” That seems to be the feeling of a significant segment of U.S. society—and that is quite worrisome.
During the last four years I have been worried about the President’s safety. And now that he is pushing for extensive gun control legislation, he is probably in even more danger. Just yesterday there were nationwide “Gun Appreciation Day” activities and “Guns Across America” rallies.
President Lincoln, whose Bible BHO will be using in tomorrow’s ceremony, was assassinated just six weeks after he was sworn in for his second term of office. Even though there are several similarities between Lincoln and BHO, let’s earnestly pray that that will not become another one.