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January 20, 2013

Biden officially sworn into office for a second term

Vice President Joe Biden was officially sworn into office for a second term Sunday morning at his official residence, the U.S. Naval Observatory, in front of about 120 family members and friends.

Biden's wife, Jill, children and grandchildren gathered on a blue stage for the minutes-long ceremony where he recited the oath at 8:21 a.m. Two pieces of artwork adorned the walls of the alcove: Lincoln Delivering His Second Inaugural Address and So Proudly We Hailed. An American flag is behind the stage. 

Guests were seated in three rooms in front of the stage and on either side. Some notables who were expected: former Sens. Ted Kaufman, Chris Dodd and Chuck Hagel, DNC member Donna Brazile, Obama advisor David Axelrod, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, Attorney General Eric Holder, Reps. Jim Clyburn and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Sens. Bob Casey and Tim Kaine, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor adminstered the oath. She's the first Hispanic to do so. Three women have previously sworn-in presidents and vice presidents: Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore-in President Lyndon Johnson in 1963; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor swore-in Vice President Dan Quayle in 1989; and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swore-in Vice President Al Gore in 1997.

"I want to explain to you what a wonderful honor it was, and how much out of her way the justice had to go. She is due in New York. She has to leave right now," Biden told the crowd. "So I apologize: We're gonna walk out. Her car's waiting so she can catch a train I hope I haven't caused her to miss."

Biden used the five-inch thiick Biden Family Bible that has been in the the family since 1893. He used for every swearing in as senator and vice president, and his son, Beau, did the same when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general.


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Thomas Nass

We are with you all the way, Mr.B

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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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