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President Barack Obama begins second term

President Barack Obama, the nation's 44th president, was formally sworn in for a second term Sunday at a private White House ceremony. The public ceremony is Monday at the U.S. Capitol. Dozens of Oklahomans are expected to attend.
by Chris Casteel Modified: January 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm •  Published: January 20, 2013

Plouffe said the president's speech will focus on his vision for the country while his State of the Union address Feb. 12 will deal more with policy details.

The president is in the midst of a struggle with congressional Republicans over reducing spending. He is also planning to pursue gun control measures and immigration reform in his second term.

Singers Beyonce, James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson are scheduled to perform at the inaugural ceremony, after which the president will eat lunch with members of Congress in the Capitol.

Obama then will watch the inaugural parade, which will include the Union High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps from Tulsa.

The president also is expected to attend two inaugural balls Monday night featuring performances by Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Soundgarden and others.

Oklahomans at ceremony

Dozens of Oklahomans are expected to attend the public ceremony Monday.

Several Oklahomans, both Democrats and Republicans, attended a party organized by the Oklahoma State Society in Washington on Saturday night.

Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, scrambled Sunday to find inaugural tickets for about 45 people on a bus chartered from the Oklahoma City area.

Shelton, who also attended Obama's historic first inauguration four years ago, said he noticed the crowds were much smaller this time.

In 2009, a record 1.8 million people attended.

Shelton said “people are still very enthusiastic about the president.” He said the expected lower attendance could be attributed in part to the high hotel rates, the travel expense and the fact the 2009 ceremony took place in frigid weather.

“It took my feet probably six months to recover,” he said.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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