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Obama Takes Oath, Speaks of 'Limitless' Possibilities for the Nation

Posted at: 01/21/2013 9:56 AM
Updated at: 01/21/2013 12:29 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has begun his second term by declaring that the nation's "possibilities are limitless."

Speaking before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall, Obama said a decade of war is ending, and the nation's economy is recovering.

Moments after taking the oath of office on a crisp day in the nation's capital, Obama said, "We are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."

In his second inaugural address, Obama didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments, but instead looked to hard work ahead in a country still grappling with a sluggish economy. And he urged Washington to find common ground over his next four years.

He rejected the idea that the nation "must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."

He also said the nation must "respond to the threat of climate change" and tackle the issue of immigration reform. And he said it must protect its children from the kind of violence that erupted in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Obama earlier placed his hand on two Bibles -- one that was used by Martin Luther King and the other used by Abraham Lincoln -- and recited the oath of office.

Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn in for his second term.

Obama: Freedom must be secured

President Barack Obama says that "while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by his people here on Earth."

The president said that the inalienable rights set out in the Declaration of Independence may be self-evident - but "they've never been self-executed."

The president says we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.

Obama says decade of war ending

President Barack Obama says that a decade of war is now ending and an economic recovery has begun.

America's possibilities are limitless, the president said in his inaugural address. He said we will seize this moment if we seize it together.

Obama said that America can't succeed when only a few at the top do well and a growing many can barely make it. The country's prosperity must rest on a rising middle class, he said.

Obama: We must reduce health costs, deficit

President Barack Obama says the nation must make the "hard choices" to reduce the cost of health care and the size of the deficit.

But the president said every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity, and he held up Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as commitments that strengthen America.

Obama said he rejected the belief that the country must choose between caring for the generation that built the country - or investing in the generation that will build the future.

Struggles with Republicans over reducing the deficit and paring back costly entitlement programs loom for Obama in his second term.

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