The twentieth amendment to the Constitution decreed that the President of the United States be sworn into office on the 20th of January, following the November election. Prior to the 20th amendment, the date was March 4th. The change of dates were the result of a consensus of opinion that there was too much time between the election, and the Inauguration. The last President to be inaugurated on March 4th was Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933. The only requirement mandated by the Constitution is that the elected President take an “oath of affirmation”. Furthermore, when the 20th of January falls on a Sunday, the President will be sworn in at a private ceremony on that day, and the public will see the reenactment of it on Monday.
This, the second Inauguration for Mr. Obama is significant. In the past, when our country has been in flux, and has suffered through economic strife, the reelection of a President was much in doubt. When Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office, Mr. Obama will continue to face enormous challenges. There is still a great divide between the President and House Republicans on spending cuts, taxes, the debt ceiling, gun control and immigration.
But, for one day, January 21st, a federal holiday, we can celebrate an event that has exemplified one of our greatest rights, the right to vote. With our country divided as drastically as it is, I’m certain not everyone will be watching. I will. I think this is an every four year event that is great for all Americans. I even watched both inaugurations of George W. Bush. I was quite embarrassed the second time, but I watched.
Columnist-The Guardian Express