Inaugural ceremonies mark the peaceful transfer of power. Inaugurals are a time of hope, of reflection on where our country stands, and of celebration. Shortly before noon on January 21, 2013 President Barack Obama swore the oath of office in the public ceremony at the Capitol, after a private swearing in the day before. He sought to inspire the nation with a carefully crafted speech and started his second four-year term as President of the United States.
The 57th Inaugural:
"Our People, Our Future"
The 2013 inaugural was a lower key affair than in 2009, but still entailed a full range of activities. Events began on Saturday January 19 with a National Day of Service. On Sunday January 20, President Obama was officially sworn in as required by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution; this occured in an private ceremony at the White House. On Monday January 21 the public swearing in ceremony took place on the west steps of the Capitol, followed by the Inaugural Parade and Inaugural Balls. On Tuesday January 22 there was a National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral.
Saturday, January 19
National Day of Service
Kids Inaugural Concert
Washington Convention Center
|Sunday, January 20
President Obama formally sworn in
The White House
Tuesday, January 22
National Prayer Service
Washington National Cathedral
The Joint Task Force-National Capital Region 2012 (JTR-NCR), a joint task force of the five Armed Forces branches, is "charged with coordinating all military ceremonial participation and support" for the presidential inauguration. Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, is commander of JTF-NCR, which is authorized to have nearly 450 service members by Inaugural Day; including the parade and ceremonial support up to 5,000 service member will participate. JTF-NCR was formerly known as the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC). For the 2009 Inaugural the first personnel started with AFIC at the end of 2007 and the organization launched in June 2008. By Inauguration Day the number of personnel rose to about 700 including full-time (PCS/permanent change of station) and personnel on temporary duty.
The Joint Congressional Committee
Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) is responsible for all events held
at the Capitol. The JCCIC
is a committee, established by a congressional resolution, consisting
of six leaders of the House and Senate. For the 2013
inaugural, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is chairing the JCCIC (+).
The JCCIC has budget of $1,237,000 from the Consolidated Appropriations
Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-74, signed into law on Dec. 23, 2011). Its
inaugural theme is "Faith in America's Future" (+).
Additionally $4.2 million has been allocated to the Architect of the
Capitol for construction of the platform and other work on the grounds
and about $2 million allocated for the U.S. Capitol Police.
The final piece is the Presidential
with organizing events for the Inaugural. A PIC is formed every
after the general election and must accomplish most of its work in a
period of just two months. Stephen Kerrigan, who served as CEO of
the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, is serving as CEO of
the PIC, and David J. Cusack, who served as a senior advisor to
Kerrigan at the DNCC, is executive director. Unlike for Obama's
first inauguration, the 2013 PIC accepted corporate contributions;
this drew some criticism (+).
The 2013 PIC adopted "Our People, Our Future" as the inaugural
set by past PICs include "Renewing America's Promise" (2008),
"Celebrating Freedom-Honoring Service" (2004),
and "Celebrating America's Spirit Together" (2000).
In addition to the publicized events, the PIC also organized a
reception for donors and supporters at the National Building Museum on
Jan. 20 (+) and a staff
ball at the DC Convention Center on Jan. 22 (+).
The 2009 PIC ultimately employed over
430 people to work on the
56th Inaugural. As with the Obama campaign, the PIC announced
limitations on fundraising; it did not accept contributions from
"corporations, political action committees, current
federally-registered lobbyists, non-U.S. citizens and registered
foreign agents...[and] will not accept individual contributions in
excess of $50,000." The
2009 PIC reported net donations totaling $53.2 million.
In addition to the PIC, JCCIC
and JTF-NCR, numerous agencies coordinated on security for the events
inaugural week. Because the Department of Homeland Security
designates the presidential inaugurals as a National Special Security
Events (NSSEs), the Secret Service is the lead agency. (PDF)
reported on Jan. 16 that, "The U.S.
Secret Service has established a Presidential Inaugural
Multi-Agency Communications Center, which will host representatives
from 42 agencies, including law enforcement, utility companies, transit
authorities, and the military." Lessons learned from the 2009
inaugural were incorporated into planning for the
57th Inaugural (PDF,
Complementing the official activities many groups
to Washington, DC for
the ceremonies challenged transportation and communication services
(1, 2) but
area hotels and businesses (+).
Finally, news organizations devoted significant resources to
bringing coverage to their audiences (+).
Estimates are that more than 800,000 and possibly as many as one million people attended the 2013 ceremonies; by comparison the commonly cited number for 2009 is 1.8 million.