It's official: President Barack Obama has begun his second term in the White House. The Commander-in-Chief was quietly sworn into office just before noon on Sunday, Jan. 20, one day before the public ceremony on the Capitol steps, which is expected to attract more than 800,000 people.
The private ceremony, which lasted less than two minutes, took place in the White House Blue Room with just a few witnesses, including the president's wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11. The oath was administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
A few hours earlier, Vice President Joe Biden was officially sworn in by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor at his residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory. Among the audience at his ceremony were his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and other family members.
Sunday's intimate events -- which satisfied the Constitutional requirement that the POTUS be sworn in before noon on the Jan. 20 after an election -- were in stark contrast to the pomp and circumstance planned for Monday. The Jan. 21 Inauguration will be attended by hundreds of thousands of people, including several celebrities.
Earlier this month, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced that Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, and James Taylor would take the stage to sing the National Anthem, "My Country Tis of Thee," and "America the Beautiful," respectively. Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, fun, and Usher are also scheduled to appear at various Inaugural events.
"Vice President Biden and I are honored to have these wonderfully talented musical artists perform at the Inaugural ceremony," President Obama, 51, said in a statement. "Their music is often at the heart of the American story and speaks to folks across the country."