Barack H. Obama (D) has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Per Constitutional provision, the peaceful transfer of executive power from outgoing President George W. Bush (R) to Obama occurred at noon today. The transition was recognized with the new president taking of the oath of office on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Obama’s ascension to the presidency is an historic event in-and-of itself, made even more poignant by his being the first non-white person to hold the highest elected office in the United States. Obama is the biracial son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother, though he is erroneously identified in many media outlets as simply ‘African-American’. Obama was sworn in as president less than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally ended discrimination on the basis of race. When Obama was born, his parents’ relationship would have been illegal in many states (including my home state of Virginia) under anti-miscegenation laws that prohibited interracial marriage.
The inauguration ceremony in Washington, DC, brought record crowds into the city. Preliminary estimates indicate that the gathered crowd numbered in the millions, possibly setting new records.
Despite my many political differences with President Obama, I sincerely wish him a safe and successful presidency.