US Vice President Joe Biden re-took the oath of office today as Barack Obama officially begins his second term, a day ahead of public festivities planned for tomorrow.
Biden placed his hand on a thick and weathered-looking bible held by his wife, Jill, and pledged to “support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
It is reported that the bible used is a family heirlook that has been used by the Bidens – a Catholic family with roots in counties Derry and Louth – since the late 19th century.
The small morning ceremony was officiated by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor – who becomes the first Hispanic judge to officiate at an inauguration for a President or Vice-President – and attended by a number of Biden’s family members.
Obama will also take the oath later today in a ceremony at the White House to comply with the US Constitution, which dictates his first term ends at noon on January 20.
In a tradition honoured when that date falls on a Sunday, Obama will repeat the oath in a public ceremony Monday, and deliver his inaugural address to Americans, and the watching world, outside the US Capitol.