The inauguration festivities and balls lingered on well into the night and early morning hours of January 21st. In Stark contrast to the life and hours of the 43rd President of the United States who preferred early hours and had little interest in spending the night at balls and events, it appears that the 44th President enjoys late evenings.
The celebrations of the inauguration came to a close for President Obama and Michelle at around 1 am. The two spent the evening dancing the night away. In many regards it is a welcome change to have a President who is young enough in spirit to have an interest in living a social life in addition to that of his Presidential life. In some ways this bothers me also. I don't want to think my President is enjoying living the moment so much that the important business at hand takes a back seat to a social life. I was glad to see that there appears to be a balance starting to emerge. It turns out that this President may well be able to juggle both sides of his new life. At least for now. As time wears on we may well see that keeping such hours may take a toll on our new President.
At 8:35 in the morning on the 21st of January, President Obama took his seat for the first time at the desk in the Oval Office. He found an envelope and letter simply marked "to #44 from #43". The details of the contents of this letter have not been released out and I would suspect out of courtesy to the former President that it will not. President Obama reportedly spent several minutes alone in the Oval office reviewing the contents of this letter before the new White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel entered the Oval to discuss President Obama's schedule for the day.
After a brief meeting with Mr. Emanuel, the First Lady Michelle Obama joined the President in the Oval Office as they prepared to leave for the services to be held at the National Cathedral. The President and First Lady left the White House in the new Presidential Cadillac and travelled in motorcade to the National Cathedral where they were met by Vice President Biden and his wife Jill. At 10:00 the four made there way to the front row of the cathedral where they joined former President Bill Clinton and the Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton who were already seated. The service lasted over an hour and concluded at 11:17 with the singing of “He’s got the whole world in his hands”.
The Presidential Motorcade left the National Cathedral shortly after and made the ten minute commute, arriving at the White House for 11:36.
At 1:18 Pm President Obama met with the White House senior staff for the swearing in ceremony. He spoke with the senior staff and there family members for about 10 minutes explaining and outlining five executive orders that would directly effect them.
The "Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel" requires that appointees sign forms saying that they were not hired because of political affiliations or contributions.
Obama "requires that government hiring be based upon qualifications, competence and experience, not political connections," according to a statement issued by his press secretary. " He has ordered every one of his appointees to sign a pledge abiding by these tough new rules as a down payment on the change he has promised to bring to Washington."
Shortly before President Obama commenced the signing of the Executive order on Ethics Commitments, Vice President Biden administered the oath of office for White House senior staff. The Vice President asked for a hard copy of the oath and stating, “My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts”. This was an apparent jab at Justice Roberts for his bumbling of the Presidential Oath the day before. President Obama was visibly bothered by the comment made by his VP though he made no mention of it.
Directly following the Oath administered by VP Biden, President Obama signed the first Executive order of his administration at 1:26 Pm The full text of the Executive Order on Ethics can be read here
Later in the afternoon at 2:40 Pm, The President and First Lady are in the Blue Room of the White House shaking hands and welcoming attendees of an open house. President Obama is at one point overheard telling one young man, “Welcome, enjoy yourself. Roam around. Don’t break anything”.
From 3:15 - 3:45 Pm The President held a meeting with his economic advisers in the Roosevelt Room. Following his economic meeting President Obama turned right around and moved into a meeting held in the Situation room of the White House. From 4:15 - 5:15 Pm President Obama met with Iraq Military Commanders, the Ambassador to Iraq, the Commander in Iraq, and the overall theater commander in the region.
That evening at around 7:35, the President was visited by Supreme Court Justice Roberts who administered the oath of office once more, this time in the Map Room of the White House. White House Counsel Greg Craig explained in a statement, “…out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”
President Obama, apparently feeling more comfortable about joking directly with Chief Justice Roberts seized onthe moment and said to the Justice, “We’re going to do it very slowly.”
At 8:40 Pm the President and First Lady arrived at the D.C. armory for yet another ball. This “Thank You Ball” was held with a few thousand of campaign, inaugural, transition and DNC staffers. The President spoke briefly and then spent time thanking supporters.
A lengthy, and some what productive day at the end. By tthe close of the day President Barack Obama had upheld his end of the aggrement on 6 out of the 510 reported pormises listed by Politifact.com on there Obameter as they shifted those 6 to the Promises Kept page. He was apparently working on several others through out the day as well according to the In the Works page on the site.
"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," Obama said.