Obama enters second term facing packed agenda, divided Congress

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President Obama entered his second term Monday facing a packed agenda and a divided Congress he’ll have to win over if he wants to get it passed, as he prepared to set the tone for the next four years with his official inaugural address.

The president, after taking the oath in a private ceremony Sunday, will speak on the west front of the Capitol at noon as part of the public swearing-in. The event is not so cloaked in history as in 2009, when Obama became the nation’s first black president before a crowd of 1.8 million. Officials expect up to 700,000 to attend Monday’s ceremonies, a day-long gala throughout the District that includes the traditional inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. He and his family started the day with services at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House.

For the president, the second term essentially began after Election Day when he started negotiating with congressional Republicans on the fiscal crisis. However, it took a tragic yet pivotal turn Dec. 14 when a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults inside a Connecticut elementary school.

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