Well, from the studio, I'm going to go out again to talk to NPR's Linda Wertheimer. She is at a place that has a very good view of the activities there on the Mall. That happens to be the Canadian embassy. And just one thing: the West Front of the Capitol is decorated in red, white and blue. That is the backdrop for President Obama's second Inauguration. And Linda has seen every Inauguration since the second time President Richard Nixon was sworn into office, his second inaugural. Good morning.
Yeah. And let's bring one more voice into the conversation, here. Michele Flournoy is a former undersecretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration, was mentioned at one time as a possible secretary of defense in a second term. Ms. Flournoy, where are you this morning?
MICHELE FLOURNOY: We are on our way from Bethesda, downtown.
Besides President Obama's oath and address, Monday's festivities will include an invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams, Vice President Joe Biden's oath and poet Richard Blanco. Looking ahead to Obama's second term, politics in Washington seems as broken and gridlocked as ever.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. One of the liveliest parts of today's events dates back to the very first Inauguration, and that would be the inaugural parade. After George Washington took his oath of office, he was joined by a procession made up of local militias as he made his way from Mount Vernon to New York City. Today, the parade is a colorful blend of marching bands, floats and different organizations led by ceremonial military regiments.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The inaugural parade will have floats and marching bands, and for science geeks a special treat - life-size replicas of the NASA Mars rover, Curiosity, and the Orion space capsule. The biggest attraction may be marching alongside the replicas: Bobak Ferdowsi, the go-to guy for last year's Mars landing, who came to be known as Mohawk Guy. He told Wired magazine he'll reveal a special new hairstyle just for today's parade. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Vice President Joe Biden first ran for president in the 1980s, an up and coming young pol who was knocked out of the race. He tried again in 2008 before becoming President Obama's running mate. Now, he starts another term still number two. But at a weekend inaugural event, he declared, I'm proud to be president of the United States. His son corrected him, though one persistent question is whether the vice president may try one more run in 2016.
And the widow of a murdered Mississippi civil rights leader will help open the inaugural ceremony today. President Obama selected activist Myrlie Evers-Williams to deliver the invocation. She's the first woman and the first layperson to have the honor.
NPR's Debbie Elliott has this profile.
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Evers-Williams' prominent role in President Obama's second inauguration comes in the 50th year since NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was shot to death outside his family's home in Jackson, Mississippi.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep.
President Obama took the oath for a second term yesterday, on January 20th, as the Constitution requires. The public ceremony takes place today at the Capitol, and we'll have live coverage all day long.