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Obama takes oath, speaks of 'limitless' possibilities for the nation

Monday - 1/21/2013, 1:58pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has begun his second term by declaring that the nation's "possibilities are limitless."

Speaking before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall, Obama said a decade of war is ending, and the nation's economy is recovering.

Moments after taking the oath of office on a crisp day in the nation's capital, Obama said, "We are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."

In his second inaugural address, Obama didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments, but instead looked to hard work ahead in a country still grappling with a sluggish economy. And he urged Washington to find common ground over his next four years.

He rejected the idea that the nation "must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."

He also said the nation must "respond to the threat of climate change" and tackle the issue of immigration reform. And he said it must protect its children from the kind of violence that erupted in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Obama earlier placed his hand on two Bibles -- one that was used by Martin Luther King and the other used by Abraham Lincoln -- and recited the oath of office.

Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn in for his second term.

%@AP Links

166-a-08-(President Barack Obama, in his second inaugural address)-"seize it together (cheers fade)"-President Barack Obama calls America's possibilities limitless. (21 Jan 2013)

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168-a-15-(President Barack Obama, in his second inaugural address)-"most powerful nation"-President Barack Obama says America will defend her people and uphold her values through the strength of arms and the rule of law. (21 Jan 2013)

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177-a-09-(President Barack Obama, in his second inaugural address)-"be only partial"-President Obama calls for action, not delay when it comes to politics. (21 Jan 2013)

<> 00:09 "be only partial"

GRAPHICSBANK: US President Barack Obama (l) receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts (bottom, c) during ceremonial swearing-in at 57th inauguration ceremony with US First Lady Michelle Obama (r) holding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln bibles, Washington DC, graphic element on gray (21 Jan 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: US President Barack Obama (l) receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts (bottom right) at the ceremonial swearing-in at 57th inauguration ceremony, US First Lady Michelle Obama holds Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln bibles as daughters Malia and Sasha look on, Washington DC, on texture, partial graphic (21 Jan 2013)

APPHOTO CAP150: President Barack Obama waves after his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (21 Jan 2013)

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APPHOTO CAP320: President Barack Obama receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. First Lady Michelle Obama holds the bible as daughters Malia and Sasha watch. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (21 Jan 2013)

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