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Briefs

Obama takes moment after speech

WASHINGTON – A wistful moment for President Obama came shortly after his public swearing-in ceremony. As he began walking off the inaugural platform to go into the U.S. Capitol for the traditional luncheon with lawmakers and other dignitaries, Obama stopped and turned around to look at the scene on the National Mall, filled with hundreds of thousands of people who braved chilly weather to be part of the day.

“I want to take a look, one more time,” he said. “I’m not going to see this again.”

3 Hispanics play big role in ceremony

In a nod to their increasing political clout, three Hispanicsplayed important roles in Obama’s public inauguration ceremony.

First, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath of office to Vice President Joe Biden. Nominated by Obama, Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice.

Next, Richard Blanco delivered the inaugural poem, “One Today.” He’s the first Hispanic and the first openly gay person to serve in the role. At 44, he’s also the youngest inaugural poet. Finally, the Rev. Luis Leon, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House, delivered the closing prayer.

Celebrities make appearance at speech

Plenty of celebrities were on hand for Obama’s second inauguration. Beyoncé belted out an impressive rendition of the national anthem and then returned to her spot on the inaugural platform with her husband, Jay-Z.

James Taylor sang “America the Beautiful” and Kelly Clarkson followed with “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”

Other celebs spotted: Katy Perry and John Mayer, who sat side-by-side, as well as actress Eva Longoria and former Boston Celtics great Bill Russell.

Not all made trek to National Mall

It didn’t all go off without a hitch.

Some folks bailed on their inaugural plans when the trek to the National Mall became too long.

Cheryl Tate, 52, of Flint, Mich., and her friend Karen Pugh, 43, gave up after a long walk from RFK stadium, and went back there to sit on their tour bus, waiting for the rest of their group. While the inauguration parade continued Monday evening, they were headed back to Michigan, a 10-hour drive away. “We didn’t see anything, unfortunately,” Tate said, adding that others on their tour bus had been luckier.

Near the Washington Monument, people milled through the crowd of thousands to get a glimpse of the inauguration – only to find that the Jumbotron was cutting in and out and they couldn’t hear the speakers. Some booed.

No Clinton, Bush on hand at inaugural

For the first time in more than three decades, there was neither a Clinton nor a Bush on either the departing or the incoming presidential ticket. Since 1981, every year until now has seen someone from one of the two famous political families front-and-center on the inaugural platform.

In 1981 and 1985, it was George H.W. Bush as vice president to Ronald Reagan, followed four years later by Bush as president. In 1993, with Bush looking on, Bill Clinton took the oath as president and again four years later in 1997. Then, a departing Clinton took to the inaugural platform in 2001 as George W. Bush was sworn in. Bush had a second inauguration in 2005 and then witnessed the inauguration four years later, in 2009, of Barack Obama.

–Associated Press

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