It's All Politics
5:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama So Far: Making History, Inspiring An Opposition

President Obama walks outside the Oval Office on May 3.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 8:17 am

Any American president hoping to stake a claim to being viewed by future generations as great and transformative — or at least very good and effective — would be wise to choose his predecessor well.

To that end, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan probably couldn't have done better than to follow, respectively, James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

Similarly, President Obama no doubt benefited from comparisons to George W. Bush, who's unlikely to make many historians' lists of the presidential greats.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Presidential Double Take: The Difference Four Years Makes

President Obama seems to have picked up a few gray hairs in the four years since he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009 (left). On the right, he's shown in December 2012.
Getty Images/AFP NPR

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 2:56 pm

Every president gets sworn in once, but it's a smaller club of presidents who manage to get there twice. Here's a look at some recent presidents who served two terms. See who changed the most (or the least) in four years.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
5:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

5 Questions About The Inauguration

Workers seen through a fence adjust American flags on the Capitol during preparations Thursday for the inauguration.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 11:28 am

1) Why Monday?

Inaugural events are sprinkled over three days, with the most important one actually taking place out of the public eye on Sunday. That's when the official oath of office will be administered at the White House, on the date and time (noon on Jan. 20) specified by the Constitution. But because the 20th falls on a Sunday this year, the public festivities, including another oath taking, all happen Monday.

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Author Interviews
5:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Presidents Use Bully Pulpit To Shape American Language In 'Words'

Bloomsbury

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:05 am

The office of the president offers a lot of responsibilities and privileges. Your actions drive the world's most powerful military, billions of dollars worth of domestic policy and, perhaps most importantly, the way the country speaks.

That's what linguist and writer Paul Dickson contends in his new book, Words From the White House. It's a look back through history at the words and phrases popularized by our presidents — including the ones they don't get credit for anymore.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

'That's Our Guy': Chicagoans Welcome Obama Back To D.C.

Chicagoan Janice Trice was an Obama volunteer in 2008 and 2012. Her husband died on Election Day in 2008, before he could celebrate Barack Obama's victory, or even find out that he won. She says this pilgrimage is a way for her to honor his memory.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 8:23 am

For President Obama's first inauguration, Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois organized a group of more than 700 people — on 10 buses — to make the journey from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

Last time, one of those buses broke down. This time, however, the group decided to take an 18-hour Amtrak ride to see the second presidential inauguration of their hometown hero.

Davis staffer Tumia Romero, who organized the trip, says she did not want to deal with the nightmare of a bus having issues again.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Welcome To Alaska, Where Winter Is Cold And Bikes Are Fat

Bike shop owner Kevin Breitenbach rides a fat bike in the White Mountains National Recreation Area in Alaska in March.
Josh Spice

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 8:44 am

The plummeting mercury in Alaska this time of year doesn't keep bikers inside. More and more of them are heading to recreational trails and to the office on "fat bikes." They look like mountain bikes on steroids, with tires wider than most people's arms.

Kevin Breitenbach runs the bike shop at Beaver Sports in Alaska's second-largest city. Aboard a fat bike, he makes his way down a trail that winds through a forest as wet, quarter-sized snowflakes drop from the sky. Visibility is low, and the snow hides the roughest spots on the trail.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Dependent On Arms Plant, N.Y. Town Braces For Gun Laws' Impact

Standing near the Remington Arms factory, Beth Neale, deputy mayor of Ilion, N.Y., says she's watched a lot of large manufacturers leave the region. She's not sure Ilion would easily recover from losing Remington.
Marie Cusick for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 12:30 pm

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Music News
5:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

A High School Salsa Band In The Inaugural Parade? 'Of Course!'

The young musicians of Seguro Que Si will perform in this weekend's Inaugural Parade. Left to right: Daniel Chico (bass), Kevin Arguelles (piano), Maxwell Frost (timbales), Christopher Muriel (congas), Niyah Lowell (bongos), Annette Rodriguez (vocal), Sean Fernandez (trumpet), Robby Cruz (trumpet).
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 11:13 am

In the Inaugural Parade following the president's swearing-in on Monday, regimental and high school marching bands will appear alongside groups showcasing the nation's diversity. These include a float representing South Carolina and Georgia's Gullah-Geechee culture, plus Native American groups and a mariachi band from Texas. Bringing the salsa is Seguro Que Si, a high school band from Kissimmee, Fla.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Red Baraat: A Bhangra-Powered Party Starter

Sunny Jain (center, with drum) leads Red Baraat. The band's latest album, Shruggy Ji, came out this month.
Erin Patrice O'Brien Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:54 am

Red Baraat is wild — and loud. It's also a genre unto itself. The Brooklyn ensemble self-identifies as "dhol 'n' brass," a hybrid of Indian bhangra and New Orleans big-band music.

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Inauguration 2013
11:27 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Presidential Oath: Not Always Perfect, But It Gets The Job Done

Barack Obama takes the oath of office beside his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.
Chuck Kennedy AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 5:20 pm

President Obama takes the oath of office for a second term on Sunday and Monday. By the time he is through Monday, he and President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be the only two presidents to have taken the presidential oath four times — Roosevelt because he was elected four times, and Obama because he will have taken the oath twice the first time and twice the second.

Obama took the oath twice in 2009 because he and Chief Justice John Roberts messed it up a bit the first time and redid it a second time in private to quell any questions about Obama being president.

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