Quiet inauguration is Obama's choice
US President Barack Obama yesterday headed up a National Day of Service, kicking off a whirlwind weekend of inauguration events that mark the end of his historic first term and the start of his second.
Mr Obama added the day of service projects in 2009 and hopes it will become a tradition for future presidents. He and Michelle Obama planned to volunteer in the Washington area, as did Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill.
Mr Obama will be officially sworn in for his second term today in a small ceremony at the White House. He'll take the oath of office again tomorrow before hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall, followed by the traditional parade.
Yet there is decidedly less energy surrounding Mr Obama's second inauguration than there was in 2009. That history-making event drew 1.8 million people for the swearing-in of the nation's first black president.
This time, Mr Obama takes the oath following a bruising presidential campaign and four years of partisan fighting. He's more experienced in the ways of Washington.
He also has the grey hair and lower approval ratings to show for it.