tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 20, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
on this sunday night, the second term. as the president is officially sworn in. >> i, barack hussein obama, do solemnly swear. >> more than half a million people converge on the capitol for tomorrow's ceremonial inauguration. tonight, as washington dresses up for a date with history, we look at the realities and challenges of a second obama term. and will michelle obama remake her own agenda as first laid chill? perspective from an insider who knows the obamas well. plus, two uniquely american stories. our interview this year's inaugural poet and the band from little rock, marching tomorrow in the footsteps of history.
good evening. for all the drama of a long, hard-foutd campaign, it took all of a half a minute for president obama today to take the oath that officially starts his second term in office. without pomp or pageantry, it was a simple affair in the white house blue room, with his wife and daughters at his side. the president fulfilling you the constitutional requirement of being sworn in on 290th of january. thousands have descended on this city tonight to share in tomorrow's traditional public swearing in and inaugural parade and witness the start of the second half of barack obama's historic presidency. we have full coverage of the second inauguration and we start with nbc's peter alexander across the street from the white house at lafayette park. peter, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. the first family will watch that inaugural parade right behind us. that is pennsylvania avenue and
the thank is the reviewing stand where they will i is before the festivities can begin, the president today had to take care of some constitutional business. the ceremony was intimate as it was brief. inside the white house, joined by his immediate family, president obama was sworn in by justice john robert, after famously blubing you the words four years ago this time read from a printed script. >> that i will faithfully execute. >> their faithfully execute. >> the office of president of the united states. >> the office of president of the united states. >> reporter: presidential oath, punctuated by a playful critique from the obama's youngest daughter. >> i did it. >> reporter: the first lady later tweeting, i'm so proud of him. with the public event tomorrow, why another oath today? the constitution mandate use president's term ends at noon on the 20th day of january and this year, for on the seventh time, that fell on a sunday. >> i, joseph r. biden, jr. --
>> reporter: vice president biden was sworn in separately this morning by justice sonia sotomayor, the first hispanic judge to administer the oath of office. >> the duties of the office which i'm about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> reporter: together, the president and vice president also laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in arlington national cemetery. [ "taps [ " ] before the obamas headed to church. even as hundreds of thousands gather for tomorrow's inaugural address the obstacles the president faces in the second term in with a deeply divided government, were on full display from guns -- >> within minutes of that horrible tragedy in newtown, the president began to trying to exploit that tragedy to push a gun control agenda that is designed to appeal to partisans. >> reporter: to the nation's still-recovering economy. >> he is addicted to spending and those are policies that will hurt our country long term. >> reporter: and tonight, a top white house adviser tells nbc
news that the president has finished writing his remarks for his inaugural address tomorrow that he will deliver shortly after completing the ceremonial oath of office. tomorrow night the obamas, lester will celebrate with two inaugural balls compared to ten four years ago. >> all right, peter, thank you. and washington is getting ready for the spectacle that brings at least a sense of unity to this city once every four years. nbc's kelly o'donnell is outside the capitol with that story. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester this is where it all happens for what is the grandest photo op in american politics. tomorrow, we will see the president walk through that red drape behind me and he will take the ceremony y'all oath and deliver his inaugural address at the front of that stage. just final touches to go. and counting down to that moment, there was actually plenty to see today. save all the pageantry for tomorrow. ♪ this day before the big show is a street fair. ♪ >> it's just awesome to
experience just being here. it's just awesome. very historic.noisnoisy, crowde festival of the next four years. >> celebrating the next four years, celebrating america. >> reporter: washington in gridlock over parking, not politics. today no tickets were required, so this is as close to the action as many visitors will get. >> it doesn't matter where we are. >> wherever we are, we will be happy. >> as long as we are here in the area where everyone else is so that we can take part. >> reporter: and you'll find memories to go. >> three for 20. >> reporter: the chance to say they were here often comes at the end of a long ride across several states. >> we got on a charter bus at 6 in the morning and left our little town in upstate south carolina. >> reporter: today, long lines waited to see the wreath laying honoring the holiday for martin luther king jr. >> even though that it's crowded and there are lines everywhere, i mean, it's -- everyone's in such a good mood. >> reporter: and this test run
day shows the capitol is just about ready. after tied dig up the streets and making the national mall foot friendly that is a temporary plastic floor to protect the new secretary of defense lawn. they soaked up today's 60 degrees. >> it is beautiful out. we are enjoying it. >> reporter: well that 60 degrees was fleeting, lester. it is more appropriately january-like right now. when i talked to organizers today, they are worried about the same kinds of things anyone would be concerned about if you aring three big party, will everything be in the right place at the right time? will everyone enjoy themselves? lester? >> a lot of folks holding their breath tonight. kelly i thanks. beyond the pomp and circumstance, another priority tomorrow is keeping all of those hundreds of thousands of people converging on this city safe. nbc's justice correspondent, pete williams, looks at a city on high alert. >> reporter: in the airspace above washington, helicopters and jets will enforce a virtual no-fly zone for 30 miles in all
directions from the u.s. capitol. six miles of the potomac and anacostia rivers will be shutdown, with 150 blocks of downtown washington closed to traffic, partly out of concern for car or truck bombs. >> we have to be prepared for everything so that's the way we do we prepare with all of our partners and try to come up with a plan for every eventuality. >> reporter: much of inaugural security will be visible for protection and crowd control, with countersnipers on top of buildings around the capitol and along the parade route. some not so visible, detectors monitoring the air for toxins and plain-clothesed security teams at subway and train stations watching for suspicious behavior. at the ready near the capitol, thousands of doses of antidotes in case of a chemical or biological attack. no firm figures available but off officials say all this security will cost about $120 million for hundreds of federal agents, thousands of local police and national guardsmen from 25 states. this second obama inaugural is
expected to draw less than a third of the nearly 2 million who came four years ago. [ sirens ] six bridges and free ways this were close lend will be open this time. but a highway tunnel used as a pedestrian access point that became clogged with thousands last time will be closed this year. and officials say they will have more metal detectors in use and advisories on social media hoping to avoid the long lines, some that never moved. >> there's over 500 pole-mounted signs last time that didn't even exist. we have also increased a number of way finders, people giving people direction, telling people where to go. >> reporter: so far, official no, sir no credible throats the ceremonies but they willble out in force, hoping to make sure nothing goes wrong. pete williams, nbc news, washington. as we look ahead to tomorrow, i'm joined here by brian williams. brian, i went back and looked at the president's remarks four years ago, part pep talk and also a lot of talk about the hope, the end to conflict and discord that part didn't work
out so well. how does he frame the next four years? >> i heard a very smart guy say something very smart this weekend, that is that the highs aren't going to be as high and the lows aren't as low. meaning we are not going to look out there tomorrow and see that incredible sight, that breathtaking sight of 2 million americans. the excitement level is different. then again, the u.s. economy is not in freefall, one of two wars, at least, has wound down. so, these -- no two of these speeches are different, no two presidential administrations are different. i think tomorrow reflects a more hardened time. >> is there something liberating about being a second-term president that you are not facing reelection? >> i guess some you and i were talking before we went on the air how will this speech differ from a state of the union? will there be present day references? mostly there for the test of time but will there be a newtown reference? will we get through the speech without a reference to lincoln's second inaugural?
we will have doris kerns goodwin on hands tomorrow, who wrote the book, just in case. i think is something probably liberating. second terms are for legacy. second terms can be fraught and problematic. >> you have a big day tomorrow. >> as do you. >> our inaugural coverage begins tomorrow morning on "today," and brian then leads our extended coverage throughout date here on nbc. there will be an inaugural poem read during the ceremony here tomorrow and this year, the poet is richard blanco, born in spain to cuban exiles to emigrated to this country, the first latino and first openly gay poet. today, we spoke to him about his connection to president obama and here's part of what he had to say, in his own word tos. >> the connection to the inaugu theme of future to me symbolizes the salt of the earth that was my family. you know that their hard work that we are all in this together, that it takes -- it
takes a village kind of feeling. and so, the thing i identified by a lot. part of the life story that always resonated with me. i can imagine him as a child sort of having to negotiate some very important cultural questions as well as i have had as a cuban-american and that whole question of where do i belong? you know, what's home? the sense of the support of the family and you that idea that our parents always wanted us, my brother and i, to always do better than them. i will never forget that speech at the con investigation are we are one america and that made me feel so much like i was one of those one. and even though my work has been specifically about -- about my family, it's really about some very basic universal themes, about belonging, about love. and so, i think that sense of own sit what i want to bring across and i hope -- i want to feel as connected to america tomorrow, me personally, as i hope we all feel to each other and as i hope they feel to me. and our friends at the weather channel are predicting a
fairly nice day sunny in the morning with highs in the low 40s but for showers and a cold front move in later. it is that same system that blanketed the midwest with frigid weather today and will continue tomorrow. we have got a lot more ahead on "nbc nightly news" this sunday. as students head back to college from the holiday break, concern that many could bring the flu virus with them. later, mon than half a century after the one of the defining moments of the civil rights era, a band from little rock writes a new chapter in the history books. see life in the best light.
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mexico. the victims were shot with what is believed to be an ar-15 rifle. moving overseas there's more tonight on that hostage situation in algeria. after yesterday's final assault by algerian forces, another 25 bodies were found today by a bomb squad, clearing the gas plant of explosives. that raised the death toll to at least 81, including one american. algerian officials said it was unclear whether the additional bodies were those of hostages or militants who took over the plant. rare snow and ice brought parts of britain to a standstill this weekend, shutting down travel and stranding hundreds of passengers at london's heathrow airport. at least 20% of flights in and out of europe's busiest airport were canceled today, with no word on when many of them will be rescheduled. here in this country, a new concern tonight for many college students heading back to school this week after winter break, fighting the worst flu outbreak in years. while colleges have encouraged students to get vaccinated there is still fear of fresh
outbreaks. nbc's michelle franzen has more. >> okay. so here for your flu shot today, right? >> yep. >> reporter: back from break, wisconsin madison senior mark is doing all he can to keep from getting the flu. >> my mom has been hounding me about it and i work with kids at the day care through the university so it doesn't hurt. >> reporter: he is one of hundreds of students on campus getting a shot due to the nationwide flu outbreak. >> heard all the statistics through the tv and just said, why not? >> reporter: according to the cdc, 48 states are now reporting widespread cases of the flu. 30 states report a high level of activity. and that has college health officials bracing for the worst. >> we are concerned about because students are returning from all over the world and all over the country, that they may be incuke baiting those infection and bringing them back to campus. >> reporter: at the madison campus, health workers say it is the first time they are arming
students with shots this late in the accept a and have extra vaccines ready to go. >> just in the last week alone, we have seen almost 400 students coming in for shots, which is relatively unheard of for us to do in january. >> reporter: in massachusetts, health workers at u mass amherst are also using fliers, social media and flu clinics to get the word out and help students who get sick. >> lots of students get frustrated with the illness, they miss classes and takes a toll on them psychologically as far as getting behind in their school work. and we do our best to support them with that process. >> reporter: support and precautions that could help students keep the doctor and flu away. michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. the baseball world lost another legend this weekend, hall of famer stan musial died last night. the st. louis cardinals' shortstop won three world series rings and seven batting titles in his 22 seasons with the team, retiring in 1963 with 55 major league records.
the capitol all ready for tomorrow's inauguration festivities, we are back from washington with a question on the minds of many people, as president obama's second term begins. how will the first lady's role evolve? we askeded white house correspondent kristen welker to take a look. >> reporter: america may be politically divide bud most americans agree, they really like first lady michelle obama. ♪ hit me like the sky fell on me ♪ >> reporter: public popularity on display saturday night at the kids' inaugural ball honing her military families. helping those families has been one of mrs. obama's key
initiatives. >> when i think about what pa made america great, i think about all of you, our men and women in uniform, our military spouses and our amazing you military kids. >> reporter: her other focus you fighting childhood obesity. but as she prepares to spend another four years at the white house, some critics suggest the harvard-educated lawyer should take on more policy-heavy goals. top advisers push back. there were policies behind the initiatives that she did. >> reporter: valerie jarrett said the first lady and you her staff are working on a new agenda. >> she really is very determined to make sure that they think it through thoroughly and that they don't just do one-off things. she wants to really make sure it is thought out. >> reporter: ivillage chief correspondent kelly wallace covers michelle obama. >> she is obviously going to add other issues to her play. i wouldn't be surprised if you hear her talking more about work/life balance. >> reporter: no matter what the first lady's agenda holds, advisers say the role of mom and chief will always be her top
priority. >> every day, i hope that i'm doing right by my girls. every day. >> reporter: malia is now 14 and sasha, 11. that means college applications and all the challenges that lie ahead. >> as i get a little bit older and as i have now adjusted to washington, i think that frees her up a little bit more to spend more time on the initiative she is cares about but she will never take her eyes off the two of them. >> reporter: kristen welker, nbc news, the white house. we will be right back with some echoes of the past playing out here in washington tomorrow. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or turn 30-million artifacts... ♪ into a high-tech masterpiece? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it.
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finally tonight, layer upon layer of history will unfold here tomorrow as we inaugurate a president and observe the holiday, honoring dr. martin luther king jr. but there will be other renifrnsd nation's long journey on the road to inclusion. among them, a high school marching band from arkansas and a civil rights pioneer who book end a vivid story of how far this nation has come. the same snaimt same but the little rock high school of 2013 marches to a different drum. the irony will be inescapable when this racially mixed students from little rock's most infamous school perform at the second inauguration of america's first black president. >> we are not just historic because of what happened in 1957.
we are great in academics, music, which is why we are going to the inauguration. >> reporter: 1957. before these students and even the president himself were born. little rock central high was not a great place then, but rather the flashpoint in the battle over court-ordered school desegregation, forced by the federal government to accept black students. >> at 8:28 this morning, little rock time, the nine negro students who arrived here at this school daily arrived here again this morning. >> reporter: terrence robert was one of the little rock nine. were you prepared, though, for the anger and vicious than greeted you as you approached the school that day? >> not at all. there's no way on earth the nine of us should have survived that experience. the people who were in opposition to us were so devoted to the notion that we shouldn't be there that they were willing to kill us. >> reporter: their brave journey was a seminal event in civil rights history.
and in 2009, more than 50 years later, terrence roberts stood outside the cap tomorrow to witness another historic moment. >> i, barack hussein obama, do solemnly swear -- >> is it fair to say what you and the other eight students did ultimately he led him to be president? >> well, yeah perhaps not in any direct way but in terms of all the essential steps that needed to be taken, little rock was one of those essential steps. >> reporter: when the central high marching band plays for this inauguration, they will represent a very different place than the school roberts attended in 1957. a now-fully integrated place that does not run from its past. >> the school now is so connected to the history and the kids. every child who goes here knows about the history of this school. >> reporter: and those who made that history.
>> if those kids could walk down the hallways and be subject to the type of abuse that they did, it set my mindset that i can do anything. >> to walk through those halls and to touch the same railing that they did, to be a part of the history, and now making history again here at central high school, you really feel empowered by that. >> reporter: and with that history at their back, the band will proudly march down pennsylvania avenue on monday. and also in washington again will be terrence roberts, who offers them this message. >> we, individually, have to know our history so that we understand our present and can anticipate our future. >> and that is our present for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow covering the inn falling in racial. i'm lester holt. reporting from washington, d.c., for all of us at nbc news, good night.