The official ceremony for the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama to the office of the President of the United States is scheduled to take place on January 20, 2013. The day falls on a Sunday and apparently the inauguration committee officials have indicated that the ceremony could potentially be closed to the press, which also means closed to the public. This has caused many to be fearful of just what would take place in such a situation, seeing that the oath of office is one to be made before the people and before God. The White House Correspondents Association has strongly urged the Obama administration to allow the press access to the ceremony.
The President of the White House Correspondents Association Ed Henry, who is also a Fox News correspondent, said, “Mindful of the historic nature of this occasion, we expect the White House will continue the long tradition of opening the President’s official swearing-in to full press access, and we as an organization are looking forward to working with the administration to make that happen.”
The press’ fears began because of a press release that was sent out indicating that the inauguration would be “private.”
Rachel Racusen, a spokesperson for the inauguration committee, said ”There is no truth to any rumors that decisions have been made about media access to this year’s inaugural events. The 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee announced its launch yesterday and is just beginning its planning. Any announcements about media access and credentials will be made in the coming weeks.”
The last time a president was inaugurated on a Sunday was in 1985. Reagan’s White House allowed complete news coverage of the private ceremony, including three reporters, three still photographers, and one network television pool camera, according to a Los Angeles Times report from the time. ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN carried live broadcasts of the event.
Obama’s “second inauguration” in 2009 was not so public. Though Jan. 20 did not fall on a Sunday four years ago, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and President Obama stumbled through the public swearing-in and had to hold a second, private swearing-in the following day. White House aides initially told reporters there would be no second swearing-in, but changed their mind at the last minute. Only four reporters were allowed to attend. Rather than let photographers or television cameras in, the White House provided a photo from the White House photographer.
Despite promising to be the most transparent administration in history, full press access was not provided at the dawn of Obama’s first term.
The fact that a presidential inauguration would take place behind closed doors, with no press allowed only adds fuel to the imagination of what would actually take place. Sure, they could simply follow the oath of office with Obama’s hand on the Bible, but then as some have speculated, claiming that Obama is a Muslim (a very bad one, is that is what he is), that he might go the route that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) promised to do and that was to take his oath on a Koran, though Representatives do not have to place their hands on a Bible or a Koran. The President, however, does.
Would the swearing in involve something besides following the Constitution? You see all of this begins to flare up when you have a man with socialist ideologies in power. I expect that in the end the matter will be made public, but one does wonder why it would even be floated as a possibility.