12:55 p.m.: Fallows' take: James Fallows finds Obama's speech strikingly progressive. Four years ago, observers were expecting a barn-burner but got a muted, sober address; this time, Fallows writes, we were expecting something generic but got instead a daring statement of principle. "If anyone were wondering whether Obama wanted to lower expectations for his second term ... no, he apparently does not." Read his thoughts here.
12:45 p.m.: Obama's speech was followed by Kelly Clarkson singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee"; the reading of the inaugural poem by Richard Blanco; a benediction by Reverend Luis Leon; and the National Anthem preformed by Beyonce. The president then returned to the White House to sign an inaugural proclamation and a bundle of nominations for his second-term Cabinet: John Brennan for CIA director, Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, John Kerry for secretary of state, and Jack Lew for treasury secretary. Next: Obama heads to lunch, and the inaugural parade proceeds through Washington. -MB
12:09 p.m.: "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it -- so long as we seize it together." Collective action is the central theme of Obama's second inaugural address. The president emphasized preserving entitlements, addressing the threat of climate change, and supporting democracy and human rights around the world. He listed equal pay for women, equal rights for gays and lesbians, improving the voting process, fixing immigration, and curbing gun violence as priorities. "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," Obama said. "We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect." -MB
12:00 p.m.: Obama kicks off his second term with a short speech that invokes history to call for communal effort to solve the nation's problems. An excerpt:
It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
11:50 a.m.: Obama has been ceremonially sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. He'll speak next. -MB
11:48 a.m.: Vice President Biden is sworn in on an immense family Bible. It's just a ceremonial reenactment -- Obama and Biden were both officially sworn in in a private ceremony Sunday. Next up: James Taylor. -MB
11:29 a.m.: In an apparent departure from precedent, the president's name is being announced today as "Barack H. Obama." Both the PA announcer and Senator Schumer have used the middle initial. The president's unusual middle name is usually unspoken -- during the 2008 campaign, uttering it was seen as a quasi-racist dog whistle -- or, on some formal occasions, used in full. -MB
11:22 a.m.: Obama has taken the stage, to cheers from the chilly-looking crowd. He's followed by Senator Chuck Schumer, the chairman of the inauguration, and congressional leaders. -MB
11:05 a.m.: A reporter's-eye view: Garance Franke-Ruta sends these snapshots from her spot near the inaugural podium.
10:39 a.m.: The crowd on the Mall cheers as they watch the presidential motorcade arrive at the Capitol on giant Jumbotron screens. Marie Black, who lives in the area and also attended the 2009 inauguration, said there's still excitement, but this time feels different. "Four years ago, I knew everyone's name around me and where they came from. There was such energy and oneness in the air," she said. "It was so historic, I think that's what was so meaningful about it. And the last campaign was cleaner, too." -DAG
10:33 a.m.: Though the official inaugural balls are tonight, much of the party action occurred over the weekend. But one Sunday night celebration went awry when rapper Lupe Fiasco wandered off on a 30-minute anti-Obama rant, including such lines as "I ain't vote for him, next one either." He was then asked to leave the stage. Read the Atlantic Wire report here. -MB
9:55 a.m.: Forget the president's speech -- surely today's real suspense revolves around what Michelle Obama will be wearing. Here's the word, from a White House official:
The First Lady is wearing a navy Thom Browne coat and dress. The fabric was developed based on the style of a men's silk tie. The belt she is wearing is from J.Crew, the cardigan is designed by Reed Krakoff and her necklace is designed by Cathy Waterman. She is also wearing J.Crew shoes. At the end of the Inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives.
Malia Obama is wearing a J.Crew ensemble. Sasha Obama is wearing a Kate Spade coat and dress.
The Obamas have just arrived back at the White House after a morning service at St. John's Episcopal Church. Here's a photo of Michelle Obama's coat: