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At Inauguration, Obama Delivers Call to Action

Meanwhile, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell offered a "fresh start" to Obama but said there was a "transcendent challenge of unsustainable federal spending and debt," the AP said.

Obama gave his address after taking a ceremonial oath of office on the steps of the Capitol under an overcast Washington sky.

The president had been officially sworn by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in the White House Blue Room on Sunday, a small ceremony necessitated by the way the calendar fell this year. The constitution requires that the president take the oath of office by noon on the Jan. 20 following an election.

Later, the president and First Lady Michelle Obama waved to crowds as they strolled down Pennsylvania Avenue in the inauguration parade.