Politics & Government

January 19, 2009

Americans confident in Obama as his big day arrives

America changes course today. Barack Obama of Illinois will take office as the nation's 44th president at noon EST in a simple yet elegant ceremony that will mark a peaceful transfer of power. He does so at a time of unusual peril, with a sputtering economy at home and U.S. troops still in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama spent his last day as a private citizen Monday in symbolic gestures meant to highlight the deeds of others, including a visit with wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, working with volunteers at a Washington shelter for homeless teens and attending a dinner honoring his Republican rival for the presidency, Sen. John McCain.

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