Politics & Government

January 19, 2009 5:17 PM

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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