Barack Hussein Obama is now the nation’s 44th president — and first black chief executive.
Even before he took the oath of office, Obama assumed the country’s highest office by mandate of the U.S. Constitution.
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The 20th Amendment specifies that the terms of office of the president and vice president “shall end at noon on the 20th day of January … and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”
And so, the transfer of power was complete when the clock struck noon.
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