Barack Obama has taken office as president with a call for
Americans to work together to overcome the nation's challenges at a time of
economic crisis and two long-running wars.
Mr. Obama addressed a crowd of well over one million people on the National
Mall in Washington (Tuesday) after being sworn in as the nation's
He is the first African American to hold the country's highest office.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. economy has been badly weakened by greed and a
collective failure to make hard choices. He said Americans should put aside
political arguments and take swift, bold action to create new jobs and growth.
On foreign policy, Mr. Obama pledged to responsibly leave Iraq to its people
and forge peace in Afghanistan. He said the United States seeks a new way
forward in the Muslim world based on mutual interest and respect.
He also pledged to defeat terrorists, saying Americans' spirit is strong and
cannot be broken.
Mr. Obama -- a Democrat -- ends eight years of Republican control of the White
House under George Bush.