Wednesday January 21, 2009 -- President Obama's first full day at the White House
...based on White House statements and pool reports


At 8:35 AM, the President arrived in the Oval Office and spent 10 minutes alone in the office.  He read the note left to him by President Bush that was in an envelope marked “To: #44, From: #43”.  At 8:45 AM, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel came in to discuss the schedule of today’s events.  The First Lady came into the Oval Office at 9:10 AM.  We will release a picture shortly.

[Motorcade to the Washington National Cathedral for Prayer Service; Sermon by Rev. Sharon Watkins]


This morning, the President placed phone calls to four Middle Eastern leaders: President Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Olmert of Israel, King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.  He used this opportunity on his first day in office to communicate his commitment to active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term, and to express his hope for their continued cooperation and leadership.  In the aftermath of the Gaza conflict, he emphasized his determination to work to help consolidate the ceasefire by establishing an effective anti-smuggling regime to prevent Hamas from rearming, and facilitating in partnership with the Palestinian Authority a major reconstruction effort for Palestinians in Gaza.  He pledged that the United States would do its part to make these efforts successful, working closely with the international community and these partners as they fulfill their responsibilities as well.  The President appreciated the spirit of partnership and warm nature of these calls."


Early this afternoon at 1:15, the President will attend a swearing-in ceremony for the White House staff in the Vice President's Ceremonial Suite on the 2nd floor of the EEOB.  After the ceremony, the President will sign executive orders on Executive Branch ethics.

The President will also attend the open house at the White House  at the base of staircase on the ground level by State Room.

Later this afternoon, the President will be briefed on the economy by National Economic Director Lawrence Summers, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, White House Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and White House coordinator of energy and climate policy Carol Browner. 

The President will then hold a meeting on Iraq in the Situation Room with the Vice President, a representative from the State Department, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, National Security Advisor General James Jones, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen,  General David Petraeus, Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and General Ray Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq who will join via video conference. 

[According to the pool report by Wes Anderson, two-hundred people won passes for the open house].
The PIC had sent out an e-mail on Jan. 16:

President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden have committed to running one of the most open and accessible presidential administrations in our nation's history.

And that begins on day one, when we open the doors of the White House to you.

On Wednesday, January 21st, we will be hosting an Open House reception at the White House for hundreds of special guests. If you are among the first to sign up today, you and a friend could be there.

Our success in the next four years will depend on new levels of openness and participation. Bringing change to Washington, D.C. is something we should all be part of.

That's why we're starting off by opening the doors of the White House to you.

Be there on President Obama's historic first day in office.

Sign up today and you and a guest could attend an Open House reception at the White House on Wednesday, January 21st:

Thank you,

The Presidential Inaugural Committee

P.S. -- On January 19th, help us renew American together by joining a D.C. service event to support our troops. Text SERVE to 56333, or learn more at:

[at 7:35 p.m. Obama repeated the oath in the Map Room; per the pool report by Wes Allison present were: "Justice Roberts with a staff member, Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod, Greg Craig, a WH Photographer and POTUS."]


"We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday.  But the oath appears in the Constitution itself.  And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time."

[This event was also the subject of an exchange between reporters and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during his briefing on Jan. 22].

[Obama rounded out the day by a party for campaign/DNC/transition staff at the DC Armory; according to the pool report he spoke for 15m40s and worked the rope line.]