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At his inauguration in January, Obama took the oath of office with his hand on Bibles owned by Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “I thought about their humility, and how we don’t seem to live that out the way we should, every day, even when we give lip service to it,” he said.
In debates about “how we’re going to reduce our deficit, what kind of tax plans we’re going to have,” he argued, it is important to cultivate humility. “My hope is that humility, that that carries over every day, every moment. While God may reveal His plan to us in portions, the expanse of His plan is for God, and God alone, to understand.”
Searching the Scriptures helps in carrying out the burdens of his office, Obama said. “As president, sometimes I have to search for the words to console the inconsolable. Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a president and as a husband and as a father."
According to a White House press pool report by Dallas Morning News Bureau Chief Todd Gillman, the president during his 19-minute speech used notes instead of a Teleprompter, as he usually does when addressing large audiences.
In addition to first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the gathering included newly installed Secretary of State John Kerry, who sat at a table in the audience next to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.