Half way there

Half way there

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U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 21 will mark the midway point in his presidency.

As he is sworn into office for the second time, he will be readying himself to square up to new political fights, from negotiating the U.S. budget to trying to push through gun control laws. But the ceremony not only marks the beginning of the next four years; it also offers the opportunity to look back over what has happened so far.

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Customers in a gun shop peruse the weapons on display as a laptop plays a live stream of Obama announcing the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations on Jan. 16, 2013. The planned new measures, which come in the wake of a mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school last month, set the President up for a fierce clash with the powerful U.S. gun lobby and its supporters in Congress.
. SARASOTA, United States. REUTERS/Brian Blanco

Customers in a gun shop peruse the weapons on display as a laptop plays a live stream of Obama announcing the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations on Jan. 16, 2013. The planned new measures, which come in the wake of a mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school last month, set the President up for a fierce clash with the powerful U.S. gun lobby and its supporters in Congress.

Obama speaks to the media about the looming “fiscal cliff” on Dec. 19, 2012. A hard-fought deal approved late on Jan. 1, 2013 narrowly averted devastating tax hikes and spending cuts, but the President faces even bigger budget battles with Congressional Republicans in the next two months.
. WASHINGTON, United States. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Obama speaks to the media about the looming “fiscal cliff” on Dec. 19, 2012. A hard-fought deal approved late on Jan. 1, 2013 narrowly averted devastating tax hikes and spending cuts, but the President faces even bigger budget battles with Congressional Republicans in the next two months.

The President celebrates his election victory on Nov. 7, 2012, hugging his family at a rally in Chicago. Obama’s victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney ended up being decisive, despite the candidates appearing to be almost even in the polls days before the election.
. CHICAGO, United States. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The President celebrates his election victory on Nov. 7, 2012, hugging his family at a rally in Chicago. Obama’s victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney ended up being decisive, despite the candidates appearing to be almost even in the polls days before the election.

Obama gives North Point Marina owner, Donna Vanzant, a hug as he travels to see the damage done by Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey. The powerful superstorm, which hit the North American Atlantic coast on Oct. 29, 2012, left 132 dead and thousands homeless, and caused both presidential candidates to put their campaigns temporarily on hold.
. BRIGANTINE, United States. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama gives North Point Marina owner, Donna Vanzant, a hug as he travels to see the damage done by Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey. The powerful superstorm, which hit the North American Atlantic coast on Oct. 29, 2012, left 132 dead and thousands homeless, and caused both presidential candidates to put their campaigns temporarily on hold.

Romney and Obama take one another on during the second U.S. presidential debate on Oct. 16, 2012. The race between the candidates often appeared neck-and-neck, with the debates swinging back and forth between the two contenders.
. HEMPSTEAD, United States. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Romney and Obama take one another on during the second U.S. presidential debate on Oct. 16, 2012. The race between the candidates often appeared neck-and-neck, with the debates swinging back and forth between the two contenders.

Obama took a break from the official campaign trail to travel to New York on Sept. 24, 2012 for the United Nations General Assembly. Addressing both American voters and world leaders, he defended his approach to global challenges, from Iran’s nuclear program to the United States’ relationship with the Arab world, during the final stretch of the presidential race.
. NEW YORK, United States. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Obama took a break from the official campaign trail to travel to New York on Sept. 24, 2012 for the United Nations General Assembly. Addressing both American voters and world leaders, he defended his approach to global challenges, from Iran’s nuclear program to the United States’ relationship with the Arab world, during the final stretch of the presidential race.

Obama hugs his wife Michelle after she introduced him at a campaign event at the Village of East Davenport in Iowa. After winning the election, Obama tweeted a photo taken at the same moment with the three words “Four more years”. The Tweet became the most retweeted ever.
. DAVENPORT, United States. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama hugs his wife Michelle after she introduced him at a campaign event at the Village of East Davenport in Iowa. After winning the election, Obama tweeted a photo taken at the same moment with the three words “Four more years”. The Tweet became the most retweeted ever.

A teleprompter obscures Obama as he speaks during a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 21, 2012. Campaigning by the candidates in key swing states like Ohio, Colorado and Iowa became relentless in the month running up to the election.
. Columbus, United States. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A teleprompter obscures Obama as he speaks during a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 21, 2012. Campaigning by the candidates in key swing states like Ohio, Colorado and Iowa became relentless in the month running up to the election.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle look down at the 9/11 Memorial while touring the One World Trade Center building, which is under construction in New York. The United States’ struggle with al Qaeda and Islamist militancy remains complex and ongoing, as Obama enters his second term facing challenges from the hostage crisis in Algeria to efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan.
. NEW YORK, United States. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Obama and First Lady Michelle look down at the 9/11 Memorial while touring the One World Trade Center building, which is under construction in New York. The United States’ struggle with al Qaeda and Islamist militancy remains complex and ongoing, as Obama enters his second term facing challenges from the hostage crisis in Algeria to efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

Obama plays table tennis against students along with British Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to London in May 2011, during which they discussed, among other things, the conflict in Libya.
. LONDON, United Kingdom. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama plays table tennis against students along with British Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to London in May 2011, during which they discussed, among other things, the conflict in Libya.

Obama greets troops at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on May 2, 2012. NATO combat operations in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and continued throughout Obama’s presidency, are scheduled to end by the close of 2014, but the gradual handover of security to Afghan forces has been a rocky process.
. KABUL, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Obama greets troops at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on May 2, 2012. NATO combat operations in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and continued throughout Obama’s presidency, are scheduled to end by the close of 2014, but the gradual handover of security to Afghan forces has been a rocky process.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden as they sit in the White House Situation Room. Bin Laden was killed with a bullet to the head by the U.S. strike on May 2, 2011.
. WASHINGTON, United States. REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden as they sit in the White House Situation Room. Bin Laden was killed with a bullet to the head by the U.S. strike on May 2, 2011.

Surrounded by Secret Service agents, Obama sprints up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a visit with tourists on Apr. 9, 2011, a day after Congress came to agreement on funding the federal government, emphasising that national parks, monuments and museums are kept open and filled with visitors.
. WASHINGTON, United States. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Surrounded by Secret Service agents, Obama sprints up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a visit with tourists on Apr. 9, 2011, a day after Congress came to agreement on funding the federal government, emphasising that national parks, monuments and museums are kept open and filled with visitors.

Obama surveys the damage along the Louisiana coastline caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig on Apr. 20, 2010 killed 11 people and contaminated the shores of four Gulf Coast states in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.
. PORT FOURCHON, United States. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama surveys the damage along the Louisiana coastline caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig on Apr. 20, 2010 killed 11 people and contaminated the shores of four Gulf Coast states in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

On Mar. 23, 2010, Obama signed his healthcare reform act into law. The legislation, which passed after a long and bitter political battle, represented a huge overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, aiming to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning in January 2014. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had vowed to repeal the law if elected, calling it a costly government expansion, but with Obama’s election victory it looks set to stay.
. WASHINGTON, United States. REUTERS/Jason Reed

On Mar. 23, 2010, Obama signed his healthcare reform act into law. The legislation, which passed after a long and bitter political battle, represented a huge overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, aiming to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning in January 2014. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had vowed to repeal the law if elected, calling it a costly government expansion, but with Obama’s election victory it looks set to stay.

A security guard stands next to a large screen showing Obama awaiting the start of the ceremony in which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement that he would receive the prize, which came after he had been in office for less than nine months, came as a surprise to many and drew both praise and scepticism.
. OSLO, Norway. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A security guard stands next to a large screen showing Obama awaiting the start of the ceremony in which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement that he would receive the prize, which came after he had been in office for less than nine months, came as a surprise to many and drew both praise and scepticism.

Obama runs with his new pet dog Bo on the South Lawn at the White House during the first year of his presidency.
. WASHINGTON, United States. REUTERS/Jim Young

Obama runs with his new pet dog Bo on the South Lawn at the White House during the first year of his presidency.

He walks down a corridor at the White House to his very first news conference as president on Feb. 9, 2009.
. WASHINGTON, United States. REUTERS/Jason Reed

He walks down a corridor at the White House to his very first news conference as president on Feb. 9, 2009.

A young supporter looks up as she listens to Obama speak at a campaign rally in October 2010 for Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.
. LOS ANGELES, United States. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A young supporter looks up as she listens to Obama speak at a campaign rally in October 2010 for Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.