Thousands of people attended the ceremony at the Capitol in Richmond, The Washington Post reported. They heard a speech that hit some Republican themes but avoided hot-button social issues and promised a government that would create jobs, improve schools and preserve the environment.
"The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper and efficient role of government," McDonnell said.
McDonnell also paid tribute to a number of Democrats, including his immediate predecessor, Timothy Kaine, President Obama and former Gov. Douglas Wilder.
Immediately after he was sworn in, McDonnell signed two executive orders. They set up commissions on government reform and on economic development and job creation and named a job creation officer.