Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oath me once, oath me twice...

Due to the odd flubbing of yesterday's presidential oath, Obama and Chief Justice Roberts did a safety do over. It has no effect on his authenticity as President, as by law he took office at noon yesterday regardless.

Regardless, today a small group convened the White House Map Room for the do-over.

"We decided that because it was so much fun ...," Obama joked to reporters who followed press secretary Robert Gibbs into the room. A few of Obama's closest aides were there, along with a White House photographer.

"Are you ready to take the oath?" Chief Roberts asked.

"Yes, I am," Obama said. "And we're going to do it very slowly."

AP goes into detail of the flub:
It happened when Obama interrupted Roberts midway through the opening line, in which the president repeats his name and solemnly swears.

Next in the oath is the phrase " ... that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States." But Roberts rearranged the order of the words, not saying "faithfully" until after "president of the United States."

That appeared to throw Obama off. He stopped abruptly at the word "execute."

Recognizing something was off, Roberts then repeated the phrase, putting "faithfully" in the right place but without repeating "execute."

But Obama then repeated Roberts' original, incorrect version: "... the office of president of the United States faithfully."



This retaking of the oath has happened twice in the past: Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur.