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Oath Is Administered Once Again

Posted by tothewire on January 22, 2009

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. re-administering the oath of office to Barack Obama on Wednesday in the White House.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. re-administering the oath of office to Barack Obama on Wednesday in the White House.

WASHINGTON — In 25 seconds, President Obama became president again.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. re-administered the oath to Mr. Obama on Wednesday evening, one day after the two men stumbled over each other’s words during the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.

For their do-over, the two men convened in the White House Map Room at 7:35 p.m. for a brief proceeding that was not announced until it was completed successfully.

“Are you ready to take the oath?” Chief Justice Roberts said.

“I am,” Mr. Obama replied. “And we’re going to do it very slowly.”

After a day’s worth of chatter over whether the president had been properly sworn into office — he transposed a couple of words in the oath after being incorrectly prompted by the chief justice — advisers to Mr. Obama decided Wednesday afternoon to try it one more time.

Only hours after aides told reporters there was no reason to administer the oath again, they concluded it was easier to do it on the first day, rather than have someone challenge the legitimacy of his presidency.

“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday,” Gregory B. Craig, the White House counsel, said. “But the oath appears in the Constitution itself, and out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Jus- tice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”

While about two million people were on hand to watch the first swearing-in, a figure that does not include the hundreds of millions who watched it on television in the United States and around the world, only nine people witnessed the do-over. There were four aides, four reporters and a White House photographer present on Wednesday evening. Mr. Obama raised his right hand and did not use a Bible.

All in all, it was a curious end to a chaotic first full day of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

The trouble began at the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday when Chief Justice Roberts misplaced a word in the oath, saying: “That I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully.” The word “faithfully” is supposed to appear between “will” and “execute.”

Mr. Obama, who had been studying his lines, briefly interrupted Chief Justice Roberts initially, which could have thrown the chief justice off course. Then, he paused awkwardly after saying, “that I will execute.”

So the chief justice gave it another try, but still did not get it quite right, omitting the word “execute.”

There are no rules against a do-over. When questions were raised about whether it was proper for Calvin Coolidge to have been sworn in by his father, a notary public, after the death of Warren G. Harding in 1923, Coolidge took the oath again from a federal judge.

At a luncheon after the first swearing-in on Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts could be seen on camera telling the president that the mistake was “my fault.” So he agreed to travel to the White House — he took along his black robe — for Take 2.

“Congratulations again,” Mr. Roberts said after the flawless recitation. “Thank you, sir,” Mr. Obama said before turning to the small group of reporters in the room, called the pool, and saying, “The bad news for the pool is there’s 12 more balls.”

By JEFF ZELENY

 

http://www.nytimes.com

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4 Responses to “Oath Is Administered Once Again”

  1. brucehood said

    And here was the rest of the world thinking that Obama had screwed up in his eagerness!

    Like

  2. tothewire said

    You know I really did have that thought cross my mind at the time! lol Hi Bruce!

    Like

  3. tothewire said

    Now I can’t find the darn link to your site! Lawman asked me to add it to blog roll. If you read this, please leave a link!

    I think when Lawman returns home, he will know where to find it on here.

    Like

  4. Lawman2 said

    hey there bruce! don’t worry tothewire i’ll add it later!

    Like

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