Opinion: Just to be safe, Obama takes muffed oath one more time


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Good thing we didn’t get another war going last night.

Remember yesterday at the presidential inauguration with the entire world watching, except some suddenly unemployed Republicans vacationing in Mexico, how Chief Justice John Roberts messed with about-to-be President Barack Obamawhile reciting the oath? (See video below.)

Roberts, who was appointed by outgoing President George W. Bush, in a clear effort to make the Obama administration illegitimate and prolong Bush’s tenure from Texas, moved the word faithfully to the end of a phrase instead of near the beginning. Obama, who had clearly memorized it, paused in apparent confusion. But they cleared that up and went on to complete the oath. And millions cheered anyway.

But was he really president?

Of course! The Constitution stipulates the new chief executive takes office at noon on Jan. 20. And, in fact, as we pointed out yesterday, Obama actually became the 44th president while he was sitting down listening to classical music.


But somebody on the White House legal staff wanted to be really really sure. You know lawyers. Anyway, it was all so much fun Tuesday they decided to do the oath again, even though the 2 million spectators on the National Mall had left.

As a historical footnote, without any parade tonight, Roberts made the 1.6-mile trek up Pennsylvania Avenue from the Supreme Court and readministered the oath to Obama, who may now have to pay rent for one night’s stay in the White House.

No, just kidding about the rent.

Now, if we could just clear up the ongoing question of Obama’s actual birthplace......

Just kidding there too, commenters.

(UPDATE: Alan Keyes stoked the Obama birth certificate controversy anew in February 2009. See Ticket coverage here.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credits: Associated Press