Fox News: We're unpresidented!

TV journalist speculates on whether we are we without a president, thanks to Obama's flubbed oath.

By Gabriel Winant

Published January 20, 2009 6:44PM (EST)

On Fox News, Chris Wallace just speculated that President Obama might still legally be regular ol' Barack Obama, because his botched oath doesn't count.

Wallace was referring to the one slip in today's otherwise flawless ceremonies, which came at the most important moment: Chief Justice John Roberts said and President Obama repeated back to him: "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully." The oath's actual line (which is in the Constitution) goes, "I [Barack Hussein Obama] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States."

You can see the video of the oath here:

Over on Fox, Wallace predicted this will go to the courts. Though, presumably, if it makes it to the Supreme Court, John Roberts will rule that he administered a legitimate oath. (Besides, the mistake was Roberts' fault anyway, not that any of this is actually the least bit significant.)

Though I'd ordinarily guess that even this is too silly to take off on the paranoid far-right, these days, who can be sure? As a friend of mine joked, "Maybe the real reason he botched the oath is that he rehearsed it in Arabic."

Gabriel Winant

Gabriel Winant is a graduate student in American history at Yale.

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