Obama re-takes oath of office

Tuesday, the new president and Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the swearing-in; Wednesday, they tried again.


Alex Koppelman
January 22, 2009 6:15AM (UTC)

Sometimes, even presidents -- and chief justices of the Supreme Court -- need to take the occasional mulligan. Wednesday evening, Barack Obama was sworn in as president again, and this time he and Chief Justice John Roberts got it right.

On Tuesday, Obama, following Roberts' lead, had said, "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully" instead of "do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States."

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"We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday," new White House Counsel Greg Craig said in a statement. "But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time."

A pool reporter was present for the swearing-in. According to the pool report, as Roberts prepared, Obama joked, "We decided it was so much fun..." and later told the chief justice, "We're going to do this slowly." After the two men completed the process successfully, Roberts congratulated the president again, and there was applause. Then Obama turned and quipped, "The bad news for the pool is there's 12 more balls."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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