Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Obama Era Begins


Not posting about today would be historically remiss on my part. But rather than giving you analysis of the speech or any of the other pomp and circumstance, I'll focus instead on the Chief Justice's flubbed oath of office.

Under the Constitution, Obama became president at noon ET, even though he had not formally been sworn in with the inaugural ceremonies running behind schedule. Using his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, the new president took the oath of office at 12:05 p.m. from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, whose nomination to the court he opposed as the junior Democratic senator from Illinois.

Roberts, who used no notes, stumbled at one point, appearing to forget the opening words. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, made sure to insert the crucial phrase “that I will faithfully execute the office of president to the United States.”

LOL. I had just mentioned to my delinquency class the irony of Obama having voted against Roberts as Chief Justice back in '05, and jokingly suggested that maybe Roberts would try and exact some kind of payback.

You could tell the Chief was nervous and halting, barely audible really, but no notes? And why were they standing miles apart from one another on the podium? If you review prior swearing in ceremonies on YouTube, you see the president and chief justice are mere feet from one another.

Anyway, we'll remember today for many, many reasons, but let's hope someone in Roberts' chambers writes "bring Presidential Oath of Office to next swearing in" on a post-it note for 1/20/2013.

UPDATE: Adam Liptak of the NYT has more.

UPDATE II: The president and chief justice decided on a "mulligan" and re-did the botched oath of office in the White House map room Wednesday evening. Afterwards Obama turned to the reporters and joked there were also 12 more inaugural balls to attend.

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