I knew when I heard it that it could be trouble. That error in the oath of office on Tuesday?
When I saw it, I thought “Somebody somewhere is gonna be screaming ‘Ahhhhhhh! Obama can’t be president! He got the oath wrong!‘”
I’m relieved but not surprised that they did a do-over a bit later.
Tuesday’s stumble went largely unnoticed at the time.
In the oath, as set out in the US Constitution, the new incumbent swears to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States”.
But as Chief Justice Roberts read out the oath for Mr Obama to repeat, he moved the word “faithfully” to the end of the phrase.
Mr Obama, apparently noticing the error, hesitated. Mr Roberts repeated the phrase incorrectly, and Mr Obama followed suit, using the erroneous formula.
“We believe the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately,” said White House counsel Greg Craig.
“Out of the abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath a second time.”
Two other presidents, Calvin Coolidge and Chester Arthur, have had to repeat the oath because of similar problems.
I take this as sign that the Obama administration knows the kind of people they’re dealing with. After the amount of bandwith burned over Obama’s birth certificate, not to mention two trips to the Supreme Court over the matter. The, um, “true believers” no doubt wouldn’t have let that one go.
Oh well. At this rate they’ll be reduced to “He had his fingers crossed!”, or something equally ridiculous.