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Second Time’s The Charm For Obama & Roberts

by @ 7:29 am on January 22, 2009. Filed under Barack Obama, Inauguration Day 2009, John Roberts, Politics, U.S. Constitution


After Chief Justice Roberts flubbed the Oath of Office on Tuesday, which led to questions from legal scholars about whether the oath was truly effective because of the mistake, the President and Chief Justice did a second take yesterday:

WASHINGTON — In 25 seconds, President Obama became president again.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. re-administered the oath to Mr. Obama on Wednesday evening, one day after the two men stumbled over each other’s words during the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.

For their do-over, the two men convened in the White House Map Room at 7:35 p.m. for a brief proceeding that was not announced until it was completed successfully.

“Are you ready to take the oath?” Chief Justice Roberts said.

“I am,” Mr. Obama replied. “And we’re going to do it very slowly.”

After a day’s worth of chatter over whether the president had been properly sworn into office — he transposed a couple of words in the oath after being incorrectly prompted by the chief justice — advisers to Mr. Obama decided Wednesday afternoon to try it one more time.

Only hours after aides told reporters there was no reason to administer the oath again, they concluded it was easier to do it on the first day, rather than have someone challenge the legitimacy of his presidency.

“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday,” Gregory B. Craig, the White House counsel, said. “But the oath appears in the Constitution itself, and out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Jus- tice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”

And that, it would appear, is that.

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