Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Takes His Oath of Office Again

Obama Takes His Oath of Office Again

Updated 8:47 p.m.

By Anne E. Kornblut and Michael D. Shear

President Obama took the oath of office -- again -- on Wednesday, out of what a White House lawyer described as "an abundance of caution."


"We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday. 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," said White House Counsel Greg Craig in a statement issued early Wednesday night.


Obama and Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts had both seemingly stumbled over the 35-word oath during Obama's swearing-in as president on Tuesday, leading some to question whether he had properly committed the Constitutionally-mandated speech act that made him president of the United States.


A president is required by the Constitution to say: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


At the inaugural, Roberts had mixed up the words, saying instead: "...that I will execute the office to President of the United States faithfully..."


And so, at 7:35 p.m. today, according to the White House pool report, Roberts re-administered the oath in the Map Room of the White House.


"We decided it was so much fun -- " the first time, Obama joked while sitting on a couch.


Obama stood and walked over to make small talk with a reporter as Roberts donned his black robe.


"Are you ready to take the oath?" Roberts asked.


"I am, and we're going to do it very slowly," Obama replied.


Obama raised his right hand, leaving his left at his side.


The private swearing-in ceremony, sans Bible, took 25 seconds.


After a flawless recitation, Roberts smiled and said, "Congratulations,


"Thank you, sir," Obama replied, to a smattering of applause.


"All right," Obama said. "The bad news for the pool is there's 12 more balls."


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