Barack Obama | George W. Bush | Inauguration | News

Succession: Oath of Office Administered a Second Time


I was fortunate enough to be about 50 yards from the podium during the inauguration. Although a tree was in the way of my view of the Jumbotron (limiting what I saw of the goings-on that were televised), from my perspective, the placement of Obama and Bush could not have been more appropriate.

In related news, CNN is reporting that Chief Justice John Roberts re-administered the oath of office this evening on the advice of White House counsel Greg Craig so as to avoid any legal confusion over whether Obama was properly sworn in. As you have likely heard, a couple of words were out of place when Roberts administered it yesterday.

Watch CNN's report on the second oath, which was performed in front of several advisers and a cluster of White House reporters, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. So, Bush probably got all excited. "Does that mean I'm still President?"

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jan 21, 2009 8:41:45 PM

  2. Bush looks so tiny and insignificant next to the Messiah, who's standing tall and proud, ready to lead this nation out of the ditch he put us in.

    America is back in business.

    Posted by: Micah J. | Jan 21, 2009 8:51:39 PM

  3. LOL.. This sounds like something that would have happened on the West Wing...LOL

    Posted by: MyridoM | Jan 21, 2009 9:15:48 PM

  4. You know, I wondered if something like that would happen. Nice to see Roberts stumble a bit.

    And Micah, don't you mean "America is black in business"?

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 21, 2009 9:52:08 PM

  5. does this mean we technically had no president between the time he took the oath the first time and the second time?

    we are lucky the russians didn't use that brief period of time as an opportunity to attack!

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jan 21, 2009 11:47:17 PM

  6. but you won't be seeing my birth certificate, suckka's!

    Posted by: Barry Obamuh | Jan 22, 2009 1:13:20 AM

  7. @ "BARRY": Your show is over. Move along now. And it wasn't clever to begin with.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 22, 2009 2:46:12 AM

  8. That's funny. I made a lame joke during the swearing-in that Roberts flubbed it on purpose so that the Supreme Court could rule Obama's Presidency was invalid sometime in the future.
    I guess it wasn't so funny after all. Certainly Greg Craig thought it was within the realm of possibilities.

    Posted by: Jonny NYNY2FLFL | Jan 22, 2009 3:40:35 AM

  9. Good it was the proper thing to do.

    I am guessing that Micah is being sarcastic. The other option is just disturbing, but believable.

    Posted by: Diogenes | Jan 22, 2009 8:22:29 AM

  10. The Constitution isn't exactly clear, so we must way the letter and spirit. The 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933, specifically states that the terms of the previous President and Vice-President expire at noon, but Article II states regarding the President-Elect: "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation". Clearly, the spirit is the same whether you swear or affirm that you will faithfully do something, or do something faithfully. Since there was precedent for retaking the oath for silly reasons, and since there are so many nut jobs out there, they probably decided it was just easier to do it over. Of course, the nut jobs will now say that because he didn't use a bible the second time, blah, blah, blah.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 22, 2009 9:14:12 AM

  11. Rare but not unheard of. Obama is now the 3rd president to do the oath twice.

    Technically all he had to do was say the oath to himself. The constitution does not demand a witness or the supreme court justice to administer it.

    The 2nd time is super cool in that no bible was utilized! :-) The constitution says nothing about the oath being said with one's hand upon any holy book.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 22, 2009 9:46:11 AM

  12. PS

    Mike some are

    Few limbaughbots are screaching that he needs to take it a 3rd time with a bible. OY

    But thankfully the constitution says nothing what so ever about a bible anywhere let alone in particular about it being even within 10 feet of anyone during the oath.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 22, 2009 9:51:31 AM

  13. Perhaps those insisting this be done using a bible should listen to this:

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 22, 2009 10:09:00 AM

  14. this is simply spin so they could record it and have the soundbyte for the smithsonian. Barack Obama taking the oath of office has too much historical significance to be flubbed - but no bearing on his official capacity as president

    Posted by: Dan B | Jan 22, 2009 10:22:58 AM

  15. This is a GREAT picture

    Posted by: Alan | Jan 22, 2009 11:48:09 AM

  16. Biden would have been acting president until the correct oath was administered if you want to follow the letter of the law. However, legal opinion varies on what is a presidential act as opposed to administrative, so as head of the administration, Obama still had wide discretion. It was a wise move considering precedent.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 22, 2009 3:43:27 PM

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