Roberts Re-Administers Oath to Obama

The flub apparently made people nervous. Chief Justice Roberts re-administered the oath of office to President Obama tonight, out of an abundance of caution.

Don't worry, the White House says: Obama has still been president since noon on Inauguration Day.

Nevertheless, Obama and Roberts went through the drill again out of what White House counsel Greg Craig called "an abundance of caution."

Shorter version: It was unnecessary but made everybody feel better.

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    I believe I read (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 10:09:04 PM EST
    this is the third time in history there has been a do over. No one ever said you had to be a flawless public speaker to be a Chief Justice. Looks to me like Obama and Roberts both had some fun with it after the fact, but got it right this evening just to be safe.

    I predict a 3rd time (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by gentlyweepingguitar on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 10:16:50 PM EST
    I read there was no bible the 2nd time. Good for a week of analysis for Fox News.

    Any truth to the rumor (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 11:24:24 PM EST
    that they carted over Father Damien from Statuary Hall to be a witness?

    Hey, Hawaii (none / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 11:04:14 AM EST
    Just a note to thank you for this and other comments that educate us all to your history -- sad as it is, so thanks for the link as well to the late great queen of your lovely isle, so badly treated as she and her people were by our country.  

    As I recall, Congress did finally admit that we stole Hawaii in our madness of manifest destiny -- and it is a horror story of corporate greed getting our military to do the dirty work for the dollar, isn't it?  

    It is a lesson that ought to be taught in our history books, but there we go again; few do so.  So some things never change in terms of corporates sending us to war -- as well as what happens to women leaders!

    Anyway, fyi, I do teach Hawaii's story in my American history survey course . . . and I am bookmarking more links from you again.  Cheers.


    The aloha spirit (none / 0) (#38)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:37:46 PM EST
    I loved Sen. Akaka's exposition of the Aloha spirit at the home state ball coverage.

    He said it was love, and unity.

    (sorry, could not find link to interview.)


    This is proof that there (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by eric on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 11:56:44 PM EST
    is a legitimate and continuing fear of right-wing radio and probably, right wing blogs.  A similar concern with Bush would have just been ignored.

    It is silly.  But these people are not good people.  They will spread rumors and use their forum to stoke the right wing masses into believing that that have some reason to believe that there worst nightmare hasn't just happened.

    AM radio is where these people live.  I already met a young woman tonight who told me that Obama wasn't President because of this.  She was fed by her rabid family, but that is what it is.

    We live in a profoundly troubled country.

    Greg Craig pretty smart (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:56:44 AM EST
    to just cut this off at the knees with a quick do-over that cost nothing.  Good for him.  The Clintons repeatedly got caught up in crap of about this level and refused to deal with it because it was so stupid.  Much, much smarter to just quickly fix stuff like this that's easy to fix and get it out the way.

    Speaking of teh stupid (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Farmboy on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:09:13 AM EST
    Toward the end of a reasonable article about the surprise Pres. Obama's staffers got when they ran into the "dark ages" tech at their new jobs, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28787998/  the "reporters" couldn't resist the debunked, "But there were no missing letters from the computer keyboards, as Bush officials had complained of during their transition in 2001."

    That ought to be a, "Sorry, go to the back of the press pool." for those two right there.  Nip it in the bud.


    You sure that was debunked? (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 11:37:19 AM EST
    My impression was that it was the only part of the crap that was actually true, and it would be entirely in keeping with the mild pranks that are apparently traditional between an outgoing administration staff and an incoming one.  What I remember hearing was that the W keys had been removed, but left very visibly in the emptied desk drawers where they'd be sure to find them immediately.

    Basically (none / 0) (#41)
    by Steve M on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    it seems there were a couple of keys removed, as you describe, but definitely no "large-scale vandalism."  The stories at the time made it sound like there was some orchestrated plot to remove every W in the White House.

    That's what I thought (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 04:00:30 PM EST
    The most unnecessarly totally shameful act of the Bush administration was spreading those outrageous lies before they'd hardly wiped their shoes on the doormat on the way in.

    I'm wating for them to demand (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:08:58 AM EST
    Rev. Lowery re-do his prayer without the 'white will do right' part. That is what has my idiot ditto-head co-workers up in arms. Probably literally up in arms, knowing this crowd.

    maybe remind them (none / 0) (#39)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:39:42 PM EST
    that Rev. Lowrey lvied through lynchings, jim crow and Klan violence.

    do right indeed.


    Chris Wallace (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 05:51:03 AM EST
    of course, has to wring his hands over whether or not we really have a president. I'm glad they did it again just to get idiots like Wallace off their backs.

    swearing in 2nd time controversy comment (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by yoyodude7821 on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 08:44:23 PM EST
    It's possible that the reason they had no TV cameras was because behind Obama and Roberts there were flipcharts so they could see what to say properly :D

    Wish they hadn't (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:11:54 PM EST
    No birth certificate....no oath.... the nut cases would have been at a boil for years...

    Wow (5.00 / 7) (#8)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 10:56:55 PM EST
    Never thought you had any capacity for self reflection.

    Channeling again are you? (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 07:13:33 AM EST
    Is it you or Edger who claim Bush had 9/11 done? Rudy blowing up the second tower..

    Aloha (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by eric on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:38:16 AM EST
    and sorry you are stuck with the south like the rest of us.  I will say this:  I am from Minnesota and I hear the Hawaii loves spam.  Thank you!

    It is delicious, as you know.


    mmmm Portuguese Sausage... (none / 0) (#29)
    by gtesta on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:20:47 AM EST
    for breakfast at the Big Island Grill in Kona.
    Best Breakfast Evah!!

    You worked for the state legislature in '96? (none / 0) (#13)
    by sj on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:27:55 AM EST
    I worked for a company that did the software for the legislature at that time (ducks head)

    The rules (none / 0) (#16)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 01:07:38 AM EST
    governing access to birth certificates make perfect sense. Hawaii law sounds very similar to Michigan law.

    In Michigan only the principle, parents or guardian can obtain a COPY of a birth certificate unless the birth was 110 years before the date of the request. No original is ever given or shown. The copy is an embossed duplicate of the original.

    Anyone can get anyone's death certificate.


    Go back and READ (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 07:20:02 AM EST
    Wish they hadn't .....No birth certificate....no oath.... the nut cases would have been at a boil for years...

    That is a bit of humor.... You obviously have no sense of same.


    Shaka Brudda! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 10:05:09 AM EST

    Things will be mo betta with BHO in the white house.  Lets hope this keeps the 911 Truthers from picking up a new insanity.

    Unlike the Obama team (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:12:47 PM EST
    but probably the right call.

    So stupid. (none / 0) (#3)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:45:12 PM EST
    Justice Roberts gets a do-over?

    What, was he nervous or something, seeing his dream of theocracy fading away?

    Steven Pinker in today's NY Times (none / 0) (#24)
    by BernieO on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 08:50:36 AM EST
    ascribes the flub to the fact that a lot of lawyers have been taught (wrongly) that you should not split a verb so from will faithfully execute to phrasing with "faithfully" placed after the verb. I assume he isn't implying it was deliberate. He says this "rule" comes from an attempt to copy the structure of the supposedly superior Latin, which does not have two-word verbs.

    Not just lawyers (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Farmboy on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:29:14 AM EST
    but all of us.  There was an influential grammar written back in the 19th century that prescribed the "thou shalt not split an infinitive" rule.  And yes, the reason given was because in Latin infinitives are one word.

    The most famous split-infinitive example is the old Star Trek, "to boldly go" bit.  Kirk should have said, "to go boldly."  Obviously he was a NCLB casualty from the Riverside Iowa school system.


    I don't doubt that a lot of (none / 0) (#33)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:52:02 AM EST
    people, including lawyers, have been "overeducated" in the grammar dept, with often absurd results.

    But if this was truly the reason, why then did Roberts stumble with his own grammatically repaired version, putting, for instance, the "faithfully" in different places on two tries, and adding that awkward and peculiar "to" in his phrase "president to the United States."

    Sorry, not buying this excuse.

    I'm almost ready to go back to the Lone Nut Conspiracy of One Payback Theory, that Roberts deliberately set about to foul up Obama's historic moment ...


    So Roberts thinks he gets to edit (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:12:43 AM EST
    the Constitution?  Great.

    Actuallly... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Exeter on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 10:22:22 PM EST
    I wonder if they did it a second time w/out "so held you god?"

    There seems to be a lot of speculation (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 10:40:47 PM EST
    that the "so help you God?" was imposed on Obama, that Roberts put Obama in the uncomfortable position of having to say it or risk looking really, really bad, but I think it is far more likely that either Obama specifically requested that God be a part of the oath, or Roberts asked Obama what his preference was.

    Just as the use of Obama's middle name was his own choice, so, I imagine it was Obama's preference to invoke the name of God - I mean, his hand was on a Bible, so clearly the religious element was front and center, no?

    Seriously, is the oath really the most important thing that needs doing over?  Seems like it's the least important, to me, anyway.


    it was Obama's choice (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:11:53 AM EST
    I'll try to find the link, but I read last week that they determine beforehand whether the Pres Elect wants 'so help me god' in the oath, and Obama said he did.

    According to my info, (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:40:01 AM EST
    "so help me God" has been added routinely to the oath since FDR, and may have originated with Lincoln's 2d inaugural.

    So, we've had a fairly long tradition of invoking the deity in the oath.

    Iow, this is a complete non-issue.

    And it's just ridiculous to suggest that Roberts had to "impose" the phrase on a president with a solid track record of church-going and God-invoking.


    Was Biden (none / 0) (#18)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:06:45 AM EST
    allowed to watch?

    It Was Necessary, (none / 0) (#19)
    by bob h on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:24:03 AM EST
    because the majority on the Supreme Court and Bush judicial appointees generally cannot be trusted.

    Even if the right-wing tried to make (none / 0) (#22)
    by ding7777 on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 07:42:38 AM EST
    a constitutional issue out of it, I seriously doubt that the Chief Justice would allow a Supreme Court ruling of his flub to be declared unconstitutional.

    It was better to be safe and put this to rest (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:52:37 AM EST
    since both Roberts and Obama flubbed it up.

    All done now.


    No Bible for second swearing in (none / 0) (#32)
    by CTRetiree on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 09:49:39 AM EST
    This was a comment made on  TV this morning.  Is it true?

    The Chief Justice Gets a Mulligan (none / 0) (#40)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 01:07:03 PM EST
    headline in the Mesabi Daily News (northern MN)

    Video Evidence Required? (none / 0) (#43)
    by bblair on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 07:49:35 PM EST
    There's now complaints that it wouldn't be considered legit because he didn't ask a camera crew from at least one of the major networks to document the moment on video. Remind me, did Washington or Lincoln's swearing in ceremony get recorded on video???

    Why is this even relevant?

    What would have happened... (none / 0) (#45)
    by pmj6 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:25:08 AM EST
    ...if Roberts plainly and flatly refused to administer the oath on January 20? Would Obama not have become president then?

    I think that Obama unnecessarily elevated an utterly trivial issue. The President-Elect becomes President at noon on January 20, period, full stop, even if the Chief Justice is struck by lightning and thus rendered unable to administer the oath.