Obama takes another oath of office (just to be sure)
If Chris Berman were doing the play-by-play of the Inauguration, he would have yelled out his signature "FUMBLLLLLE" when Supreme Court Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office.
If Homer Simpsonwere administering the oath of office, a loud "Doh!" would have been yelped.
And if Rod Blagojevich were somehow involved, we would have heard a lot of "@*#%$ you @&$@!
But it was only the Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts. He was in charge.
It was an otherwise flawless Inauguration. Sure, Aretha Franklin's hat was wacky. But her hat, at least to most law experts, did not call into question whether Barack Obama was a legitimate president.
Some thought the flubbed oath of office, however, put a question mark on the legitimacy.
Crazy speak? Lunacy? Are we wearing tin-foil hats?
Well, maybe not. There was enough concern yesterday at the White House to ask the Chief Justice to come over and do it again. And he did!
Not to worry, said White House Counsel Greg Craig. This was just a precautionary move.
"We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday," Craig said in a statement. "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."
The jovial O
"President" Barack Obama didn't seem concerned at the time. In fact, he joked about it saying they were doing it over because "We decided it was so much fun [the first time].
Roberts asked, "Are you ready to take the oath?"
"President" Obama replied, "I am, and we're going to do it very slowly."
After a flawless performance by both participants, the quotes around the word president could be dropped and President Obama was really President Obama.
But he was president anyway, wasn't he? Well, the constitution says at high noon on January 20, the new guy gets the title.
So he was the president. But they took the oath again anyway just because.
Odd? Maybe not. The San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead, ever a fount of information, reports this morning that two other presidents -- Chester Arthur and Calvin Coolidge -- have had do-overs because of similar circumstances.