so the question is: who botched the presidential oath office? on a nearly flawless inauguration day, which leader of two of the three branches of government botched the constitutional presidential oath of office?
the answer: it was chief justice john roberts.
the oath is as follows:
‘i do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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.’
roberts forgot the word ‘faithfully,’ placing it after the words ‘united states’ instead of before the word ‘execute.’ president obama, who must have practiced the oath a thousand times, politely paused and allowed chief justice roberts to correct himself. the chief justice caught his error, and corrected himself, but only after president obama began to say the altered oath.
roberts also said ‘to the unided states’ instead of ‘of the united states.’
it was a bad day for the chief justice. thirty-five constitutional words, and the chief justice mixed them up. talk about rewriting the constitution…
the beginning was no better. president obama may have started a little soon, beginning after his name was spoken by the chief justice, instead of waiting for the line ‘do solemnly swear.’ it is unknown if president obama spoke too quickly, or if the chief justice forgot to pause.
i also found it clever that the chief justice asked, ‘so help you god?’ at the end of the oath, which allowed president obama the option to say the line, which is not in the constitution. however, it would have been awkward had he not repeated the line. president obama said that he would indeed conclude with the line ‘so help me god.’
if this isn’t a snl sketch by this weekend, i’ll be surprised.
JAN 21 2009 UPDATE – president obama has retaken the oath of office. because of the botched oath of office taken yesterday, the president has retaken the oath of office despite the fact that the constitution understands the president elect to become president at noon on jan. 20th.
it also could be an attempt to extend the inauguration celebration just one more day… ;-)