In a rare do-over,Barack H Obama was sworn in for second time as the US President by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court John Roberts at White House.
The surprise move was taken last evening in “an abundance of caution”,as the US Chief Justice had flubbed the oath of the office. The second oath was administered at 7-35 pm.
White House Counsel Greg Craig said that the oath administered to Obama on Tuesday was fine,but one word was out of sequence so that decided to do this out of “an abundance of caution”.
“We decided it was so much fun…” Obama joked while sitting on a couch,according to a White House pool report. As Obama stood and then walked over to make small talk with pool reporters,Roberts asked,”Are you ready to take the oath?”
Obama replied “I am,and we’re going to do it very slowly.” The second oath took 25 seconds. After a flawless recitation,Roberts smiled and said,”congratulations,again.”
Obama said,”Thank you,Sir.” On Tuesday Roberts had fumbled while administering the 35-word oath of office.
When the Chief Justice started to say the second portion of the quote “… that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,” he instead put faithfully at the end of the sentence.
Obama,who apparently had memorised the oath,looked at Roberts,who then realised his mistake and repeated that portion of the oath correctly. Obama then repeated the oath in the incorrect order.
In a statement,Craig said last night,”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.”
OBAMA PLAYS DOWN OATH BLOOPER DURING SWEARING-IN CEREMONY
US President Barack Obama tried to play down the blooper made by Chief Justice John Roberts during the swearing-in ceremony,saying the top judge instead helped him on a few stanzas of the oath and the entire ritual went off “relatively smoothly”.
“We were up there… we have got a lot of stuff on our minds and he,actually,I think helped me out on a couple (of) stanzas there. So overall I think it went relatively smoothly and I am very grateful to him,” Obama told the ABC News after attending the Neighbourhood Ball in Washington.
It was the first of the 10 inaugural balls that he and his wife Michelle attended yesterday after he was sworn in as the nation’s 44th President.
In a goof up that was watched by over two million people at the National Mall and by millions others watching the inauguration on television,Roberts fumbled as he switched a few words in the 35 word oath.
As Roberts began to administer the oath,Obama responded before the Chief Justice had completed the first phrase.
Obama ended up saying the first four words — ‘I,Barack Hussein Obama’ — twice. Then Obama paused abruptly after Roberts reversed a few words in the sentence ‘That I will faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States’,putting ‘faithfully’ at the end of the sentence.
Obama waited for Roberts to correct the words,realising that something was out of order. The top judge gave it another try,but this time,omitted the word ‘execute’.
The goof up has become a hot topic of discussion and scrutiny ,with TV channels and websites here galore with stories on how the Chief Justice could forget 35 words written in the country’s constitution.
Obama also did not encourage the joke Vice President Joe Biden made earlier about Roberts’ “memory”. Biden who had to administer the oath of office to senior executive staff at a White House ceremony joked that he did not have a good memory as Roberts.
“My memory is not as good as Chief Justice Roberts,” he quipped. Obama kept a straight face and was clearly not amused by Biden’s words.