As of noon today, Chimpy and Deadeye Dick are no longer in charge. We made it, kids. Eight long years, but it looks like we’ve finally been….
Original DVD cover.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Barack Obama took the 35-word oath of office Tuesday to become the United States’ 44th president — even if he may have been led to utter the historic words in the wrong order.
Obama was sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, resting his left hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and raising his right hand to deliver the words that formally made him the successor to former president George W. Bush.
Under the gaze of more than two million crowded onto Washington’s National Mall and millions more around the world, Obama said: “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president of the United States faithfully, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States.
“So help me God.”
As specified in the US Constitution, the word “faithfully” precedes the phrase “execute the office,” but the chief justice, in his first presidential inauguration, read that part of the oath incorrectly.
Obama paused, apparently realizing something was wrong, and after an awkward moment Roberts repeated himself, but the chief justice stumbled again. Obama eventually recited the line as Roberts originally said it.
Jeffrey Rosen, a US constitutional law expert and professor at George Washington University in Washington, said stumbling over the oath has “no impact. News flash: He’s president.”
Rosen pointed to the 20th amendment of the US Constitution, which provides that the president and vice president’s term begins at noon on January 20th.
“Lots of people have flubbed the oath, perhaps most memorably Chief Justice (William Howard) Taft, who sort of riffed and then made up his own” upon swearing in then-president Herbert Hoover, said Rosen.
Where the oath calls for the president to pledge to “preserve, protect, and defend” the constitution, Taft said “preserve, maintain and defend” — injecting an entirely new word, while Roberts merely got the order wrong.