Roberts, Obama Give It Another Shot

Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:20pm

Barack Obama was sworn in as president of the United States again this evening “out of an abundance of caution” because the oath was administered incompletely on Tuesday, according to White House Counsel Gregory Craig.

In a statement, Craig asserted that the original administration of the oath, despite being noticeably flubbed, was nevertheless valid, indicating Obama has in fact been president since Tuesday.

“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday,” Craig said. 

“But the oath appears in the Constitution itself,” he continued. “And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice [John] Roberts administered the oath a second time.” 

The second swearing-in was performed by Roberts in the White House’s Map Room. Also present were an aide to Roberts; White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs; Obama senior adviser David Axelrod and Craig.

“We decided it was so much fun …” Obama joked before the session began.

Roberts asked, “Are you ready to take the oath?” Obama replied, “I am, and we’re going to do it very slowly.”

The recital, which took about 25 seconds, was flawless the second time.

“The bad news for the pool is there’s 12 more balls,” Obama said.