The Chief Justice of the United States visited the White House last night to administer the oath of office to the President.
During his inauguration on Tuesday President Obama, having been put off by the Chief Justice’s misreading of the oath, said he would execute ” “the office of President of the United States faithfully.” instead of the wording in the Constitution, namely “I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.”
“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately,” said White House counsel Greg Craig.
“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 44th President is by no means the first to take the oath on two consecutive days.
When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday the President traditionally takes the oath in private and then again at a public ceremony the next day.
The last time this happened, in 1985, President Ronald Reagan’s ‘private’ swearing-in at the White House was televised.
Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath to President Barack Obama at 7:35pm yesterday in the White House’s Map Room.
The President’s press secretary, White House communications staff and journalists were present at the second swearing-in.
The Chief Justice misread the oath of office during the inauguration.
John Roberts first interrupted the President-elect during the oath, then asked him to repeat: “I will execute the office of President to (sic) the United States faithfully…”
Obama paused, aware that the wording was not that stipulated in the United States Constitution.
Article II Section I establishes the oath as: “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.”
“That I will execute…” he began, only to be interrupted by Roberts, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bush in 2005.
“Faithfully the office of president of the United States…” said Roberts, to which Obama responded “the office of president of the United States faithfully.”
The rest of the oath then proceeded without any mistakes.
Yesterday President Obama joked that he had decided to do it again “because it was so much fun.”