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Is Obama Really President After Oath Flub?

6 years ago
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If you were wondering how long it would take foes of President Barack Obama to come up with a new conspiracy theory as to why he is not legitimately our new president, you needed only go four minutes into his term to have your answer. It was at 12:05 that an understandably nervous Chief Justice John Roberts (and then Obama after him) flubbed the oath of office, and on the basis that the actual words that symbolically bestow the title of commander-in-chief upon that man or woman who says them, some are claiming that Obama might not technically be our president. Who, you ask, would be so unclear as to the ways of the Constitution to suggest such a silly thing? FOX News anchor Chris Wallace, for one:

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Strangely, Wallace, though he seemed to be posing his remarks in jest, didn't seem to understand that by the time Obama took his garbled oath, he'd already been the president for 4 minutes, as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution specifies, oath or no oath. True, the Constitution states that those who would be president must also repeat the oath, which Obama clearly had memorized, but then Roberts directed Obama to repeat his exact words, and those words weren't quite right. But Wallace is certainly right that there will be more than a few disgruntled Americans--let's call them Oathers--who, fresh from failing to convince the Supreme Court that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery, are looking for a new way to say "No, he can't!"

As a side note, the definitive linguistic analysis of the John Robert's last-minute adverbial modification can be read here. The placement of the word "faithfully" was the sticking point, just as conspiracy theorists will faithfully pursue this non-issue to any court that will grant them a hearing.

While Obama's lawyers said yesterday that there was no legal need for the new president to re-take the oath, Chief Justice Roberts and Obama held a do-over anyway, just to cross all the t's. Unfortunately, not every conspiracy theorist will be satisfied, as, this time, there was no bible present.

UPDATE: Obama Says Flub is Not John Roberts' Fault
UPDATE 2: Obama and Roberts Forget Bible on Second Try
UPDATE 3: Top 5 Ways Obama and Roberts Will Screw Up Their Third Try

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