Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama and Roberts Drop the Ball...('Sports Metaphorically', of Course))

It was blatantly obvious to everyone watching the Inaugural Address this morning, that Chief Justice John Roberts and President Obama badly muddled the Oath of Office.  Rachel Maddow commented on Twitter, "maybe john roberts will get a mulligan in four years." (possibly at Obama's second inauguration? yes...anyone?) 

Interestingly, the Oath of Office's wording is prescribed in Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution. Therein it reads...

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Besides mention of the trouble the two men had "parroting" the Oath back and forth, John Roberts, in reading the second clause, omitted the worth faithfully

This, after all, is an arguably important word within the Oath.  The Chief Justice, recognizing his mistake,  'corrected' it by stuck it in at the end of the clause. (talk about a non-originalist approach to interpretation of the Constitution...the man is rewriting it!) As WSJ.com suggests, while this sentence structure may be grammatically more befitting than the Framers' parsing, it demonstrably through the new President off-kilter. 

Needless to say, this inaugural blunder will merely be a footnote (at best!) on Obama's presidency.  Here's to hoping that this is the worst gaffe the President makes as his familiarizes himself with his new job responsibilities...

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