Oaf of Office

Obama Inauguration As if we needed reminding that the Bush legacy of utter incompetence will be with us for decades, lifetime appointee, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., completely flubbed his lines yesterday. The Oath of Office runs about 35 words in all and he still couldn’t get it right.  According to the New York Times,

. . . there was an awkward pause after Chief Justice Roberts prompted Mr. Obama with these words: “That I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully.” The chief justice seemed to say “to” rather than “of,” but that was not the main problem. The main problem was that the word “faithfully” had floated upstream in the constitutional text, which actually says this: “That I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States.”

Mr. Obama seemed to realize this, pausing quizzically after saying, “that I will execute.”

Chief Justice Roberts gave it another try, getting closer but still not quite right with this: “Faithfully the office of president of the United States.” He omitted the word “execute.”

Mr. Obama now repeated the chief justice’s error of putting “faithfully” at the end and said, “The office of president of the United States faithfully.”

Roberts is only 53 years old. *sigh*

7 thoughts on “Oaf of Office”

  1. My last thought is that a more humble servant could have predicted the horrifying pressure of this situation, and READ his lines, so as not to bungle it and draw attention to himself.

  2. Here we go, Americans getting their ***ies in a bunch over misspeaking while the whole planet is watching. Ok, I was disappointed too but come on folks, it was a mistake, with at least a billion people looking at them. I couldn’t get through a fifth grade piano recital in front of twenty people without flubbing. You know, you just keep going, move on. And they did. If there really was something technically askew about this misspeaking of the oath (which is written in those exact words in the Constitution, by the founding fathers) they did it over with witnesses later on in private just in case there could be any legal issues about making a mistake with the wording.
    So can we now move on to more pressing issues? Like the economy or something?

  3. joe bernstein

    I’m just glad that Roberts,Alito,Scalia,Thomas,and sometimes Kennedy are around to counterbalance some of the extreme ideas like the “fairness doctrine”being floated by Pelosi &co.The Heller decision was the equivalent of Roe v.Wade for me,in terms of its importance.

  4. Okay ‘sewage’ is probably a little childish, but it just pissed me off that such a precious moment got all garbled. (And remember how weird his family was? All dressed up like they were going to Easter in the 50’s?)

  5. I can feel for Chief Justice Roberts. Having once been asked to give the commissioning oath to a fellow Naval Officer, I flubbed it. Note card in my pocket to the rescue. My flub was only in front of 100 or so, however. ;-)

  6. A little harsh, no? I’m no fan of Bush but is seems unfair to pin this on him…and as much as I disagree with Chief Justice Roberts’ politics, it seems like an honest mistake at a bad time. Roberts’ actually spoke at my college graduation, and his speech managed to warm even my liberal heart.

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