Roberts' Oath Flub Trips Up Obama

New president shows ability to think on his feet

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2009 12:25 PM CST

(Newser) – Chief Justice John Roberts' first attempt at administering the presidential oath of office didn't go as swimmingly as the chief justice might have liked, reports the Wall Street Journal. Roberts left out "faithfully" where the Founding Fathers wrote it—“that I will faithfully execute the office of president to the United States”—and instead stuck it at the end.

The confusion caused a little stutter-step in the administration of the 35-word oath. Obama didn't help matters by stepping over Roberts' lines, notes Dahlia Lithwick in Slate. "Between both of them trying to lead, and both graciously attempting to follow, it was a performance worthy of the very first round of Dancing With the Stars, writes Lithwick.

President Barack Obama is congratulated by Chief Justice John Roberts after Obama was sworn in at the US Capitol today.
President Barack Obama is congratulated by Chief Justice John Roberts after Obama was sworn in at the US Capitol today.   (AP Photo)
Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife Michelle, second from left, and daughters Sasha, third from left, and Malia, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.
Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife Michelle, second from left, and daughters Sasha, third from left, and Malia, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Barack Obama joined by wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia (not pictured), takes the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts to become 44th president at the US Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.
Barack Obama joined by wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia (not pictured), takes the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts to become 44th president at the US Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
President Barack Obama sings the national anthem at the end of swearing-in ceremonies at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.
President Barack Obama sings the national anthem at the end of swearing-in ceremonies at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Barack Obama takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States today.
Barack Obama takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States today.   (AP Photo)
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Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr administering the oath of office to Barack Obama.   (Grosscrime)

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