Image by afagen via FlickrWe're only an hour and half into the Obama Administration and already the Conspiracy Theorists are out in force on the Interwebs.
As I was liveblogging the inauguration I mentioned that Chief Justice John Roberts managed to "go up on lines" when he administered the oath of office to President Obama. Since I wrote that my blog has been humming with traffic and the primary search terms delivering the traffic have to do with Roberts deliberately screwing it up so that he can claim President Obama is not the real president.
Look people, stop already. The Oath of Office is ceremonial. The Constitution provides that with or without the Oath the helm of state is passed at precisely noon. So, since the festivities were running behind (my post times at Mountain Time for Arizona) Barack Obama was our President before he ever stood to put his hand on the Lincoln Bible.
So, rest easy, regardless of the ceremony the legality had already taken place even before the Oath was administered in this moment of state theater.
The "flub" was just moving the adverb "faithfully" to the beginning of a line instead of the end. President Obama caught the error and waited for Roberts to correct his mistake (thus the long awkward pause) and then repeated the correct wording once Roberts had realized his error.
It was awkward but it's nothing that has any bearing on anything now or ever. It was just a case of a Chief Justice who got nerves and thought he had something memorized when he didn't. It's happened to every public speaker and actor who's ever taken the podium or stage. End of story.
Let's remove our tinfoil hats and enjoy the day, OK?