The second Inaugural Address of President Barack H. Obama…
Transcript follows the break.
The second Inaugural Address of President Barack H. Obama…
Transcript follows the break.
It has always been my considered opinion that Chris Wallace of FOX News is somewhat of a dolt. My opinion was solidified yesterday:
Where do I even start? I guess I’ll start with the Constitution. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States contains the following paragraph:
Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: — “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Granted that Chief Justice Roberts flubbed the oath yesterday, but cut the guy a little slack. It was his first time administering this particular oath and I’m sure he was just a little flustered and nervous. I do not believe it was done purposely by the Chief Justice or as part of any right wing conspiracy to derail the presidency of Barack Obama (as some have suggested). In hindsight, he probably should have had the oath written down rather than trying to recite it from memory. I’m sure he’ll do much better on January 20, 2013 when he administers the oath to President Obama for the second time. (January 20, 2013 will fall on a Sunday. Just thought you’d want to know.)
President Obama tried to correct the Chief Justice, even pausing a moment to give him a chance to recoup and correct himself. Even then, the President put the word “faithfully” in the wrong place. According to Chris Wallace, this means that Barack Obama is not the president of the United States because the oath of office was not administered word for word as stated in the Constitution.
Alright, Mr. Wallace and the rest of you screamers out there, answer me this: Where in the presidential oath of office as outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America do the words “so help me God” appear? The answer, of course, is “they do not.” The conclusion we must then draw, by Mr. Wallace’s standard, is that every president who ever uttered the words “so help me God” during his recitation of the oath was never legally the president. How many presidents do you think have said “so help me God” while reciting the oath of office? I’m not going to do the research, but I’m willing to bet there have been quite a few. In fact, including President Obama, I’d almost bet that the number is or approaches 44.
So we can only conclude that Chris Wallace of FOX News is a dolt. Does he really think anyone is going to go to court claiming that Barack Obama is not President because Chief Justice Roberts messed up the oath office? Really? Do you?
Many are saying that Mr. Obama became president at the stroke of noon on January 20th regardless of whether he took the oath or not. I have been unable to find anything, in the Constitution or elsewhere, to substantiate that claim. If anybody knows where that is written, please let me know in the comments. I’d appreciate it. [UPDATE: Found it. 20th Amendment, Section 1: “The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”]
(Video courtesy of Raw Story.)
UPDATE: This is just plain silly: “Obama retakes oath of office after Roberts’ mistake.” Did he say So help me God this time, too? If he did, I’m calling for a do-over.
Audio: Take two…
Once more I will reiterate… The words “So help me God” do not appear in the oath as prescribed by the Constitution. They just don’t.
President Barack Obama’s oath of office and inaugural address, January 20, 2009:
The full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery, is below the fold.
Remember a couple of days ago when I wondered whether WhiteHouse.gov would be updated when our new president was sworn in? It turns out I need not have been concerned. The website was updated at 12:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. It definitely has a new face:
You can click on the image to make it bigger or click here to go to the new WhiteHouse.gov website. It’s looking good!
The day for which we all have been patiently awaiting for so long has finally arrived. Today, Barack H. Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States of America. We are approaching another one of those “Do you remember where you were when…?” moments.
The ceremonies have begun. We are now listening to the prelude by the United States Marine Band. I hope you are able to watch and enjoy them from wherever you are…
Just over 18 hours to go…
Our long national nightmare is almost at an end.
37 hours. That is all that remain until Chief Justice Roberts administers the oath of office to Barack Obama. (Probably less by the time you read this.) I still have not managed to convince myself that it is really going to happen. I’m afraid that I am going to wake up from this dream at any moment.
I’m going to be a mess on Tuesday.
One thing I’ve kind of been wondering about… Are the new pages for WhiteHouse.gov all made up and ready to go? Are they set to automatically update at 12:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, January 20? If the new pages are not yet ready, I’d be more than willing to lend a hand in getting them ready. Just saying.
UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m. 01/19/09: I just deleted a comment to this post. It was a knee-jerk reaction and I apologize. I would restore it if I could. It was from “Paul – Political Conservatives” and it repeated the myth being put forth by some in the media and some right wing blogs that President-elect Obama’s inauguration is costing over four times what George W. Bush’s did four years ago. For the facts, see: “The media myth about the cost of Obama’s inauguration” by Eric Boehlert.
Though you did not see it during the HBO broadcast today, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, gave the invocation preceding the concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Here is his prayer:
O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…
Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.
Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.
Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.
Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.
Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.
Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.
And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.
Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.
Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.
Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.
Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.
Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.
Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.
And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.
Though I could not attend and was unable to watch the entire program on HBO, I did manage to snag a few snapshots of this afternoon’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial. It’s all part of the celebration of the inauguration of our 44th president…
From what I was able to see of it, quite a show. Sure beat the heck out of Hank Williams Jr. didn’t it? (You won’t get that last reference unless you were paying attention to Sarah Palin’s campaign.)
Just a little over 43 hours to go.
(Click on any of the snapshots to make it bigger or to start a manually operated slide show.)
Earlier in the day, President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery and then both families attended church services.