22 Jan 2009

Obama takes oath again after inauguration mistake

5:14 pm on 22 January 2009

One day after being sworn in, United States President Barack Obama has re-taken his oath of office.

There was a slight confusion about the lines of the oath as it was administered during the inauguration ceremony in Washington on Tuesday.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts bungled the timing and wording slightly, causing Mr Obama to repeat it differently than prescribed in the Constitution.

At his inauguration, Mr Obama said:

"I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president of the United States faithfully, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States. So help me God."

As specified in the Constitution, the word "faithfully" precedes the phrase "execute the office," but Justice Roberts read that part of the oath incorrectly.

Mr Obama paused and Justice Roberts repeated himself, but stumbled again. Mr Obama eventually recited the line as the Justice Roberts originally said it.

There has been no indication that anyone would challenge the oath's legality, or that Mr Obama did not officially become the president.

But to err on the side of extreme caution, Justice Roberts went to the White House on Wednesday evening to re-administer the oath to Mr Obama in front of reporters.