Taking a Mulligan on the Oath

Oath of Office Part I

Oath of Office Part I

After 24 hours of listening of everyone from conspiracy theorists to constitutional scholars weighing in President Barack Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts decided to re-do the oath of office.
Obama Oath Pt. 2

Obama Oath Pt. 2

In a private White House ceremony in the Map Room the two retraced their steps out of what the White House called “an abundance of caution.”  Roberts put on his black robe and asked Obama “Are you ready to take the oath?” Obama responded “I am and we’re going to do it very slowly.”
The retaking of the oath is not without precedent, it has been done twice before both following the deaths of sitting presidents.
Chester Arthur taking the Oath Sept. 20, 1881 New York City

Chester Arthur taking the Oath Sept. 20, 1881 New York City In 1881 following the assasination of President Garfield, Chester Arthur took the oath in the living room of his New York City home. He took it again in Washington a few days later.

 In a similar fashion in 1923 the father of then Vice President Calvin Coolidge was the one who administered to him his first oath in the living room of their Vermont home.  (His Dad was a notary and woke his son with the news of the President’s death.)

Calvin Coolidges first oath August 3, 1923 Plymouth, VT

Calvin Coolidges first oath August 3, 1923 Plymouth, VT

Incidentally do you notice anything missing from Obama’s  second oath of office above?  No bible.   The President, who used the Lincoln Bible on Tuesday said he simply didn’t have one with him.   For the record you don’t need a bible for the oath to be binding.   Teddy Roosevelt didn’t use one when he took the oath following in Buffalo following the 1901 assassination of William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition.   John Quincy Adams is also said to have placed his hand on a book of laws, not a bible.  Gotta love it.

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