Time's Klein: Obama 'Corrected' Roberts, Metaphor for Tackling Bush Blunders

Time magazine columnist and Obama apologist Joe Klein opened his January 21 piece by exulting in how "stunning and cathartic" it was to hear President Barack Obama begin to recite the presidential oath of office:

A man named Barack Hussein Obama is now the President of the United States. He came to us as the ultimate outsider in a nation of outsiders — the son of an African visitor and a white woman from Kansas — and he has turned us inside out. That he leads us now is a breathtaking statement of American open-mindedness and, yes, our native liberality.

It didn't take long for Klein to go from singing Obama's praises to cursing the outgoing president and the chief justice he named to the Supreme Court. It seems his Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) may be mutating into a new virulent strain, JRDS, which should last the length of John Roberts's tenure:

And let it be recorded that Obama's first act as President was to correct Chief Justice John Roberts, who managed somehow to mangle the 35-word oath of office, misplacing the word faithfully, as in "faithfully execute the office of President ..." Roberts then mangled it a second time, Obama raised an eyebrow, and Roberts moved on, a bumpy beginning and something of a metaphor: one of the new President's functions will be to correct the mistakes of George W. Bush's benighted tenure.

Both Roberts and Obama, as a review of the videotape reveals, flubbed the oath, so the claim that Obama "corrected" the chief justice is misleading at best:

 

Chief Justice JOHN ROBERTS: Are you prepared to take the oath, Senator?

 

Former Sen. BARACK OBAMA: I am.

ROBERTS: I, Barack Hussein Obama...

OBAMA: I, Barack--

ROBERTS: ...do solemnly swear

OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear

ROBERTS: that I will execute the Office of President to [sic] the United States faithfully

OBAMA: that I will execute [pause]

ROBERTS: the off-, faithfully the Office of President of the United States 

OBAMA: the Office of President of the United States faithfully

ROBERTS: and will to the best of my ability

OBAMA: and will to the best of my ability

ROBERTS: preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States

OBAMA: preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States

ROBERTS:  So help you God?

OBAMA: So help me, God.

ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

ROBERTS to President Obama: All the best wishes, Mr. President

[Ruffles and flourishes, followed by "Hail to the Chief"]

Here's the actual 35-word oath from Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which curiously enough does not explicitly provide a space for individual presidents to insert their names between "I" and "do":

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.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters