A BIT OF A STUMBLE

January 21, 2013 - 3:32 PM

President Barack Obama's ceremonial oath of office hit a small snag.

Unlike four years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts said the oath correctly. But this time, it was Obama who appeared to stumble over the word "states" as he repeated back the words "the office of president of the United States."

But this time, Roberts won't need to administer the oath again just to be on the safe side.

This one was just for show. Obama had already been officially sworn in for a second term on Sunday, in accordance with the Constitution, which requires presidential terms to begin on Jan. 20.

In 2009, it was Roberts who famously flubbed Obama's official swearing in. So the two repeated the presidential oath in a private ceremony to ensure there were no constitutional issues.

So to sum up, for those keeping score at home: In 2009, a public oath superseded by a private one; in 2013, a private oath followed by a public one that didn't legally matter.

— Henry C. Jackson — http://twitter.com/hjacksonAP

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Inauguration Watch follows the events of President Barack Obama's second inaugural. Look for short items and photos throughout the day.