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Oath of office is old hat for Obama

  • January 8, 2013 - 7:55 PM

By the time the sun sets on Inauguration Day, Barack Obama will have sworn the oath of office four times -- more than almost any other president. Obama became president in front of a record-breaking crowd of about 2 million outside the U.S. Capitol in 2009. But because Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed a line, Obama and Roberts met in the White House the next day to redo the oath. Roberts and Obama will once again meet at a more intimate swearing-in at the start of Obama's second term. This time, though, the calendar is to blame. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1933, declared that the president's term of office begin on Jan. 20. Because it falls on a Sunday in 2013, Obama will swear the oath that day followed by the public ceremony Monday.

Many Americans may not realize that the Jan. 21 inauguration is essentially for show. "In the big scheme of things, this kind of thing is not going to be remembered," said Prof. Daniel Klinghard of the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. "The thing that will be remembered is this speech." COX NEWSPAPERS

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