CNN Newsdesk Editor
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts and President Barack Obama bobbled a biblical moment on the world stage during the 35-word oath of office Tuesday.
First there was a bad handoff. Obama spoke his name before Roberts finished the line Obama was to repeat.
Then Roberts made a couple of rhetorical fumbles, incorrectly reciting one of the lines of the swearing-in.
The Constitution sets out the language that should be used in the oath:
"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."
The first glitch occurred when Obama spoke before Roberts completed his line.
Roberts started out, "I Barack Hussein Obama," and at that point Obama jumped to repeat those words. But Roberts wasn't finished:
Roberts: I, Barack Hussein Obama ...
Obama: I, Barack -
Roberts: ... do solemnly swear ...
Obama: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear ...
Then it was Roberts' turn to flub. He incorrectly recited the next phrase, putting the word "faithfully" at the end and using "to" instead of "of":
Obama smiled and paused as he seemed to recognize the wording was out of order, and then but repeated Roberts, who at the same time attempted to correct himself.
Roberts: ... that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully ...
Obama: ... that I will execute ...
Roberts: ... the off - faithfully the pres - the office of president of the United States ...
Obama: ... the office of president of the United States faithfully ...
The two got the rest correct, including the non-obligatory "So help you God?" "So help me God."
The swearing-in was viewed by millions who saw Obama take the oath with a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inaugural.
The Supreme Court spokeswoman had no comment on the mixup.
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