The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

That Was Fun. What's Next?

By Ben Pershing
The people came, the new president spoke, everyone cheered (though Wall Street fell), the parade gave way to parties, the First Couple danced and the city survived. Today, there's a new administration. So, to quote another president, albeit a fictional one: "What's next?"

The first order of business might just be retaking the presidential oath. What seemed like a minor, though slightly embarrassing, stumble during Barack Obama's exchange with John Roberts turns out to have been a fairly big deal if you're an adherent of that pesky constitution. Inauguration Day wouldn't be complete without a silly conspiracy theory, and this one suggests that Roberts flubbed the oath on purpose as revenge against Obama for opposing his nomination in the Senate. The Rundown actually believes two justices were in on the plot; Antonin Scalia was spotted on the grassy knoll.

Here on Planet Earth, Obama's real first task looks to be starting the process of closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and refashioning the entire detainee system. The quick move makes sense on two levels -- practically, it will be a long, difficult process and so needed to begin as early as possible; symbolically, it represents a clear break from the Bush administration's policies and a signal to the world that change has arrived.

Continue reading at Political Browser»

Posted at 8:21 AM ET on Jan 21, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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The oath HAS been readministered, exercising, in the words of a White House spokesperson, "an abundance of caution."

Posted by: auntjennyp | January 21, 2009 8:04 PM


Shouldn't you be worried about Obama's train rides?

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 11:02 AM

"Antonin Scalia was spotted on the grassy knoll."

That's not funny.

Jokes about presidential assassinations are never funny, but they're downright crude on the first day of a new president's administration.

Posted by: kjohnson3 | January 21, 2009 11:01 AM


Who's to say that "strict constructionists" couldn't try to undo presidential actions due to "procedural error"?

Obama should graciously invite Roberts to the White House for a "mulligan."

He can call it a courtesy, a show of respect for those strict constructionists on the court who might argue at a later date that the administration of the oath was invalid.

Such a ceremonial (but, from a strict constructionist point of view, binding) re-do would be putting his opponents on notice that Obama is hip to the potential deployment of faulty phraseology as a political weapon.

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 21, 2009 10:24 AM

"also that" = "also note that"

(even I will fix my mistakes ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 9:49 AM

I also that Colbert pulled his punches last night on this. So it begins.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 9:33 AM

I doubt it too.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 9:16 AM

"Planet Earth"!

Seriously, that mistake, independent of who was at fault, has given the tinfoil hat brigade another phantom issue to pursue. We still have not heard the end of their complaints about Obama being a "natural born citizen" and now this.

Hopefully JakeD and his friends will find a way to move past this, but I highly doubt it.

Posted by: skipper7 | January 21, 2009 8:49 AM

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