Obama Retakes Oath of Office

Chief Justice Roberts flubbed somewhat at Tuesday's inauguration.

ByABC News via logo
January 22, 2009, 8:16 AM

Jan. 22, 2009 — -- At the end of his first full day in the White House, President Obama retook the oath of office in an "abundance of caution."

Chief Justice John Roberts readministered the 35-word oath at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday after flubbing a portion of it on Inauguration Day.

"We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday," White House counsel Greg Craig said in a statement. "But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time."

The president took the oath before White House communications staffer Katie Lillie, White House photographer Pete Souza and four reporters.

"We decided it was so much fun," Obama said jokingly.

On Tuesday, Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully" while swearing in the nation's new commander in chief.

The apparent seriousness of the flub didn't stop Vice President Joe Biden from making a crack about the slip up Wednesday before swearing in the new administration's senior staff.

The presidential redo should keep conspiracy theorists at bay, according to ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos.

"I think he had to do it. Someone would have filed a lawsuit somewhere," Stephanopoulos said on "Good Morning America" today. "It would have just been a distraction."

One legal expert said an oath administered incorrectly is not the oath.

"It's just 35 words, but they have to be said; they have to be said in that order," said George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley.

During the second take, Obama and Roberts were cautious.

"We are going to do it very slowly," said Obama, who recited the words in 25 seconds.