So President Obama had to retake the oath of office yesterday, because he and Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed it the first time.
There’s a New York angle to this story.
Obama joins Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge as the only presidents who have had an inaugural do-over. In the cases of his predecessors, however, the irregularities arose because they were taking over for a sitting president who had just died in office.
Arthur’s initial oath was administered in his Lexington Avenue residence on September 20, 1881 by John R. Brady, the Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, after President Garfield died from wounds received when he was shot in the back the previous July. The oath was readministered when Arthur returned to Washington, DC, two days later.
Arthur has the distinction of being the last incumbent president to seek renomination and fail to obtain it: the Republican Party nominated James G. Blaine, the Secretary of State and former Speaker of the House to run in 1884.
Blaine, in turn, lost the general election to Grover Cleveland, a New Yorker.
(I’ve written a little bit more about Obama’s misadventure over at patell.org. The image above comes from the Library of Congress’s Presidential Inaugurations site.)
Grover Cleveland, a New Yorker
We New Jerseyans like to claim Grover for our own…
True, Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey. But the lure of the Empire State proved too strong …
His family moved to Oneida County in New York twelve years later, and he would go on to serve as Sheriff of Erie County, Mayor of Buffalo, and Governor of New York.
It’s interesting to remember that back in 1884 New York was a swing state. Cleveland carried it narrowly.
But does the Empire State have a piece of his wedding cake? Caldwell still does.
Other bizarre Grover Cleveland fact: Baby Ruth candybars are named not for Babe Ruth but for Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth, who died at age 12.
So weird to see tha timage above and compare it to the way i saw Obama being sworn in via wireless internet live feeds. Times have changed, that’s for sure. It will be interesting to see if anything else come sup like this. I have to admit, it kind of takes away from the entirety of the event of him becoming president.