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.