(Originally posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009)
Washington, D.C. (API) George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, began his third term of office Wednesday after President-elect Barack Obama flubbed the oath of office he was to repeat after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
“My fellow Americans,” said Bush. “I believe things happen for a reason. And while I am not sure what the reasons were for this gaffe during inauguration day, I want to assure you that order and the rule of law will win the day.”
“I swear to execute … no to faithfully execute,” said Roberts as he administered the oath. A slightly confused Obama tried to reinsert the incorrect version, and Roberts followed with another hypercorrection that legal scholars now say has made the president’s swearing in almost completely invalid.
“If he didn’t say it, he ain’t it,” said Constitutional scholar Jeffrey Rhoades. “I can’t put it more simply than that.”
Roberts visited the Oval Office late Wednesday night hoping to re-administer the oath, but by that time, Bush had already settled in for his third term.
“Through this trying time I hope to lead the American people with steadfastness and resolve and strength of character. You spoke out strongly for voice of change. And even though, sadly, that change did not come, I hope you’ll join me as we continue four more years together seeking peace, prosperity and the conquest of our enemies as they stand over seas of sweet crude oil.”
Millions of attendees at the inauguration burst into tears.
“It’s just 35 words for crying out loud,” said Bill Clinton. “How did two grown men, both of them Constitutional lawyers manage to get us all into this colossal screw up?”
“It truly is sad,” said Bush. “I’ve been needled for some bad grammatical choices in the past. But none of my gaffes endangered the country or upended the poltical order.
“I don’t mean to get all parliamentarial here.”
“It truly is a cock up of huge proportions,” said noted wit and political critic Christopher Hitchens. “And by the way, nobody around here knows what the the true meaning of irony is but me.”
Bush plans to use his next four years in office, to attack Iran, embolden Israel to attack Syria, destroy the Antarctic ice shelf with bunker buster bombs, and continue the No Child Left Behind law.