Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wiffle Ball, Bad Poetry and Who Is Our President?

Besides the great expense attributed to the inauguration, bad reviews (1, 2, 3) of the inaugural poem by bloggers and magazines alike, Barack Obama added a new asterisk to his name when he flubbed the oath. His flubbing was not his alone, as Chief Justice John Roberts sent him in the wrong direction.

So he did a do-over. We used to do those playing Wiffle Ball in the backyard, when a play was in question (Mrs. Kirk's garage were most often the cause, with interesting bounces off the roof). It safeguarded the quality of the forthcoming plays, especially the final score.

No one really thought Obama was not president, but technically, there may be debate. Was George W Bush still in charge even though it was past noon by the time the oath was started (it is supposed to happen simultaneously)? If so, did this bristle the hackles of Bushaters (grace, they say, is for Obama, not for them)? Was Joe Biden president, after having by successfully sworn in a few minutes before? Did Dick Cheney's wife call, and ask if she could still eat lunch at the White House?

Ultimately, the oath is all pomp and circumstance, as was the rest of the day's fanfare. Barack Obama, no doubt, would rather skip all of the 'praise for the day' silliness and get right into resolving our economy, war and choosing a White House dog. Really. Serious stuff going on, and, as big parties are new to inaugurations during wartime, Obama probably felt forced into all of it by his handlers.

If a national crisis existed during the inauguration, Obama would have been called. If we went to war, or our jobless percentage increased, or a gay man needed to get married, of course Barack Obama would be asked to decide.

Obama retakes oath of office
President Obama retakes the presidential oath out of "an abundance of caution." » Find out why

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