Editor, The Transcript:

One of the Jan. 23 Transcript editorials talked about the big deal being made by comedians and blog writers over the Oath of Office wording mistake made by the chief justice and new president during the inaugural proceedings. The editorial ended by stating: "The oath is ceremonial. Get over it."

Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 8 of the United States Constitution, which deals with the executive branch, states as follows: "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Although the 20th Amendment to the Constitution provides that the term of office of the newly elected president shall begin noon on the 20th day of January, the oath is still required to be taken before the president begins executing his office. The fact that the founding fathers took the time to provide the exact wording of the oath in the Constitution shows how important they must have thought the oath to be.

Lawyers and judges, and even blog writers and comedians, can debate whether Barack Obama substantially complied with the requirements of the Constitution in the initial taking of his oath. I suspect that he did. I am, however, encouraged that this president takes so seriously his duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, that he decided to re-take his oath. The president and chief justice may be overly sensitive to the critics, but I applaud them. Past presidents (no names mentioned) who have tap-danced over the wording and meaning of the Constitution and its Amendments, should, perhaps, have paid as much attention to their oaths of office as our new president does to his.

ALAN BRINKLEY

Norman

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