Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Obama actually became president while seated, listening to music

Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma play at the inauguration of Barack Obama as the clock strikes noon and he actually becomes the commander in chief

As our colleagues over at Culture Monster point out, the 20th Amendment states that a new president takes office at the stroke of noon on Jan. 20.

The ceremony to inaugurate Barack Obama was running a few minutes late. So the stroke of noon came while Obama and the world was watching classical music by Yo-Yo Ma and others played for the massive crowd.

Mark Swed has the full story here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Come back often for news of the new administration, Congress and the states. Register here for cellphone alerts on each new Ticket item. RSS feeds are also available here. And we're now on Amazon's Kindle as well.

Photo: From left, foreground: Violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and clarinetist Anthony McGill Credit: Justin Lane / European Pressphoto Agency

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

The comments to this entry are closed.

You're wrong. The 20th Amendment only states that the previous President's term ends at noon. It makes no stipulation for the start of the new President's turn. Obama did not become President until he took the oath as required by Article II of the Constitution.

He did not become president until he was sworn in. The 20th amendment states in Section 1 "The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January". Until he was sworn in, he was still the president elect. Since he was unable to perform his duties as president until he was sworn in, Biden was essentially the actiing pres for those 5ish minutes since he was sworn in as VP before 12:00, and the 25th amendment provides that he is the president when there is none.

Which made me a little nervous when you consider the security issues with the crowds there...There was quite a bit of time between the VP and Pres oaths to invite interesting consitutional problems if one or the other were not able to assume office. They should swear in the pres 1st then immediately thereafter the VP so there are no doubts.

I would just like to say that I think it was disgusting and rude that the welcome home speech that George Bush was making was cut off before he was done. How pathetic are the news channels and all media covering his speech are is beyond me. shame on you!!!!!!!!!!

Jeez. If you're gonna run a completely pointless story on one of the biggest news days of the year, the least you can do is check your facts. Do you really even need to employ this guy? Couldn't you just as well cut and paste AP articles?

The article is correct:


20th amendment: "The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin."

If you noticed, the last line states that the terms of their successors shall then begin.

The 20th Amendment also supersedes Article 2 (which states the prez has to take the oath before taking office). So, Obama is still prez even if he didn't take the oath.

Section 1 of the 20th Amendment: "The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin. "

It does say that when the outgoing president's term ends, the incoming president's term begins. At noon.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics


Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: