Published February 03, 2009
Mockery of and apologies to the Supreme Court chief justice aside, Vice President Biden on Monday learned how difficult it is to deliver an oath of office.
The vice president fumbled his words while swearing in Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in a mock ceremony held at Foggy Bottom.
After smoothly saying and having Clinton repeat that she does "solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," Biden, who was using a note card, faltered.
"... that I will bear -- excuse me ... that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same ..."
He then continued without incident after a hearty laugh from the audience.
The laughter may have been an acknowledgement of the irony following Biden's recent joke at the expense of Chief Justice John Roberts, who slipped when he was administering the oath to President Obama.
Roberts came back and repeated the oath in a private ceremony the following day after Biden, who was holding a swearing-in ceremony for senior staff, joked about Roberts' mistake.
Biden reportedly later called Roberts to apologize. The vice president had another chance to get it right on Tuesday when he swore in Eric Holder to be attorney general.