WHAT HAPPENS ON JANUARY 20, 2013 IF OBAMA IS A ONE TERM PRESIDENT?
Analysis by Pope George Ringo
The Constitution of the United States provides for very simple instructions concerning the Inauguration of the President-elect of the United States, or should I say a very simple instruction: The President-elect shall take the oath at noon on the 20th of January that follows the previous November election. That is all. It does not provide for the Chief Justice to administer the oath nor does it require the oath be taken on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. IN short, the majority of Inauguration day is more traditional as opposed to constitutional. Which leads us to a very tricky situation should Barack Obama lose next November’s election to his Republican opponent.
Next year, January 20th, the day of the Presidential Inauguration, falls on a Sunday. The traditional Inaugural ceremonies, with their pageantry, parades and celebrities have been held on every day of the week over the years—except Sunday.
Several incumbent Presidents have found their Inaugurals falling on a Sunday. In 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower took the oath in a private ceremony in the White House as did Ronald Reagan in 1985. Both Presidents were completing their first terms and the following Monday went through the a traditional ceremony with a trip to the Capitol and the parade afterwards (though Reagan’s was marred by extremely cold weather—he took the oath under the dome in the rotunda of the Capitol).
Both Eisenhower and Reagan won their respective second terms with landslide victories thereby leaving moot the question this writer shall put on to the table. Interestingly enough, the issue has not been brought up on talk shows but perhaps only because it is too early in the game.
What happens to Barack Obama if his term expires on Sunday, January 20, 2013? Does he have to vacate the White House and move over to Blair House across the street? Does President Romney move into the White House that Sunday? And then come Monday morning, does Obama drive from Blair House to the White House to escort the new President—one day in office to the mock ceremony at the Capitol? This would surely be a first in history.
Or, does Obama become the first U.S. President to experience a democratized “house arrest”. In other words, after Romney is administered the oath at noon, will Former President Obama be permitted to reside in the White House yet, barred from the West Wing ?
All of this may sound trivial, but it is in fact a relevant curiosity.
IF Obama loses, we shall be witness to a unique experience on Inauguration day. Yet, if history keeps its path as it did for all other Sunday Inaugurals, we just may witness another incumbent President take the oath in private on Sunday afternoon and spend what will be the first of four more years sleeping in an East wing bed---comfortably.
God Bless You All.
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