This week's trivia question is courtesy of Jeffrey Toobin, author of the excellent new book "The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court."
In his prologue to his new book on the Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin tells the story of how Chief Justice John Roberts blew it when it came to administering the oath to Barack Obama in January, 2008, but Toobin also offers us a delicious bit of trivia. Right at the outset (on page two), he notes, "The ecumenical nature of the presidential oath is reflected in the option of swear (or affirm). Some Christian sects, notably the Quakers, did not believe in the use of the word swearing, so the Constitution made sure they were not excluded."
According to author Toobin, who is the only President in our history to affirm rather than swear the Presidential oath?
Let's make it multiple choice.
A) New Hampshire's own Franklin Pierce in Washington DC in 1853;
B) Vermont’s Calvin Coolidge when he was sworn in by his father in Plymouth Notch, Vermont upon the death of Warren G. Harding in 1923;
C) Theodore Roosevelt when he was sworn in in New York State upon the death of William McKinley in 1902;
D) Barack Hussein Obama; or
E) Martin Van Buren, the sage of Kinderhook, New York (rumored by some to be the illegitimate son of Vice President and dualist extraordinaire Aaron Burr).
Answer--Don't look far.
It's Franklin Pierce.