Multiple oaths

Under the 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed in 1947, presidents are limited to two terms of office. However, two presidents have sworn the presidential oath four times. One is Franklin D. Roosevelt, because he served four terms; the other is Barack Obama. In the latter’s first inauguration in 2009 the Chief Justice garbled the words of the oath, leading to speculation that Obama’s presidency would not be valid, so Obama held a second swearing in, in private in the White House. Obama’s second inauguration, on January 20, 2013, fell on a Sunday. In such cases, custom and practice dictated that the president be sworn in twice: once in private on January 20 and again in public the following day.

Mere stripling

Joe Biden will not quite be the world’s oldest nation leader:

— Raúl Castro, first secretary of the Cuban Communist party is 89

— Paul Biya, president of Cameroon, 87

— Colville Young, governor general of Belize, 88

— Michel Aoun, president of Lebanon, 85

— Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, king of Saudi Arabia, 84

Future imperfect

Some highlights of psychics’ predictions for 2020:

— ‘A new strain of bird flu is going to hit the country hard. On the bright side, it will mostly be limited to poultry, and while this will create some inconveniences it won’t be the end of the world.’ (

— ‘WW3, but it will be a very short war and then more peace.’ (Nikki, ‘psychic to the stars’)

— ‘As I look, I am noticing a vibration of hope. For all of the difficulty within 2019, 2020 will bring a reaping of rewards as a force of change has been engaged.’ (Jenine Beecher)

— ‘The Election Night in the United States will be close again so get your popcorn ready! I am not so sure we will even know the winner of the election until a day later, similar to Gore and Bush ticket…Trump wins again.’ (Kelle Sutliff)

Centenary year

Some 100th anniversaries in 2021:

— Foundation of the Chinese Communist party and the Italian Fascist party

— Opening of the world’s first fast-food restaurant, White Castle, in Wichita, Kansas

— Beginning of inflation in Weimar Germany

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s December 2020 US edition.