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  • *can't tell if kewpid's joking or really wants to know*

    Also, the amendment that was ratified in 1933 was after the inauguration. The first time the inauguration was in January was in 1937. I remember discussing this somewhere recently... Oh yeah, here. Here's the comment repeated because it'll be hard to find on that page:

    It's called the lame duck period. It used to be longer, to account for vote-counting as well as the transition period, and inaugurations before ... I want to say 1936... took place on March 4, not January 20. Took them that long to move it up to January.

    See this Wiki article.

    p.s. despite what the article says, though the amendment passed in 1933, the next inauguration in which it took effect was in 1937 (1936 being the election year).

    p.p.s. this explanation is more entertaining.

    January 12, 2009

  • I think Rachel Maddow uses this phrase a lot (to describe what I wonder!). Only 10 days to go.

    January 11, 2009

  • Pop Omnivore: 'What an uncanny parallel to American history! Our president used to be inaugurated in March, too—until the 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933, changed the date. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to take office on January 20. The reason for the change? To cut back on the long period of lame duckery.'

    It might have been better hyphenated; I'm tempted to think a lame duckery ought to be a really unkempt duckpond.

    January 10, 2009