Biden Continues Tradition of Awkward, Botched Swearing Ins: ‘Spread Your Legs, You’re Gonna Be Frisked’

by Eliana Johnson

Following the swearing in of North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Biden instructed her husband, with his characteristic grin, “Spread your legs, you’re gonna be frisked.” Adopting what sounds like an accent, he also offered a family member of South Carolina senator Tim Scott some workout advice. 

It’s not the first time Biden has made an awkward joke at a swearing in. At the 2009 swearing in of senior White House staff members, Biden made fun of Chief Justice John Roberts, who had botched the oath of office when administering it to President Obama the previous day. “My memory’s not as good as Justice Roberts,” Biden said.
 
In 2010, he instructed incoming senator Mark Kirk to place his right hand on the Bible. The senator obliged, and raised his left. Senate tradition indicates the oath of office is taking by raising the right hand and placing the left hand on a Bible or sacred text. 

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