03/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Introduction Inflation Grips Congress

What is it about things going haywire when John Roberts is around? But the Chief Justice, who mangled the inaugural oath, can't be blamed for Tuesday night's humorously awkward moment when President Barack Obama spoke out of turn before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced him for his first address to Congress.

Obama's slight flub was understandable. After all, he had already been introduced. Why not get started?

It really is an illogical tradition. The Speaker's introduction is actually a re-introduction. The President is first formally announced as he walks into the House chamber. When he gets to the podium -- and the cheers subside -- the Speaker provokes another ovation by telling everyone what they just heard: The President is here!

I mean, did they forget who he was in those few minutes since the first introduction? If so, who did they think they were cheering for?

Craig blogs daily at on CQ Politics. Follow me on Twitter.