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John Mace
03-23-2010, 11:59 AM
So, I'm watching Obama sign the HCR bill. As usual, he's using a bunch of different pens to sign it. I always assumed that presidents signed their full names multiple times, but it looks like he's using each pen to make just a tiny mark on the paper, meaning that he signs only once, but with different pens used for different parts of his name. Is that right, and is that how it's done?

johnspartan
03-23-2010, 12:00 PM
It's so more than one person can have the "honor" of being given "the pen" used to sign the bill.

ElvisL1ves
03-23-2010, 12:01 PM
For the ones with sufficient manual dexterity (or, since he's a lefty, sinistrality), yes, that's the tradition. Dubya used 3 pens, one for George, one for W, one for Bush, then put them all back in the box and shuffled them around before handing out the whole bunch.

Henrichek
03-23-2010, 12:05 PM
Some unfortunate people will be getting a HUSSEIN pen :eek::p.

John Mace
03-23-2010, 12:05 PM
It's so more than one person can have the "honor" of being given "the pen" used to sign the bill.

Yes, I know that. I was asking about the mechanics.

John Mace
03-23-2010, 12:06 PM
Some unfortunate people will be getting a HUSSEIN pen :eek::p.

My thoughts, too. :)

johnspartan
03-23-2010, 12:24 PM
Ahh. Well then, yeah, it'd be doing certain letters in their name with each pen.

friedo
03-23-2010, 12:26 PM
I think it was Bill Clinton who started to this fairly often. He'd use a different pen for each letter of his name. I'm not sure if presidents before him always used a single pen or not.

Of course, presidents have to sign eleventy billion things a day; they only do they many-pens bit for the big-picture stuff.

John Mace
03-23-2010, 12:27 PM
I think it was Bill Clinton who started to this fairly often. He'd use a different pen for each letter of his name. I'm not sure if presidents before him always used a single pen or not.

The tradition goes back much further than that, especially for "landmark legislation".

Bijou Drains
03-23-2010, 12:30 PM
I would think they practice just writing one letter at a time, that is not a normal way to sign your name.

Gary Robson
03-23-2010, 12:37 PM
For the ones with sufficient manual dexterity (or, since he's a lefty, sinistrality), yes, that's the tradition.
It's still dexterity, whether he's a lefty or not. Sinistrality doesn't imply dexterity (or lack thereof) -- it's the antonym of dextrality, not dexterity.

elmwood
03-23-2010, 12:50 PM
How much did all those pens cost the U.S. taxpayer? All those pens are just driving up the national debt; they're more evidence of the wasteful tax-and-spend policies of the DEMONcrats. Also, Hitler and Stalin were lefties.

Bijou Drains
03-23-2010, 12:52 PM
In the past I read that the political parties pay for the pens so they cannot be accused of wasting tax money. So the Dems are now paying for the pens.

minor7flat5
03-23-2010, 01:27 PM
The tradition goes back much further than that, especially for "landmark legislation".I immediately thought of MacArthur, signing the Japanese Instrument of Surrender (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Instrument_of_Surrender#Surrender_ceremony) at the end of WWII
Afterwards, U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, also signed (9:08 a.m.).[1] As witnesses, U.S. Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV, who had surrendered the Philippines, and British Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, who had surrendered Singapore, received two of the six pens they used to sign the instrument. Another pen went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and one to his aide. All of the pens used by MacArthur were black, except the last which was plum colored and went to his wife.

running coach
03-23-2010, 01:34 PM
How much did all those pens cost the U.S. taxpayer? All those pens are just driving up the national debt; they're more evidence of the wasteful tax-and-spend policies of the DEMONcrats. Also, Hitler and Stalin were lefties.



The pens are where they store the red ink. If we get rid of pens, we could balance the budget.:D

Simplicio
03-23-2010, 01:38 PM
Yea, I'd always heard it was a different pen for each letter, not signing the bill multiple times for each pen.

Gotta be kinda tough to do without making your signiture look like it was scrawled by a six year-old. Maybe he signs in full in pencil, then traces over with the different pens?

Mr. Moto
03-23-2010, 01:45 PM
So the Dems are now paying for the pens.

More proof that this is a partisan exercise, right?

;)

John Mace
03-23-2010, 01:45 PM
Yea, I'd always heard it was a different pen for each letter, not signing the bill multiple times for each pen.

Gotta be kinda tough to do without making your signiture look like it was scrawled by a six year-old. Maybe he signs in full in pencil, then traces over with the different pens?

What!? Obama can't sign his name without a stencil to copy? I guess that goes along with the whole teleprompter thing... :)

Duckster
03-23-2010, 01:51 PM
How much did all those pens cost the U.S. taxpayer? All those pens are just driving up the national debt; they're more evidence of the wasteful tax-and-spend policies of the DEMONcrats. Also, Hitler and Stalin were lefties.



As well as several other famous people (http://www.indiana.edu/%7Eprimate/left.html), too.

Let's not forget that the brain hemispheres control the opposite sides of the body. So that means Lefties are the only people in their right minds.

Si Amigo
03-23-2010, 02:13 PM
Some unfortunate people will be getting a HUSSEIN pen :eek::p.

I'd take and be proud to have it because some of us are mature enough to still have respect for the office and not get hung up on making crude remarks about someones name. :smack: Save your name bashing for the pit please.

Mk VII
03-23-2010, 02:15 PM
At one time my late father's lawyer used to make a habit of showing people (and selling it to them) "the actual pen used to sign the surrender at Lüneburg Heath" (he had commanded the HQ defence company at Montgomery's headquarters). He had a whole bunch of them in his desk.

John Mace
03-23-2010, 03:12 PM
I'd take and be proud to have it because some of us are mature enough to still have respect for the office and not get hung up on making crude remarks about someones name. :smack: Save your name bashing for the pit please.

It was obviously a joke. Personally, I'd want to have one of the Hussein pens. Probably worth more on e-bay.

Colibri
03-23-2010, 03:37 PM
It's still dexterity, whether he's a lefty or not. Sinistrality doesn't imply dexterity (or lack thereof) -- it's the antonym of dextrality, not dexterity.


It is, however, gauche.;)

I'd take and be proud to have it because some of us are mature enough to still have respect for the office and not get hung up on making crude remarks about someones name. :smack: Save your name bashing for the pit please.

Based on the smilies, I'm sure the remark was meant as a joke.

Autolycus
03-23-2010, 04:21 PM
At first I thought the title said "multiple penis's on presidents," and I thought maybe Clinton was up to some new shenanigans.

Slithy Tove
03-23-2010, 05:39 PM
I immediately thought of MacArthur, signing the Japanese Instrument of Surrender (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Instrument_of_Surrender#Surrender_ceremony) at the end of WWII

So did I, but note that the Japanese had no intention of leaving souvenirs, ignoring the pens on the table and using their own, then re-pocketing them as if they expected them to be grabbed out of their hands. The keepsake pens were only used by MacArthur

video at 4:45 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcnH_kF1zXc&feature=related)

Simplicio
03-23-2010, 08:20 PM
Yea, I'd always heard it was a different pen for each letter, not signing the bill multiple times for each pen.

Here's the signature (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4458527284/in/set-72157623676571910/). Actually looks pretty good, considering, except for the mildly retarded look "O".

cuberdon
03-23-2010, 11:43 PM
So did I, but note that the Japanese had no intention of leaving souvenirs, ignoring the pens on the table and using their own, then re-pocketing them as if they expected them to be grabbed out of their hands. The keepsake pens were only used by MacArthur


I certainly agree that they probably were aware of what trophies the pens would be, and would prefer to not provide them. However it is also a very ingrained Japanese habit to be prepared for any circumstance (such as those uncouth Americans failing to provide them with pens, either through oversight or as a last minor indignity) and a big loss of face to be caught out. So whether or not they were aware of the first circumstance, they would definitely be aware of the second. /minor hijack

Cheshire Human
03-24-2010, 09:03 AM
Let's not forget that the brain hemispheres control the opposite sides of the body. So that means Lefties are the only people in their right minds.

I'm ambidextrous. That means I'm in my whole mind.:D

phreesh
03-24-2010, 03:17 PM
Why all the pens?
From Yahoo:

If one pen is mightier than the sword, then President Obama was armed to the hilt on Tuesday. The big cheese had 20 pens at his disposal. As viewers watched the president sign the bill, they couldn't help but notice that he kept switching writing instruments. What the heck for?


According to Reuters, President Obama used the different pens as a way to pay thanks to those allies who helped him push the law through. The various pens will be distributed as souvenirs, mainly to key legislators. Sure beats a keychain

J Cubed
03-24-2010, 03:23 PM
This video (http://vimeo.com/10410760) was just posted to Facebook today. Apparently it went from 20 to 22 pens at the last minute. And the current record seems to be 40 by Clinton.

Simplicio
03-24-2010, 03:29 PM
This video (http://vimeo.com/10410760) was just posted to Facebook today. Apparently it went from 20 to 22 pens at the last minute. And the current record seems to be 40 by Clinton.

So its not even one pen per letter. Given he didn't use his middle name, he's gotta split each letter up into two parts and do each with a seperate pen.

Poor guy, no stage of passing this Health Care thing has been easy. Even putting his name on it.

Rigamarole
03-24-2010, 03:31 PM
It's so more than one person can have the "honor" of being given "the pen" used to sign the bill.

Seriously? That sounds like something you would do with a kindergarten class.

Mk VII
03-24-2010, 06:06 PM
I can see the headline now:-

OBAMA: PEN IS
MIGHTER THAN
SWORD :p

SCSimmons
03-24-2010, 07:35 PM
So that means Lefties are the only people in their right minds.
[insane junior mod]No politics in GQ![/insane junior mod]
:p

Cliffy
03-24-2010, 10:11 PM
I always assumed that presidents signed their full names multiple times
Naw -- it's only the first signature that has legal effect, so if a pen is authentically used to sign legislation, it would have to be used on the first (and only) signature. After that, they'd just be autographs.

--Cliffy

kunilou
03-24-2010, 10:19 PM
Seriously? That sounds like something you would do with a kindergarten class.

Actually, it's pretty routine. When I worked at an advocacy group we had a hand in a number of pieces of legislation and would be invited to bill signings a couple times a year at the state capitol. The governor would sign each bill (usually one pen for each letter of his name) and the ceremonial pens would be distributed to the legislators and groups like ours.

The only difference is our governor usually signed all the legislation in big bunches, so it would be photo opportunity/sign the bill, then bring in the next group, photo opportunity/sign the bill, repeat as needed.

Rigamarole
03-24-2010, 10:37 PM
Actually, it's pretty routine. When I worked at an advocacy group we had a hand in a number of pieces of legislation and would be invited to bill signings a couple times a year at the state capitol. The governor would sign each bill (usually one pen for each letter of his name) and the ceremonial pens would be distributed to the legislators and groups like ours.

The only difference is our governor usually signed all the legislation in big bunches, so it would be photo opportunity/sign the bill, then bring in the next group, photo opportunity/sign the bill, repeat as needed.

Just because it's routine doesn't make it any less juvenile. I mean really, you want to have "the pen" so bad that you make the executive sign every letter of his name with a different one? Do they sell these things on eBay or what?

Little Nemo
03-24-2010, 10:38 PM
At first I thought the title said "multiple penis's on presidents," and I thought maybe Clinton was up to some new shenanigans.Or it was another James Buchanan thread.

kunilou
03-24-2010, 11:13 PM
Just because it's routine doesn't make it any less juvenile. I mean really, you want to have "the pen" so bad that you make the executive sign every letter of his name with a different one? Do they sell these things on eBay or what?

Actually, we put a copy of each bill and the pen in a nice frame and hung them on the walls of our office.

It's an advocacy group. Getting bills passed and signed into law is what it DOES. To you, it may be juvenile, but it's no more juvenile than having a photo of the chairman posing with the lieutenant governor (which we didn't like to do) or something lke that.

dtilque
03-25-2010, 04:08 AM
Who was the first president to use more than one pen? I remember news reports of Johnson doing it for some special legislation, I forget which one, but he probably did it for all important bills. I'd be surprised if he were the first.

dtilque
03-25-2010, 04:32 AM
And the current record seems to be 40 by Clinton.

According to this Time magazine article (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1974490,00.html) Johnson used more than 75 to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That may have been the one I remember hearing about as a kid. However, the same article says that the practice goes back at least as far as FDR (perhaps answering my question above.)

njtt
03-25-2010, 07:47 AM
Here's the signature (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4458527284/in/set-72157623676571910/). Actually looks pretty good, considering, except for the mildly retarded look "O".

Damn! No Hussein!