Multipe pens used when presidents sign bills

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?

It’s so more than one person can have the “honor” of being given “the pen” used to sign the bill.

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.

Some unfortunate people will be getting a HUSSEIN pen :eek::p.

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

My thoughts, too. :slight_smile:

Ahh. Well then, yeah, it’d be doing certain letters in their name with each pen.

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.

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

I would think they practice just writing one letter at a time, that is not a normal way to sign your name.

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.


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.


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.

I immediately thought of MacArthur, signing the Japanese Instrument of Surrender at the end of WWII

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

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?

More proof that this is a partisan exercise, right?


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

As well as several other famous people, 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.

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.