The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings: Play against David Weigel in this special inauguration edition of our weekly news quiz.

Think You’re Smarter Than David Weigel? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Think You’re Smarter Than David Weigel? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Jan. 18 2013 3:30 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz—Special Inauguration Edition!

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

Welcome back to Slate’s weekly news quiz. I’m your host, 74-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings.

Every Friday I’ll be testing your knowledge with 12 challenging questions on the week’s news events, big and small, including happenings in science, sports, politics, and culture both high and low. The questions are multiple-choice, and time is of the essence: You have 30 seconds to answer, and as the seconds tick away, the question’s point value drops from 50 all the way down to zero, so you’ll want to click on your answer as fast as you possibly can. There’s no penalty for an incorrect answer, so feel free to take a guess if your puny human brain fails you.

At the end of the quiz, you’ll be able to compare your score with that of the average contestant, as well as to the score of a Slate staffer whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s quiz is a special inauguration edition, with trivia about the ups and downs of Obama’s first term. The contestant is Slate political reporter David Weigel.


Think you can ace my quiz and beat Weigel? Good luck!

With Barack Obama's second term as president beginning this weekend (at exactly high noon on Sunday, according to one of the more persnickety portions of the United States Constitution), we thought we'd take a look back in this special inauguration edition of the Slate Quiz. Can we remember 12 of the most memorable moments of President Obama's first term in office? Yes we can! (Maybe.)

Question 1 of 12

Four years ago, Obama was actually sworn in twice. What Inauguration Day gaffe led to a make-up oath of office being administered in the White House Map Room the following evening?

John Roberts asked the president to "execute [his office] faithfully"—not "faithfully execute" it, as the Constitution requires.

Question 2 of 12

The first bill signed into law by President Obama was named for Lilly Ledbetter and addressed what issue?

Ledbetter was a Goodyear employee whose discrimination suit was struck down by the courts in 2007.

Question 3 of 12

A dull 2009 CNBC interview with Obama on financial regulation took an unexpected turn when the president suddenly demonstrated what surprising skill?

Obama swatted at a fly on his left forearm, with lethal results. The next day, a miffed PETA sent the White House a trap that would provide a more "compassionate" housefly solution.

Question 4 of 12

Barack Obama is the first president to nominate two Supreme Court justices who were both what?

Obama's two first-term nominees were Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Question 5 of 12

Which first-term Obama accomplishment was punctuated by Vice President Biden helpfully noting "This is a big f--king deal" in front of a mic on live TV?

"Yes, Mr. Vice President, you're right ... " agreed press secretary Robert Gibbs on Twitter later that night.

Question 6 of 12

In 2011, the House of Representatives passed a series of resolutions questioning the president's authority to launch Operation Odyssey Dawn against what target?

Question 7 of 12

The Obamas' White House pet, a Portuguese water dog named Bo, was a gift from what other Beltway bigwig?

Question 8 of 12

In a May interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, Obama announced that he now believed in what, an issue on which he had long claimed his attitudes were "evolving"?

Question 9 of 12

In his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway, what did Obama list as the "most profound" objection to his controversial honor?

The speech was a lengthy meditation on how to eliminate conflict in a violent world.

Question 10 of 12

In 2012, the Obama administration rolled out historic new "CAFE standards," designed to raise what to an average of 54.5 by the year 2025?

Question 11 of 12

When Bin Laden's death was reported to the White House Situation Room, the SEAL team used what code name for the al-Qaida leader, which later led to some criticism on racial grounds?

Several Native American tribes and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee requested that the name be changed to avoid besmirching the memory of "the legendary Apache warrior."

Question 12 of 12

On its "We the People" website, the Obama administration responds to any citizen petition that earns 25,000 signatures. Which of these requests has not earned a White House response?

The White House removed the Pokémon petition from its website, claiming that it violated their terms of participation.

You got 8 out of 12 answers correct in 20 minutes 30 seconds.

Click to revisit answers

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January 18, 2013
The wrong Bible being used
The president switching hands mid-oath
The chief justice misplacing the word "faithfully"
The chief justice's eye-roll on the word "Hussein"
Children's health insurance
Stem-cell research
Hate crimes
Pay discrimination
Fluent Japanese
Sleight of hand with two coins
Ninja-like fly killing
The Bin Laden raid
Health care reform
The stimulus package
The release of Obama's birth certificate
Muammar Qaddafi's forces in Libya
Al-Qaida bases in Pakistan
Taliban forces in Afghanistan
Insurgents in Iraq
Washington Post VP Ben Bradlee
Late Sen. Ted Kennedy
Former Vice President Al Gore
White House gate-crasher Michaele Salahi
Gay marriage
Gun control
Marijuana legalization
He hadn't done anything yet
He leads a nation at war
He didn't need the money
"It totally should have been Bono"
The U.S. trade surplus, in billions of dollars
The percentage of U.S. energy usage from renewable sources
Average PSAT math scores
Car fuel efficiency, in miles per gallon
To let Texas secede
To deport Piers Morgan
To assign a Pokémon to each state
To build the Death Star


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David Weigel
Slate political reporter

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Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan