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Senators' Tussle Over Pens Breaks Inauguration's Decorum


Finally, after today's inaugural activities, there was a brief tussle over a basic piece of technology: a pen. President Obama sat down at a desk to sign some official documents using an official-looking set of pens.


SIEGEL: He was flanked by leaders of the House and Senate.


And just as the president finished and got up to leave, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leaned in and grabbed a pen.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: No, no, no, Harry. Harry.

BLOCK: That's Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer scolding his majority leader. Reid put the pen back.

SIEGEL: As you may recall, pens that are used to sign major legislation are sometimes handed out as souvenirs, but this was not apparently one of those times.

BLOCK: Then the president stepped in.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I can get you one, man.


OBAMA: I'm going to get you - this is a nice one.

BLOCK: Obama reached inside his jacket pocket and handed a pen to Senator Reid, a little piece of history from Inauguration Day 2013. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.