I thought the kerfuffle over Obama not wearing a flag pin was pretty dumb. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody on Obama’s campaign staff orchestrated the whole mess to make his opponents look petty.
Now John Ruberry just pointed out another flag flap for Obama. This time it’s a picture of him and several other people standing for the national anthem. He’s the only one who doesn’t have his hand on his heart.
Somehow, this one bothers me.
I know I don’t always remember to put my hand on my heart. I don’t go to many live sporting events, so I rarely hear the anthem played, and I sometimes forget that I’m supposed to be doing something until I notice everyone else doing it. But I’m pretty sure a Senator and presidential candidate hears it a lot more.
Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe he’s been hearing it five times a day, every day, for the last year, and this time he forgot to salute. Maybe he was doing something else when they started playing—carrying a brief case, shaking hands with people in the crowd—and he just didn’t go into “national anthem mode.” Maybe if you watch every candidate all day every day, they all do stuff like this.
(It’s not just a lucky shot by the photographer. There’s also a video of the event which shows him with his arms down for a while. I should point out, however, that if you listen to the singing on the video, you can’t entirely dismiss the possibility that he didn’t realize that was supposed to be the national anthem.)
I can understand why he wouldn’t wear a flag pin. Most people don’t wear them, so by wearing one he would be making a greater show of patriotism than most Americans, and some people are repelled by that. I know I tend to suspect that anyone who puts on an extravagent show of patriotism is faking it because they are trying to sell me something.
But there’s nothing extravagent about putting your hand on your chest. This is probably nothing…but I’d still like to hear his explanation.