Barack Obama is striking back against an Internet meme that claims that he wasn’t holding his hand to his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Obama claims that the “dirty trick” is inaccurate because he was actually standing there during the National Anthem.
There’s a rather large problem with that argument, as the U.S. Flag Code, 32 U.S.C. § 601 says that you should have your hand over your heart during the National Anthem. Yes, there is a statute for this. The U.S. Code is full of little gems like that.
So, in defending himself, Obama’s just dug himself a little deeper. Granted, it’s a completely superficial and somewhat silly issue, but it is one that displays why Obama’s such a poor candidate. For one, when everyone else on stage is holding their hand over their heart, you put your hand on your heart. Secondly, before firing back on an issue like this, you should probably at least have someone make sure that your response is correct. Finally, Americans are a patriotic people. If you want to be President, you’d damn well better know the right etiquette.
In politics, image counts for a lot, perhaps sometimes even more than substance. When you go around talking about how you don’t want to wear a flag pin and you demonstrate a rather bone-headed ignorance of basic etiquette, it doesn’t help your cause. It makes it worse when you’re so defensive about it.
Barack Obama is a great rhetorician and he has a great life story. He’s also a lousy campaigner who’s never had to deal with the stresses of running for national office. It shows. Had he waited until 2012 or 2016 he’d still be young and he could have gotten some additional campaign experience under his belt. By running now, he’s only tarnishing his brand in the future. A politician who doesn’t know that when you’re in a rut the last thing you should do is keep digging is not the sort of politician who can make it through a grueling presidential campaign.