Last October an AP story included this:
"The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.Ok, I had no problem with that.
"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he said in the interview. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism."
But did you notice all those flags surrounding him Tuesday when he gave his speech in Philadelphia in which he didn’t answer the questions he needed to answer about his relationship with the anti-American and racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright?
I count eight of them; four on each side of the podium and in “camera view.”
WSJ’s James Taranto at Best of the Web noticed them and commented:
We didn't write about this back in October, because the whole kerfuffle was, at its root, silly. There are many ways of expressing patriotism, and if wearing a flag pin is not Obama's idiom, who cares? …When a national leader delivers a speech, I like to see an American flag displayed in the backdrop.
But in light of his October comment, what are we to make of his extravagant use of the Stars and Stripes on Tuesday?
If a flag pin on a lapel is "a substitute for true patriotism," is that not also true of eight flags on a stage as a backdrop to a political speech? Obama proclaimed himself too good for cheap symbolism, but resorted to it the first time he faced a real crisis. Is he really any different from the run-of-the-mill politician?
That said, I think flag display can be overdone by pols and others, as when at a national convention we see dozens in the backdrop as the nominee strides to the rostrum.
As for Obama’s use of eight flags Tuesday in Philadelphia, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the question of whether he was engaging in cheap symbolism.
Now what about Taranto’s question: “Is he really any different from the run-of-the-mill politician?”
I’m not ready to give my answer to it.
But I know that as a result of the Wright's sermon tapes breaking through the MSM "filter," millions of Americans are now asking that question.
Obama and his staff knew if he emerged as the Democratic presidential nominee, it was inevitable people would take a closer look at him and ask whether he was just another pol.
But in their worst scenarios did they ever envision people asking that question in the context of the Wright tapes?
They must know tonight that for all the MSM spinning ( Did you hear Chris Matthews effuse about “the greatest” speech “ever given” on race? ), Obama’s speech didn’t get them into a “post-Wright” world.
Here are the AP story and Taranto’s post.