Obama: “I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins”

posted at 1:10 pm on April 17, 2008 by Allahpundit

Back we go to this painfully stupid issue, one which His Holiness rightly describes as “manufactured” while neglecting to mention that he was the one who manufactured it. By his own admission, he deliberately stopped wearing the pin before the Iraq invasion in order to make a statement about “true patriotism” which could only be properly understood by (a) noticing that he wasn’t wearing it and (b) asking him why. He wanted to be questioned about it. Now, suddenly, people are putting it together with Wright and Bittergate and his gladhanding of Bill Ayers and wondering if there isn’t some other statement being unwittingly made, particularly since few other war opponents feel the burning need to divest themselves of flag symbolism. And so here’s the pivot, declaring this self-made landmine a “distraction” of a piece with every other uncomfortable issue Obama doesn’t want to talk about.

All the same, I don’t think as Geraghty and MKH do that he meant to lie here when he claimed, “I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins.” What he’s trying to do, I suspect, is clarify what he said last October about not wearing the pin lest it be taken as an endorsement of the war: If a vet gives him the pin at a vets-only rally, the Iraq cooties attached to the symbol are cleansed and he can put it on secure in the knowledge that in context it means nothing more than that he supports the troops (while hoping that their mission fails, natch). Convoluted enough for you? Tortured enough, as a semiotic exercise, to suit your tastes? Good. Blame Obama for thinking it’s important.

Update: If there’s any significance to the flag-pin idiocy, it has to do not with Obama’s patriotism but with his elitism. He’s just the type of self-important tool who’d stoop to a petty statement like this. Speaking out against the war isn’t enough; attending rallies or donating to anti-war groups is insufficient. The average war opponent may content himself with that, but if there’s one thing Barack Obama isn’t, it’s average, and don’t you forget it. Not for this intellectual the trappings of rote, tinny patriotism. Hey, Barry? Next time, why not wear a pin that reads, “Ask me about the pin I’m not wearing!”?


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I’m feeling bitter.

Mortis on April 17, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Either way, I don’t want my flag anywhere near Obama.

emailnuevo on April 17, 2008 at 1:13 PM

What he meant to say was, “Nobody has ever been more supportive of flag pins than I have.”

World B. Free on April 17, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Obama: “I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins”

Hmm…’that pin’ from “I’m not going to wear that pin” must be referring to some other pin than a flag pin, then.

A bowling pin, maybe?

James on April 17, 2008 at 1:15 PM

I think after last night, everyone is starting to realize what I have been saying for months, America is not going to elect this unaccomplished, unexceptional marxists that has never sacraficed for this country and has spent the last 21 years clapping and shouting hallelujah in chorus with his America Hating Minister while he screams “Hate Whitey.”.

ABC stunned me with their tough probing questions and they have earned the eternal hatred of the remainder of the MSM because they have driven a stake in the heart of this marxist ghoul and he has no chance of winning the general.

Nobama is done.

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 17, 2008 at 1:16 PM

It depends on what your definition of a “pin” is. Come on people!

HawaiiLwyr on April 17, 2008 at 1:17 PM

I’m feeling bitter.

Mortis on April 17, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Not me, Mortis. I’m clinging to a beer.

BacaDog on April 17, 2008 at 1:18 PM

I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins

He just doesn’t wear American flag pins.

amerpundit on April 17, 2008 at 1:18 PM

What he’s trying to do, I suspect, is clarify

Are writing his speeches these days?

dmann on April 17, 2008 at 1:19 PM

The flip-flopping on this issues is incredibly frustrating. So it’s a statement that’s not meant to be a statement which is only a statement when people ask about the statement…anyone else losing track of this?

brotherbell on April 17, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Ha, amerpundit. I wonder how many Che shirts and Soviet flags Obama has? And sadly, that’s a serious question.

Tis a sad state when you can legitimately wonder how much commie apparel a leading candidate for US president has.

Vanceone on April 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Wow. Stooping to Glacier’s level, Barry? That’s un-Messiah like of you.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 17, 2008 at 1:22 PM

What he’s trying to do, I suspect, is clarify

Are YOU writing his speeches these days?

More coffee, working until 05:00 has its costs…

dmann on April 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

“What I meant to say was…”

Obama’s new tag line?

pseudonominus on April 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

How dare you ask him about flag pins! He’s done more for flag pins than any candidate in history!

ReubenJCogburn on April 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Man I’m loving this. The left has absolutely nothing to show for it’s efforts over the last two years and Clinton and Obama are doing all of the heavy lifting for McCain. There’s still lots of work to do, and the Dems could still pull out a victory in November but the Dems themselves have done an excellent job of advancing the Republican agenda.

jasnell on April 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

I was for flag pins before I was against them…

right2bright on April 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Remember, he said “I won’t wear that pin on my chest.” Meaning the specific one in question that he wasn’t wearing at that given moment. He wears flag pins all right, but there’s a specific one he ones that’s a little too pokey and he thought he was being asked about that one.

OneGyT on April 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Ha, amerpundit. I wonder how many Che shirts and Soviet flags Obama has? And sadly, that’s a serious question.

Vanceone on April 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Answer: Don’t know. But with regard to his campaign staff (and others associated with him), I’m guessing A LOT!!! Start with Barry’s Houston office. I’m sure a lot of his brainwashed college student staffers have ‘em, too.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 17, 2008 at 1:24 PM

“I actually did say I wouldn’t wear a pin before I said I didn’t say that.”

amerpundit on April 17, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Awesome post, AP.

Ed Morrissey on April 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Putting those pins on is almost as complicated as operating a school flagpole.

RBMN on April 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

I’m feeling bitter.

Mortis on April 17, 2008 at 1:11 PM

.
.
.
That should be the first comment on every succeeding story on HotAir.
.
.

subbottomfeeder on April 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

He is wrong. Period.

The flag doesn’t represent the Iraq war, or the Bay of Pigs.
It isn’t just worn to show your support for ‘ladders’ to fairness. It is us. All of us. Red and Blue, black and white. It is Yorktown and the tsunami aid. Sure it has some rents and loose stitching. So does every man and woman I know. You don’t wear it for what you want it to represent, you wear it for was it does represent. Us.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Isn’t Big O the one that referred to this primary as the Silly Season? Well, yes it is, with himself as the People’s @ssclown.

leftnomore on April 17, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Awesome post, AP.

Ed Morrissey on April 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Hey Ed. Great job last night.

It’ll do you no good to brown-nose AP though. He couldn’t even swing an IPhone.

BacaDog on April 17, 2008 at 1:29 PM

I’ve read so many comments over the last year exclaiming Obama is done/toast/over/whatever, yet like Frankenstein’s monster, he continues to live.

Obama is the result of divesting loginal thinking skills form American schools and replacing it with teaching kids to feel good about themselves and to believe that truth is subjective.

This is who America wants. We are the minority. I can’t stand Obama, I want him to lose, but I am a realist. LOTS of brain dead Americans WANT him as their leader, and they are going to vote for him. They cannot see him for who he is. It’s going to be a tough fight…I hope for the sake of my grandchildren McCain wins.

Our generation (and our children) are still paying for Carter’s stupidity.

JustTruth101 on April 17, 2008 at 1:29 PM

typo – logical thinking skills

JustTruth101 on April 17, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Obama’s a pin head. Can’t the guy speak English? Does he have to say everything over 3x to make himself clear? To be honest, he’s getting a little tiresome now.

JiangxiDad on April 17, 2008 at 1:32 PM

how he got this far is amazing.

trailortrash on April 17, 2008 at 1:33 PM

I’m reminded of when, shortly after the Iraq war began, MTV profiled a young artist who said something like “The image of the American flag only reminds me of the military, and how we just invade other countries”.

I firmly believe that, to the liberal Left, that’s exactly what they see in the flag…imperial American military.

JetBoy on April 17, 2008 at 1:34 PM

trailortrash on April 17, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Hey trailortrash, great moniker. I know a few spam-sucking trailor trashees.

I noticed at your website, you’re from Richmond. Me too. South, North, East or West?

BacaDog on April 17, 2008 at 1:39 PM

He couldn’t even swing an IPhone.

BacaDog on April 17, 2008 at 1:29 PM

*snort*

Putting those pins on is almost as complicated as operating a school flagpole.

RBMN on April 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

LOL

Califemme on April 17, 2008 at 1:44 PM

What’s more telling is that after he wore the pin the other day, is that took it off and didn’t wear it again.

Wear the pin if for no other reason than as a tribute to the 3 million men and women that died defending it.

CUS on April 17, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Can we get the shot of Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House yelling “THIS IS JUST A DISTRACTION! ALL IS WELL!”

Chuck Schick on April 17, 2008 at 1:50 PM

If there’s any significance to the flag-pin idiocy, it has to do not with Obama’s patriotism but with his elitism.

Allahpundit: I don’t know how much more of your ‘racism’ I can take.

If this persists I will be forced to report you to the Council of Shipler for proper reeducation in the affirmation of modern progressive thought.

gabriel sutherland on April 17, 2008 at 1:56 PM

amerpundit on April 17, 2008 at 1:18 PM

I think we need a Venn diagram to get to the bottom of this.

WisCon on April 17, 2008 at 2:09 PM

In the words of the Obamanatrix, “Barack is special”

faraway on April 17, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Barack was on Jay Leno a few months ago and gave a half-ass explanation of why he does not wear a flag pin. He even confused the audience and the host. A man who is supposedly eloquent can’t even give a concise answer to a simple question. What a screwball.

jencab on April 17, 2008 at 2:14 PM

“Don’t piss on my neck and tell me it’s raining, pal.”

mojo on April 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Lots of patriotic Americans don’t wear flag pins and to me that’s not the issue. The thing is that he made a deliberate point to stop wearing one as a statement against “flag-waving” or whatever, because that seems hokie to him (being an elitist and all). It just doesn’t sit well with people. An American president should be unabashed and vocal in his love for this country and the flag, with no apologies or predicates.

CP on April 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM

I wear a flag pin on my PhotoID at work and I have one next to the McCain sticker on my SUV.

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 17, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Black racist AND hates American flag.

freevillage on April 17, 2008 at 2:26 PM

I don’t get all this tough on Obama stuff.

After this question, no one simply read his statement back to him like they did with McCain.

Instead Steponoctopus changed the subject.

Agrippa2k on April 17, 2008 at 2:26 PM

For somebody who made a point of NOT wearing a flag pin when he thought that invading Iraq was unpatriotic, he had lots of flags around him when he made his speech about the Wright stuff. Like his wife, he’s only proud of his country for his own political benefit.

In response to the poster who said that Obama is trying to “clarify”, that sounds a lot like a former President who repeated “let me make this perfectly clear”. Those of us who remember 1974 know what happened to him. If the politically-correct crowd doesn’t like Obama’s middle name, shall we try Barack Milhous Obama?

Steve Z on April 17, 2008 at 2:27 PM

while hoping that their mission fails, natch

He might be hoping they succeed enough that he can get the troops out without a collapse shortly after Jan 2009. If they fail, they would do so on his watch and it would make things politically difficult for him.

dedalus on April 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Furthermore. All someone has to do is search “Obama flag pin” on YouTube to see what he said.

“I WONT WEAR THAT PIN ON MY CHEST…”

Agrippa2k on April 17, 2008 at 2:33 PM

In the debate he uses the “never” word again.

“I HAVE NEVER SAID I DON’T WEAR FLAG PINS, OR REFUSE TO WEAR FLAG PINS…”

Agrippa2k on April 17, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Hey, Barry? Next time, why not wear a pin that reads, “Ask me about the pin I’m not wearing!”?

Perfect.

Buy Danish on April 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM

To Obama, American flags are a political prop, to be used or discarded as the tactical situation requires.

Cicero43 on April 17, 2008 at 2:41 PM

He just doesn’t wear American flag pins.

amerpundit on April 17, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Ding!

baldilocks on April 17, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 1:28 PM

I agree with your points. The flag should be worn with humility and reverence and not used as part of campaigns where citizens market their position as more “American” than their opponents.

dedalus on April 17, 2008 at 2:46 PM

Depends on which flag. He has his Che flag jammies and his Che flag sippy cup.

Hening on April 17, 2008 at 2:56 PM

If I forget to bring my wife flowers on her birthday, she would wonder if I love her, even though I have helped her raise a family for over 30 years, and I could argue that flowers are pretty trivial compared to that.

If after making that argument, I suddenly started bringing her flowers for no apparent reason, she would wonder what I was up to.

All in all, such erratic and inconsistent behavior would cast my basic sincerity and intentions into doubt.

Get it, O-man? Flowers, Flags… symbols that are in themselves trivial, unless you are in a situation where they shouldn’t be, like a husband or a candidate for President.

Maybe you should quit trying to make statements with the flag, and use it for some of that inclusiveness you are so famous for (talking about), instead of as a tool to teach everyone else a lesson.

drunyan8315 on April 17, 2008 at 2:59 PM

“Don’t piss on my neck and tell me it’s raining, pal.”
mojo on April 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Ok, what should I tell you while I’m pissing on your neck?

Akzed on April 17, 2008 at 3:19 PM

This is the guy that the leftists want going up against world leaders?

Well I guess he is. Maybe he could do more damage to the USA than Carter did.

jukin on April 17, 2008 at 3:19 PM

It all depends what your definition of “wear” is – whoops – Clenis moment.

PJ Emeritus on April 17, 2008 at 3:46 PM

So sick of this guy.. :{

Chakra Hammer on April 17, 2008 at 3:57 PM

It most be incredibly frustrating for leftists in this day and time when the cameras and recorders are everywhere and they can no longer keep their marxist aspirations “just between friends.”

In the good old days it was so much easier to pander to each group as you saw them without the “other” groups hearing about it.

EJDolbow on April 17, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Give the guy a break. He had to show his elitism by branding anyone who chose to wear a flag pin as a false patriot. I don’t care if he wears a pin or not but I do resent his implying that anyone who does choose to is failing to meet his high moral standards. Then he shows he lacks the courage of his convictions.

TooTall on April 17, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Obama is a liar! Look here

lookhearsee on April 17, 2008 at 4:25 PM

While the flag pin is an amusing moment in the debate. What stuck me was Clinton’s almost acceptable answer about Iraq (for a Dem/Lib). She almost praised the Military (almost).

Her point (poorly stated) was that given a new mission, that the military would execute and succeed. That Bush has left the mission open ended (which is true). That the Iraqis are dragging their feet. She won some votes with that.

Her plain statement that an attack on Israel would “incur a MASSIVE retaliation from the US” was unexpected, after Obama’s labored answer to a plain question.

What tickles me of course is that these kinds of statement don’t extend to the Palestinians or anyone else. Obviously another bit of pandering. These Dems crack me up.

Agrippa2k on April 17, 2008 at 4:36 PM

The average war opponent may content himself with that, but if there’s one thing Barack Obama isn’t, it’s average, and don’t you forget it. Not for this intellectual the trappings of rote, tinny patriotism.

But he’s going to provide the average Joe/Mary with Hope, Unity and Change. Nevah!

Hey, Barry? Next time, why not wear a pin that reads, “Ask me about the pin I’m not wearing (even though “I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins!”)?

Entelechy on April 17, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Obama for County Coroner. Let the dead service the dead.

Griz on April 17, 2008 at 5:34 PM

What Obama Really Meant

Now thats a moniker.

Corsair on April 17, 2008 at 5:48 PM

He just does not know which pin to where when. Might as well just wear a “Vote for ME” button.

MSGTAS on April 18, 2008 at 10:18 AM