Is He Really Not Doing What We Think He's Not Doing?
Date Added: Nov. 10, 2007
If a picture does indeed "paint a thousand words," how many more does an e-mail chain letter add? A well-timed photograph can tell virtually any story you want it to, so what is the story behind this one? Is it truly evidence of a presidential candidate's disregard for tradition and protocol?
had heard about this but a picture is definitely worth 1000 words! God save us!!!
Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem.
Barack Hussein Obama REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE PLEDGE.....how can a man like this expect to be our next Commander-in-Chief?
This is not the first time that a breach of patriotic etiquette has been used in an attempt to sully someone's political prestige. In 2003, a photo purportedly showing then-house majority leader Tom Daschle saluting the flag with his left hand during the pledge was passed around like the proverbial hot potato. In that case, the photo was a fabrication, but what's the real story here?
The photo above is real. It was taken at an event in Indianola, Iowa, that was attended by six democratic candidates (not pictured are Senators Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and John Edwards. The woman on the far right of the image above is Ruth Harkin, wife of Senator Tom Harkin, who hosted the event. The picture was published in a September, 2007, issue of Time magazine.
Lest you believe that the image captures only a brief moment in time, perhaps just before Senator Obama made his salute or right after he broke it, ABC News footage (included at the Snopes.com link below) of the event proves that he did not salute at all during the National Anthem (which is when the picture above was taken).
U.S. Flag code does suggest (using the word "should," not "must") that all present during a rendition of the national anthem - excepting only those in military uniform - salute the flag by placing their right hands over their chest. Presuming the others on stage are saluting an unseen (to us) flag off-stage, Senator Obama does appear to be in breach of this protocol.
An Obama campaign spokesman interviewed by Inside Edition defended the senator's actions by saying "sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't" and claiming that this in no way implies a statment. His campaign also provided evindence of several instances in which he was captured properly saluting during the National Anthem (those photos can be viewed at the MediaMatters.org link below.
The chain letter's second assertion that Obama that he not only fails to salute during the pledge, but also refuses to do so is completely unsupported. Again, the photo above was taken during the National Anthem, not the Pledge of Allegiance, and I have not found any other accounts that substantiate the claim. It could be that the author simply got the pledge and anthem confused, but it's also likely that this addendum was intended to further fan the flames of outrage (probably added by the same person who felt compelled to point out that "Hussein" is indeed the candidate's real middle name. Break this chain.
References: Snopes.com, About.com, TruthOrFiction.com, MediaMatters.org