Don’t tell Barack Obama he’s not patriotic.

February 25, 2008

LORAIN, Ohio – Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama shot down suggestions at a news conference on Sunday that the Republican Party could paint him as deficient in the area of patriotism – a sensitive charge in the United States.
The “evidence”: his wife Michelle made controversial remarks about her pride in the country, he did not wear an American flag pin on his lapel, and he had not put his hand over his heart while singing the national anthem.
How would he respond to these charges?
“The way I will respond to it is with the truth-that I owe everything I am to this country,” he said. 
He took each example one by one.
Regarding the pledge:
“The notion that I am disqualified because at one event I was singing the national anthem, but failed to put my hand over my heart while I was singing.  If that were the case that would disqualify about three quarters of the people who have ever gone to a football game or a baseball game.”
Regarding Michelle:
“My wife’s comment-I think she already clarified herself.  She was very clear about it.  She simply misspoke because what she was referring to was the first time she had been proud of politics in America and that is true for a lot of folks who have been cynical and disenchanted. ”
Then he got to the pin – and let loose.
“As far as the American flag pin, I mean, when we start getting into those definitions of patriotism, that’s a debate I am happy to have, because what I will come right back to them is: a party that resided over a war which our troops did not get the body armor they needed or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning or not fulfilling the veterans benefits that these troops need when they come home or undermining our constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary.  That is a debate I am very happy to have.” 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (Sen. Barack Obama is given a tour at the National Gypsum plant in Lorain, Ohio, Feb. 24) 


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It’s gotten to the point where the opposition is just hopelessly scratching around in the dirt looking for something. This issue about patriotism is just ridiculous.
As Obama has lamented, he’s done a remarkable job of building consensus and rekindling interest in politics, not only in the US but globally. By stepping up to fill this vacuum left by the pitiful Bush admin, deserves respect. Let’s focus on the issues. Not the character assaults.

Posted by Patapooch | Report as abusive

This empty suit has got to go.

Posted by bubba | Report as abusive

Hey Bubba,

Do you even have a suit?

Posted by WaterMan | Report as abusive

Obama’s explanations on his lack of committment to Anmerican ideas and ideals rings EMPTY to me.
It sounds like another elite person’s excuse for requiring less well educated citizens to risk life and limb to protect the elite’s right to spew whatever words they choose. “It all depends what “is” is.”

Posted by Rich Vereb | Report as abusive

Patriotism is what it is.. and if a man that wants to be President can forget to put his hand over his heart…. well, what else can he forget? Does he remember not voting for well over half in the senate….

Posted by Jimmy | Report as abusive

“….suggestions at a news conference on Sunday that the Republican Party could paint him as deficient in the area of patriotism ..”
People, this is a (sic)news reporter trying to throw some blood on the water. Chill!
Don’t you think this the reaction hoped for – start a row and stand back – just like the schoolyard chickens who goaded others into a fight?
Come on. The Republicans had nothing in it.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

barack is more patriotic than mcpain & co

Posted by nagaraj | Report as abusive

Hillary is the sure bet at a time when America seriously needs one. Voting for and therefore gambling on unproven Obama “the talker” right now is a very stupid thing to be doing.

Hillary All the Way!!!!

Posted by Hillary All the Way!!!! | Report as abusive

Half the people at a ballgame are not putting themselves forward as President of the United States. Grow up Obama. And do it on your own time.

Posted by Catherine | Report as abusive

The fact is that he is not patriotic. He has not built a consensus at all, it is a pipe dream. Has he crossed the aisle to gain any bipartisan legislation? Will the Republicans just fall in line with his wishes and fall under his spell like so many have from the Democratic Party? I doubt it. In fact, what he has accomplished is to split the Democratic Party. Many, like myself who support Hillary Clinton, will cross over to the Republicans in the general election come November. I am so against him that I will campaign for McCain in the general.

Posted by Speedy | Report as abusive

1. He sounds more patriotic than me because i never put my hand over my heart or sing.

2. Yeah cause ya know I paid my bills with who wears pins and puts hand over hearts….gimme a break.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Nice subtle dig with the phrase “Regarding the pledge:”.

Your own article says it was the national anthem NOT the pledge of allegiance, but there you are, in this article perpetuating the lie.

I will hope that it was a typo, not that you’re intentionally promoting falsehoods.

Posted by jds | Report as abusive

@bubba: not to worry, Bush will be out of office in a just a few short months.

Posted by Man | Report as abusive

This article may be a bit silly BUT there is a question about Senator Obama’s allegiance.

Michelle insulted America.
Barack insulted the military.

I never heard Michelle say she loves America. I never heard Barack say he loves America.

If you are running for the job of President of the United States of America / Commander in Chief…WE need to be sure that your priorities, your words, and your actions are clearly US-centric.

Posted by Jackson | Report as abusive

I agree with Bubba in that the empty suit, George W. Bush, has got to go.

Obama is a true leader with the substance and passion necessary to bring America out of the slime pit in which the W misadministration has placed it.

Posted by Larry-T | Report as abusive

What worries me is not Obama, he’s a good guy. What worries me is I’m a firm believer that no matter what the primaries say, the people pulling the strings want another Clinton in the whitehouse. You know, someone with enough skeletons in the closet so as to make sure they do what the lobbyiests want them to. I’m sure in some dramatic BS publicity stunt Clinton will have a “come from behind victory”, or worse yet, she becomes VP and gets all the power Darth Vad….err Cheney set up.

Posted by Geenormus | Report as abusive

I need clarification on the phrase so often used towards Obama “empty suit.” What are people suggesting when they use this phrase? It is my observation that one person makes an egregious remark and it catches on, meaning others begin to use it without having reason or substance to back up the “lame” comment.

Posted by veejay | Report as abusive

…lapel pins. really? While you cut veteran’s benefits, you cut taxes to the wealthy during wartime, you ask nothing of your lazy constituents, while the poor go to die in the sand for your oil? Is that your version of patriotism? You can keep it!

Its the issues stupid, not the sound bite trappings and jingoistic bumper sticker BS that is going to free us from this pit we have been thrown into.

Posted by Beherenow | Report as abusive

Folks when are we going to realize that we have NO candidate on either side that should run our country. Sad this is the best we have to offer on either side? I mean Hillary, what a joke, how she got this far only lends itself to the stupidity of the higher ups in the Democratic Party. Obama, he stands for what, not to mention he voted not once but twice in the Illinois Senate against banning late term abortions. He is a scumbag. McCain, gimmie a break, what will change with him? This is a sad time for the Oval Office and all Americans. We need a “do over” in both parties and a search for fresh qualified candidates.

Posted by Mikel | Report as abusive

“….suggestions at a news conference on Sunday that the Republican Party could paint him as deficient in the area of patriotism ..”
People, this is a (sic)news reporter trying to throw some blood on the water. Chill!
Don’t you think this the reaction hoped for – start a row and stand back – just like the schoolyard chickens who goaded others into a fight?
Come on. The Republicans had nothing in it. It was a reporter throwing it on the wall to see what sticks.

Posted by Steve Cashman | Report as abusive

It’s a shame that in every election we have to pinpoint the flaws in every candidate and badmouth anyone who isn’t the one person we support. Why can’t each candidate be esteemed for their good qualities? Why is election based on the least amount of negativity instead of the largest amount of positivity?

I think Obama handled his rebuttal very well. He’s just as Patriotic as any other American.

Posted by Adam | Report as abusive

Just another chink in his armor. This has been a bad week for him with his wife’s statement and thesis, the picture of him in Somali muslim garb, Louis Farakhan’s endorsement, Ralph Nader entering the race, his deceptive flyers and now the Clinton attack machine is in full gear. Now, if only John McCain would start publicizing how much money all of the entitlements Barack has promised would cause the American taxpayer we could finally see how he handles attacks from every angle.

Posted by Lloyd Hansen | Report as abusive

The Clinton campaign team knows that she is about the loose the Democratic nomination, and have decided to resort to the dirtiest campaign tricks ever invented.

Looks like Mark Penn and the corporate interests he represents will do anything to get their minion into the Oval Office.

Posted by Garen | Report as abusive

Sen. Obama needs to give us a quick and thorough explanation regarding his endorsement by Louis Farrakhan. Minister Farrakhan tells us Barack Obama is our savior. Go to the Associated Press for this story. Also, check out for Barack Obama’s meeting in his early adult career with “former Weathermen” at a political get together. It was his intro into Chicago “liberal” politics. Obama said the weathermen were in their heyday when he was about 8 years old. True enough, but that does not explain the talk he gave in their house when he was a bit more grown up. Sen. Obama’s “I was only 8 years old” explanation is not enough to distance himself from people who have said openly that they regret not having made more bombs. If he cut his political teeth with this crowd, it’s not good. Finally, I have been annoyed for decades that the Republicans co-opted the flag as a sign of their patriotism. I believe it’s important for all Democrats to wear the flag pin, and more important, not to refer to it as “that flag.” It’s “our” flag, Senator and time the Democratic Party took its share of this important symbol. Making the flag pin stand for support of the war is diminishing our flag. And, let us remember, Sen. Obama has voted all along to continue funding the war. He and others who have said all along they want to stop the war could have voted to withhold funding. This war is about as long in duration at WWII. Sen. Obama has had plenty of opportunity to vote against continued funding. His old song of “I didn’t cast the first vote in the affirmative” is wearing thin and only works to give him tag lines for his ads. He has voted continuously to fund this war.

Posted by Mandelay | Report as abusive

Unpatriotic?? This story is a wash. How can these ‘instances’ possibly equate to Obama being unpatriotic?? These rabid neocons need to work a little harder. This really is “silly-season”.

Posted by UNpatriotic?? | Report as abusive

Obama never speaks the truth, but always sidesteps it. He points his finger at others for an explanation, but never at himself. He is a snake charmer. He is not a citizen of America, no birth certificate. His father was bigamist and married to another woman in Africa, with two children and the time he supposedly married Obaman’s mother; who disdain marriage, didn’t believe in God and a feminist. The Constitution requires that the President be a natural born citizen. Obama is not. He is a citizen of Kenya. This is a well organized invasion of our Country, by a foreign national, trying to take over. The plain reason why Obama, does not cross his heart during the National Anthem and won’t wear a flag lapel, is he is a secret Muslim and doesn’t believe in America. Check it out. Obama is the next
Benedict Arnold. He says he owes everything he has, to this Country. But not his allegiance.

Posted by dr burke | Report as abusive

Political attacks on someones “Patriotism” is one of the cheapest form of attacks.
Character attacks are an attempt to assassinate a person thru innuendo’s that force a person to defend an non point and often is impossible to do so.
We have had presidents with all sorts of character flaws, politicians who have been thrown out of office for maleficence and just plain criminal actions.
THE POINT IS> Can Hillary or Obama do what is best for the country. Not please everyone but right the ship of state, get the economy back on track and keep us safe first…..then the rest of the world.
We are bleeding blood, money and respect all over the world…
The questions are :
What specific steps will give us a large enough standing army and technology to be a deterent to those who do not care to listen to reason. You cannot reason with a terrorist!
Next the dollar and the USA economy but be addressed…what specific measures can be quickly implimented to right this problem. Real steps not just wait and see.
The USA is becoming or has lost the middle class, the “average american”. the blue collar worker, who works plays and spends time with his /her family, The average american “joe” who spends money because he knows he can earn more and keeps our econonmy afloat.
Health care has to be available to all, at least legal citizens, we have lost sight of the value of human life…
Money has become our GOD…. how can we complain about health care when Maine can buy medicine for their citizens at a price that the rest of the country cant…and its from the same companies,
The new golden rule is the man with the gold rules.
Who owns America…. we are selling our assets o foreign countries,
Have we not learned from history that we too will disappear this way.
Is GOD alive?. Since when does the tail wag the dog?
After 9/11 we had bumper stickers saying “GOD BLESS AMERICA”…
Why should He,,, If God condemned Soddom and Gemorroah for liciviousness, and destroyed them, why should He not let America disappear.
Hillary, Obama…. these are just a few issues that need to be addressed, in you speeches about what you will do as President, and how you “hope to accomplish’ these things.
You dont have all the inside info you will as president, but you can tell us HOW you plan to accomplish these needs.

Posted by Lou Dubin | Report as abusive

How refreshing! An intelligent response to a stupid question.

Posted by Cleareye | Report as abusive

Obama seems to forget that he’s not an Average Joe attending a baseball or football game; he’s possibly going to be the Commander in Chief of the most important country in the world, and his duties include upholding a patriotic vision of this country.

Posted by Alexander B. | Report as abusive

“Empty suit.” What a lazy cheap shot. The reason I say lazy is because we both know you haven’t bothered to read any of his books or even read his policies on his website.

It’s people like you, bubba, who are responsible for the toxic gridlock that is Washington and are comfortable with the White House being occupied by just two families: the Bushes and the Clintons!

Talk about being an empty suit!

Posted by Mike Hunt | Report as abusive

Any female democrat obama supporter should be ashamed of themselves. In 32 years when you look back and no other woman has made an attempt to run for president, you women who have supported obama can thank yourselves for pushing the women’s movement back at least 50 years or so. There is no other woman in sight that is willing or will be willing to run for this office – in 4, in 8 , in 12 and so on years. This is the only time for woman to stand together and support Hillary and All other women. Senator Clinton is a very smart and strong woman and is the best option for president for right now. She has weather the good the bad and the ugly and she is still here fighting for the less fortunate. She is a woman to be admired. She been unfairly treated in this primary. No other nman has been treated in this fashion. Her clothes has been criticized, her emotions – if she shows any she is considered weak, if she doesn’t she is said to be too much like a man, blah, blah, blah. Cut me a break. She is a great woman and I think some of you mon out there are just jealous of her. Woman unite and support Hillary.

Posted by 4hillary | Report as abusive


Posted by tx3975 | Report as abusive

Proud to be an American

-After the citizens of New Orleans were essentially ignored by our government?

-After Abu Gharib photos were shown across the world?

-After soldiers returning from Iraq are forced to deal with sub-standard medical care at Walter Reed?

-After soldiers in Afghanistan are short-change equipment that protects their lives?

-After Karl Rove/Dick Cheney/G.W Bush- Outted Valerie Plame?

-After Bush & Co. used the media and terror alerts to keep us in a state of fear?

-After months of waiting Bush STILL refused to meet with Cindy Sheehan?

-After families of soldiers serving multiple tours of Duty in Iraq are DEPORTED?



(Edwards, Biden, Richardson- need to endorse Obama! And a prosecutorial team needs to be assembled to bring charges of war crimes against BUSH/CHENEY and the rest of their cronies)

Posted by Ghost NYC | Report as abusive

If all “patriotism” boils down to is whether you put your hand over your heart or wear a flag pin on your lapel, what kind of patriotism is that? Just how important are those symbols? What real meaning do they have?
I would suggest that patriotism is much more about what’s in your heart. The questions we should be asking are “Does this man or woman have the best interests of working class Americans at heart?” Will this person lead us in a way that reflects the best of what is good about America (not a bunch of jingoistic rhetoric and muscle-flexing)?”
Can this person help restore the kind of equality of opportunity the founding fathers sought to create – for everyone, not just upper-class white men?”
I personally don’t give two-cents about whether or not someone wears a flag pin on his or her lapel. If patriotism has been reduced to arguing over the kind of accessories we wear, what’s the point? What does that have to do with patriotism?
I’d suggest that this “issue” is just another distraction intended us from asking real, meaningful questions.

Posted by Henry Snow | Report as abusive

Seriously? A flag pin and hand over your heart are definitions of patriotism??? Mr Bush wore all the patriotic trinkets there were and ran this country into the ground. The people screaming “you are not patriotic enough” dumped this country into a recession, shipped our jobs over seas and smeared America’s crediblility to the whole world. Is that what patriotism is? If you really think a flag pin is that important in an election it is time to put on your big-boy pants. It’s time for a president who cares about our country.

Posted by Ryan | Report as abusive

At least the Clintons or the Bushes have a somewhat track record of patriotism. With Obama, how do we not know that his isn’t a patriot, or better yet, even telling the truth? Anyone can say anything and most people will believe them. I for one will not believe Obama, and certainly will not believe a so-called Muslim. And if he isn’t a Muslim, or not a “citizen” of this country, then he shouldn’t even waste our time.

Posted by kriss | Report as abusive

Hey Patapooch…

You are right –let’s focus on issues;
And the issue is that a lot of people seem to forget or disregard the more important element of this election…. CHARACTER!!!
Character should be the main issue…. For becoming president is all about CHARACTER…
America must have lost its memory…
Character – no empty suit with any substance and full of wind…

I am a man…AND I AM PROUD OF AMERICA… and I say it is time for a woman to take the lead of the nation…. And break this macho spirit of self righteousness….
The countries in Europe who voted for character when time came for a true choice …. Voted for a woman who was the one with character…. And they were successful…
An Example…????
Germany for one… Who would have thought of that just 30 years ago?
Vote Hilary, she has the character of the two choices we are presented with…
Thanks but no… this OBAMA does not have the character for the job….
Corporations do the same mistake when they hire the good looking – well spoken guy with right resume but disregard the true element…… Character…

This is not a risk to take — it is a mistake to make…..

Your choice…

Posted by Lets Put the Record Straight | Report as abusive

Remember Vietnam and how all those boys and girls that were able to actually return to what they thought was their home? Remember how the American public crapped all over them? People that live in glass houses should NEVER throw stones. It seems it is past time that some people pull their head from the place that the sun never shines, and the media is only in it for the money…REAL JOURNALISM is a thing of the past.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Obama has said his grandfather (a WWII soldier) had taught him to put his hand on his heart for the Pledge-of-Allegience but to sing for the National Anthem.

In 2002, some folks would fly flags on their trucks and cars, wear pins, hand flags out front to show their support for the war. While these are normal symbols of genuinely felt patriotism it is dangerous to turn them in to tests of one’s patriotism. The Bush Administration used the shared grief from 9/11 to obligate the country in to a pre-emptive war with another country.

In the decade prior to WWII, the German people were coaxed in to an unjust aggression using many words and symbols including arm bands, the reverse swastika and ofcourse a lot of flag waving in different forms. An entire people became afraid to express dissent in any form – which lead to their tacit support for the worst attrocities.

History shows that the best way to express patriotism is through tangible acts, not symbols.

Posted by Young Atheart | Report as abusive

So a dressed up neocon who wears 20 american pins and puts his hand to his heart while ignoring the needs of vets, cutting childrens education funds, cutting healthcare funds, sending troops out underprepared and holding shady connections to oil corporations, this is the image of “patriotic” we are supposed to swallow? What a pathetic bunch.

Posted by mike101 | Report as abusive

Whenever I interview someone for a position in my company, I always give faith a dash of salt and rely on what they’ve done in the past-for whatever they have done, they will do again!

Before i ever saw this story about Obama not being patriotic, I made the same comment to myself: If you can’t show the world your conviction by just a holding your hand on your heart, well then smooth-talker, what else will you not do, or forget to do?

Posted by kriss | Report as abusive

Patriotism – “the last refuge of scoundrels”.

Its unbelievable how the Republicans can pretend to be patriots as they drive the country over a cliff.

My family has been in America since the 1600’s, fought in every war since the Revolution. There are medals and folded flags galore collecting dust in our house. I am voting for Obama.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Where were all these lapel pin wearing patriots before the war? That and the yellow ribbon. Pisses me off worse than anything is someone talking patriotism NOW and not walking patriotism before the iraq war, before 911, before the Kobar Towers, before the Cole.

I don’t wear a lapel pin am I unpatriotic? Get a grip folks.

Posted by hella_good | Report as abusive

By the way — I doubt that it is really the Clinton camp who leaked it….
Don’t you remember “the whack the dog” theory….
I am incline to believe that in fact it could really be the Obama camp who put the picture in front… to play the VICTIM card to rally the troops — the race card worked for them in the pass – they try again….

I truly believe it is – The Obama camp – who is truly desperate here.

Posted by Lets Put the Record Straight | Report as abusive

Actually if you know anything about flag protocol, wearing one on your body is considered demeaning to the flag, not respectful.

Posted by AVS | Report as abusive

While I agree Obama has shown clearly that he is patriotic in words and deeds, rather than symbols, I would have liked a better reason as well. I am still going to vote for him, because I truly believe he can bring about a different, and more positive atmosphere in Washington. All the same, I would have liked to see a better explanation. However, if that’s the truth, I would rather that than anything else.

Posted by Young Voter | Report as abusive

I always thought you were supposed to cover your heart during the pledge of allegiance. I never knew this was to be done during the national anthem… The fact that we judge how patriotic someone is by the pin they wear or whether or not they cover their heart during the national anthem is truly sad. This is the same old Washington BS that needs to go. Its time for change… Go Obama!!

Posted by Hoef4 | Report as abusive

At this point the Clinton campaign realizes they have few other options– Obama is closing in on Clinton in both Texas and Ohio, and if they lose either, the pressure on Clinton to withdraw will increase exponentially.

The sad thing is that Senator Clinton clearly does not recognize the damage that this style of campaigning will do to the Democratic Party, or to her reputation in the party. Hopefully the voters on March 4th will make all this moot, and clearly signal their intentions– and not for the candidate who’s inclined to sling muck when they’re behind or down in the polls.

Posted by Politics as usual | Report as abusive

“Any female democrat Obama supporter should be ashamed of themselves. In 32 years when you look back and no other woman has made an attempt to run for president, you women who have supported Obama can thank yourselves for pushing the women’s movement back at least 50 years or so.”

This is absolutely ridiculous. I am a feminist as much as the next girl, but it is not a reason to vote for someone. We need to keep the interests of the country at heart, rather than help keep it divided.

Posted by A Woman | Report as abusive

Obama should not concern himself about his opponents attacking his character, he’s doing a good enough job of that on his own. Dragging his wife by the hand in public like some rag doll and not allowing Mrs Clinton to make her concession speech first in Wisconson come to mind first and I assume there are other examples. That, to me, shows total disrespect for women. Making a public spectacle of blowing your nose at a seperate rally. That shows total disrespect for the American public. Obama you MAY have a college education but you certainly lack the intelligence and common sence to be the leader of this or any other major country.
You say your campaign finances are coming from the public but I understand that a sizable amount may also be coming from a certain national television talk show hostess. If you are not aware, or have not been made aware, this woman is also a registered corporation and, as such, is limited on the amount of money she can contribute to an individual candidate.
It has also been brought to the attention of the American public that, when asked, you could not even name the congressman from your home district in Illinois. With lack of knowledge like that I believe you should not even be in politics.
What I would like to do is give you a face to face, nationally televised, job interview since I may be one of your future 300+ miilion bosses.

Posted by N. Clark | Report as abusive

First he was not black enough, and now he is not patriotic enough. These accusations are getting down right stupid.

BTW this woman will NEVER vote for Hillary. She picks and chooses the positions that best suit her fancy. Her brand of divisive politics is hurtful and is the reason American politics has turned into a blood sport. Not to mention if her campaign financing is any indication of her economic “experience”, then those “35 years of experience” did not offer her any help at all.

Posted by Ericka | Report as abusive

What about all the other mis-uses of the Flag…like Bush standing on a carpet of the American flag after 9/11…or all the tshirts and stickers and Bush autographing an American Flag.

Posted by Kip | Report as abusive

(1) Barack’s full name is: Barack Hussein Obama.
(2) Pledge: Other people can slouch, but shouldn’t a Senator lead by example?
(3) Pin: He’s looking more like an enemy everyday.
(4) Michelle: Her speech was a prepared speech, so don’t give me this crap about “misspoke”.

He hides his true feelings about America very well.

Posted by JohnDoe | Report as abusive

About the row that is being caused by Hillary and here band of marry maids with regards to Obama wearing traditional Keynain robe is ridiculous. If wearing a particular outfit makes you somehow a part of a group or religion then her husband, Bill, must be multi religious. Also, the republicans need to understand that they can not use this ploy by Hillary. Here are some pics of our friends.

Bill a Jew! clinton_yarmulke.jpg

Bill a Hindu! on-wrist-1.jpg

Nancy Pelosi a Muslim! m/2007/10/pelosi_scarf1.jpg elosihijab-764946.jpg

And let us not forget Mrs. Bush! scarfdome.jpg wiftian/022707/bush_veil3.jpg

Posted by T. A. | Report as abusive

The issue of “patriot” or “not a patriot” is not the main issue. The reality is that both Hillary and Obama intend on turning the country into a socialist nanny state with big government, high taxes and cradle to grave interferance in the lives of each and every one of us. That is not freedom, that is a people’s republic.

Never has that type of government created wealth. Instead it stomps liberty into the ground. You can argue that the socialist leaning western european nations are successful, but behind the surface you have high unemployment and little opportunity for most of the people.

America became a great country because its people were free and allowed to live their lives without the government telling them what to buy and how to live, etc. Not that we didn’t have issues, slavery, racism, ect. But in large part those issues have been dealt with, and many American’s in those generations stood against those evils and some of them died fighting them.

So today also our country has issues, such as abortion and harvesting human life for experimentation; which are demonstratively immoral and so our country is not perfect. But the idea of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, is still alive. I don’t believe having a socialist nanny state is going to improve things because there is no free lunch. Somebody has to pay for those freebies, and our country will pay long term by having a bloated government.

Now, this is not a defense of “W” or the Republicans, to you Democrats out there. I am not impressed with either of them. The Republican’s spent money like it was free. They did nothing about the border issue, they did nothing about energy independence at all. The war in Iraq was justified, but you cannot fight a war without a clear military objective, and you cannot fight a war with your troops forced into absurd engagement rules. There are two ways to defeat an insurgency; either overwelming force that denies the enemy a safe-haven from which to launch attachs, or strong support for a local government that has the same enemies. We have done neither, and so we have not prevailed. We have just enough troops to fight but not enough to win. Stupid.

So the question is, what direction should we go. Just because the Republican party had some stupid people in Congress and a lackluster President, does that mean we need a nanny state? What if I don’t want the government freebies? How much should I have to pay? Should I have to pay for other people’s stupidity? Should I have to pay a global poverty tax, or pay for pollution from chinese slave factories. I don’t know if you guys have noticed or not but our country is going down in flames. And its not because we are not spending enought money on free handouts you stupid Democrats. And its not because we have not drilled ANWAR you stupid Republicans.

We need some real leadership that is going to balance the budget, simplify our taxes, secure our border, get out of Iraq, europe and Korea, and stop paying for the useless UN, stop allowing babies to be aborted for mere convenience, stop having ad hoc wire-taps and start moving towards energy independence. And that doesn’t mean drilling more oil or coal, that means renewable energy like nuclear power, geothermal, solar and wind enegry. That means hydrogen fuel cells for cars. Let’s use our oil for making plastics and not simply burning it up.

Obama and Hillary are not qualified to be President. Neither have the experience for the job. Being first lady is not a qualification. Being a one-time senator is not enough. Being a socialist is not enough. Can we not have a candidate; out of 300 million people; that has not used cocain?!

Can we not have a sincere and honest person that is fiscally responsible and that enbodies traditional American values without being draconian about it?! McCain is an empty suit and a consummate politician. Nader is a communist.

Will the real Americans please stand up!!!!

Posted by Semper Fi | Report as abusive

I’m happy that so many people have the time to negatively patranize a person of being un-patriatic. How great it must feel to judge a person before they have had a chance to attempt to put their ideas into action. Are we saying Hillary has shown this ability becuase she is married to Bill Clinton? The reality of our government is that it has become overgrown with 40yr members who are elected back into their seats not based on character but because they are senior members who “have been there before.” Many well-educated individuals in DC agreed with the decisions that have been made since W has entered the office and they turned out to be bad for the majority of united states citizens. So why should we continue to elect people inside the box of DC to do exactly what has been done before? Personally I try to judge someone without relating their race/gender/spouse and can easily say Obama and McCain are trying to win the presidency because of what they stand for, not the party they stand for, or who they stand next to. This is something our country is in dire need of because the USA is no longer the golden egg it once was. Sorry to burst some peoples illusions, but we need a serious change to DC.

Posted by spamalot | Report as abusive

Obama will be the president. Hillary the shrew and other senile dodos will be left by the wayside because Americans from both parties and independents are united to reclaim America and restore its moral eminence.

Posted by Julian | Report as abusive a=PAGE.view&pageId=57059

Many people have already made up their minds about who they will vote for and yet have not even done their homework about the others. It’s not advisable to judge these candidates by their covers and I would advise the rest of my countrymen to listen to their candidates critics and prove them wrong rather than assume they are because you don’t like what was said. Truth is often times painful and hurtful but it wouldn’t make it any less truthful regardless of motive.

Posted by Vaughn | Report as abusive

Obama should not be disturbed about people who regardless of how patriotic he professes,even if he put his hand at his chest they will find something to say. He schould get on with the job at hand and win the democratic nomination, and reshape and realign our country for good of all. we are tired of spacial interest that hard our country in their strong hold. We are god loving country he will not forsake us. Clinton and her group are desprate they consider the presidency their birth right that nobody can contest with them. That it schould be handed to them. Otherwise they will destroy you by any means necessary.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

All these synthetic monopolists of patriotism suck. Someone said earlier that these guys have nothing left to talk about so they are scratching the dirt. I believe that they cannot think of anything else, so they are just scratching their own balls. I can assure them that nothing is gonna come of out this exercise. It will feel good at first. But, if you do this too long, you will only hurt yourself.

Obama rocks!

Posted by Rambo | Report as abusive

You put your hand over your heart when you say the Pledge of Allegiance not when you sing the National Anthem. Regardless, if that’s the biggest complaint against him I say swear him in now.

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

— Nathan Johnson

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

America dumber than I thought. People voted for someone just because they appeal to them with words such as”change”. That shows how weak American truly is as a country. And voting for someone one just because of the same race is the only true reason Barack might win the Democratic nomination, not because African American believed he was a better choice. I predict that in a couple of decades America will have turned to a 3rd world country!!!! But who cares Americans are dumb and ignorant. It’s going to be fun.

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

You know, the more I think about it, the less patriotic I believe Obama is. Instead of knowing that a candidate can do what he says, he is telling people to merely hope. Instead of making a few minor tweaks to the country he wants wide sweeping changes. I recall the first speech I heard him speak where he said, “I will make America the way it should always have been.” In short, he doesn’t like the countries past or present and only has “hope” that it can be better than it is. Those, my friends, are not the words of someone who loves his country.

For those who claim he is an “empty suit” you do so at your own risk. He has a more socialist, liberal stance on every issue than any serious contender in US history. His positions and proposed policies are very comparable to Castro, Chavez, Stalin, Lenin and Hitler. It’s hard to swallow for most to believe that his positions are so close to such infamous men but I encourage you to investigate my allegations for yourself. You won’t like what you find.

Posted by Lloyd Hansen | Report as abusive

It’s silly season in politics just like Obama said. Hillary is in denial and her campaign will try anything to get the ignorant voters on her side. If Obama was smart he should ignore these ridiculous taunts and focus on winning. If Hillary thinks he’s not patriotic talk about this in a debate. Don’t get your minions to send out false accusations. You wouldn’t see all the support he is getting if he was unpatriotic.
What angers me most however is that many people don’t realize that because Obama is black he has to be double, if not more of that of any other white candidate. Work harder, study harder, etc… That’s why the Clinton Campaign is trying anything now, they understand this. Do you really think he would get this far as a black man if he was not on his stuff 125%? Never. America would never allow it. But Americans will continue voting for a woman that supported NAFTA, wants to gouge wages for healthcare, acts so emotional and phony (Was on the board for Walmart previously). How do you act so happy to see Obama then switch the next day into some ferocious beast? She also now tries to say everything is Bush’s fault when she supported this clown. I just wish the votes were accepted only from people with some knowledge instead of ignorance.

Posted by O | Report as abusive

Wake up America!!! you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing. Barack Obama is the only person who has the insight and ability to set about healing a nation that was built on rivers of blood. Let’s face it America has an ugly past – the near destruction of an indigenous culture, persecution of the Chinese and other non-white immigrants on the goldfields , Slavery, A Revolution and a Civil War. Your nation has been built on blood and misery and continues to do it’s very best in the 20 & 21 centuries to maintain hegemony throughout the world whether its through physical force or by way of economic dominance. When I lived in the States in the 1980’s I was appalled by the gross inequalities in health care and education, inadequate welfare system and the conditions and income levels of low wage earners particularly in the service industries and the social and cultural divisiveness of the country. Maybe it’s time to elect (yes you can!) a new and socially progressive leadership to adopt a more introspective approach by first fixing up your own countries problems – before it sets about saving the world. This is the first time I have ever paid any attention to the US Primaries – and I have to admit it has been riveting – stuff movies are made of- intrigue, drama and glamour. In my view Barack Obama would make a great President and Statesman (up there with Franklin D Roosevelt) – he has it all – compassion, strength, humility, intellect and humour. There is no contest between Barack Obama and the other Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton who presents as a whingeing, charmless, bitter, small minded, egotistical, angry old woman. I thought the reason America sought it’s independence from British colonial rule was to get away from monarchical dynasties- If Hillary and Bill fail in their bid to get another 8 years in the Whitehouse the faithful in the Clinton camp need not worry after all they always have their dowdy, privileged young daughter. Oh! I am not a red under the bed or a Muslim fundamentalist I am a catholic mother of four from down under- our former Prime Minister was so far up George W Bush’s butt – his sycophantic behaviour was a constant source of embarrassment over here. Fortunately, he was booted out of office late last year-let’s hope the Australian populace have set a world wide trend of voting out neo-conservative governments throughout democracies across the world.

Posted by saffron | Report as abusive

Barack Obama has said, forcefully, that as President he would OBEY THE CONSTITUION, as the current President does not. This is the most important and patriotic position a candidate in 2008 can take.

Posted by EC | Report as abusive

The greatest problem here is that a supposedly legitimate news organization (AP) would perpetuate this myth of Obama’s treachery based on the flimsiest evidence. If people think a pin is patriotism, they are the ones who are betraying America by being shallow and simple-minded.

Now, we know the GOP’s strategy against him. Instead of attacking him for being too Black, they will attack him for not being American enough.

This is disturbing, tragic, and infuriating.

Posted by PhDiva | Report as abusive

I’m so stunned that so many Americans still think it is possible to judge someone’s commitment to their county by such superficial BS. Haven’t you learned anything over the past 8 years?

Your country is on the brink of a economic and social disaster and you’re debating whether someone who is passionate, well-educated, visionary and has the potential to transform your country is patriotic or not because he isn’t wearing a flag pin etc.? How SAD … but you know what? People get the leader you deserve.

Posted by Stunned | Report as abusive

Totally false. The only reason Obama has a chance and is embraced is because he is half black. Otherwise he would not have Oprah backing his campaign and would been dead six months ago along with all his empty promises. As far as patriotism, whatever the excuse may be, a Commander-and-Chief should no better.

Posted by Al | Report as abusive

The fact that he refuses to do these symbolic things and stick to his stategy and explanation, is a big problem about his ATTITUDE. If he is standing for uniting and bringing people together, he is not doing so by being stubborn and not understand other people viewpoint or feeling about this issues. Majority of American people especially Republican feel that it is important that the potential President shows some respect to the flag and the Pledge of Allegience. I think the Obamas are very cocky and no matter how much he said about bipartisan politics, I think he will be a divider based on his and his wife’s attitudes.

Posted by hth | Report as abusive

patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel – samuel johnson
patriotism is the hatred of every country but your own
“Patriotism is fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and as irrational as a headless hen.”
~ Ambrose Bierce
“Patriotism: combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.”
“Patriotism is the religion of hell.”
~ James Branch Cabell
“Many a bum show has been saved by the flag.”
~ George M. Cohan
“Never was patriot yet, but was a fool.”
~ John Dryden
I find it difficult to believe that I belong to such an idiotic, rotten species — the species that actually boasts of its freedom of will, heroism on command, senseless violence, and all of the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism.”
~ Albert Einstein
“When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1824
“One of the great attractions of patriotism — it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.”
~ Aldous Huxley
“When a dog barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism!”
~ David Starr Jordan
“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”
~ Oscar Wilde
“Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
“To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.”
~ George Santayana

Posted by motormanmark | Report as abusive

What’s with all the excuses? Hey, the Clintons were not allowed any excuses for saying anything wrong! What happened to admitting you’re wrong when you’ve made a mistake? They’re the ones setting the bar. Talk the talk, but he doesn’t walk the walk. What integrity!

Posted by zf | Report as abusive

When a man commits himself to run for the Presidency of the United States of America, that’s not Patriotism? When a man commits his family including his children to bettering the country he lives in and loves, that’s not patriotism ? When a man is prepared to give up four years or more of his life to his country, that’s not Patriotism ?

This man has more Patriotism on the tip of his little finger than most of you.

A man with genuine care, compassion, and vision prepared to give up a huge part of his life to his country is anything but unpatriotic.

America has an opportunity at this critical time in it’s history to take the other fork in the road, to finally get out from under the politics of the past, and let someone with vision, and hope guide the people of the U.S.A. to the future they all desire.

God Bless America

A Canadian point of view.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

What we really need in the White House is a woman who when flustered or doesn’t know what to do, starts yelling and screaming and shaking her fist…that would really impress heads of other countries..Oh I forgot..she can always ask Bill what to do..he really impressed the voters in South Carolina !!!

Posted by Vince | Report as abusive

I am a 73 year old white woman, and if I thought Hillary Clinton was the right woman I would support her in a minute. I don’t. It’s about the person, and I’m totally behind Barack Obama. He’s a decent, intelligent man, a true leader with a soul, and he’s what’s needed right now, in the White House – in the world. And I think Michelle will make a stunning First Lady. I like her brightness and honesty.

Posted by Joan | Report as abusive

There is nothing you can do to stop Barack Obama.

The unpatriotic once are the cynical Democrats who’ll support Hillary or no one and the Republican deceivers who lie and cheat and spend buckets of money to stay in power.

The U.S. is tired of gutter politics and that is why McCain will lose. His party lives in the gutter.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Stop the media lynching of Hillary. The media vendetta against Hillary must stop. How can we standby and allow MSNBC, CNN, the likes of Chris Matthews, Tim Russet,and the cowards in the Democratic party influence. The Media as the fourth estate in a democracy has ceased to serve the interest of the people. THis election coverage has been sickening to say the least.

Folks wake up now. After the euphoria, we will wake up January 21, 2009, and realize that seniors can no longer buy cheap prescription drugs from Canada, many would have lost their jobs and homes. But Chris Matthews and Tim Russet will continue to receive that fat salaries.

Wake up America, wake up Texas, wake up Ohio. Least Chris Matthews and his cohorts in the biased media would sell you another story while you remain in your misery.

Posted by FairFight | Report as abusive

As a military retiree, I can honestly say that wearing a lapel pin of the American flag or whether or not the hand is placed over the heart are not true measures of patriotism. I served in the military with people I thought to be deeply patriotic until they received an assignment or an order they were sworn to uphold. I often felt deeply troubled by public expression of the Vietnam War and resentment of those in uniform. And then, as now, I remembered the reason I wore the uniform was to uphold and defend the very freedoms being exercised by my fellow citizens no matter how deeply they cut. That’s what’s great about this country. I do not feel proud of her every day, but she is all that I have and I love her just the same.

Posted by aow | Report as abusive

Let’s face the facts. What would get more ratings McCain vs. Clinton or McCain vs Obama. If Clinton was the front runner at this point hardley anyone would be paying attention. It is media driven with the cutting off of Clinton responses to the commentators they bring on afterwords. After the debate last night they brought on Jesse Jackson for Pete’s sake to comment on the debate. CNN is ObamaNetwork I’m sorry but the reason you people don’t see it is you are sheep. You see and believe what the media wants. You people would probably vote for Daffy Duck if CNN endorsed him
Obama is nothing more than a charismatic speaker who carbon copies all of Clintons ideas. His name should be Barrack “I Agree with Senator Clinton” Hussein Obama. The question arose about the new russian leader to succeed Putin. There has been some critics of Clinton be she fumbled his name. The question of the new russian leader was asked to both candidates and Clinton jumped at the question. Why? Because I bet my bottom dollar Barrack had no idea there was a successor to Putin and after Clinton spoke he just refraised what she says like always. Reminds me of those dolls when you pull the cord in the back. Then again I think the same about Obama supporters

Posted by Manny | Report as abusive