In a series of recent incidents, detractors have been questioning Obama’s patriotism and love for country. This in light of the Jeremiah Wright statements and other incidents involving his choice to no longer were an American flag lapel pin. In response, Obama has been stressing his “love” for America in recent campaign stops.
The story on this all from USAToday:
BUTTE, Montana (AP) â€” Barack Obama wants to make something clear: He loves America.
After a series of incidents that prompted questions about his patriotism, the Democratic presidential candidate is peppering speeches with explicit statements on his love of country.
“I love this country not because it’s perfect but because we’ve always been able to move it closer to perfection,” he told an audience in North Dakota.
And in Montana: “It’s a country where … I’ve seen ordinary Americans find justice, where I’ve seen progress made for working families who need leaders who are willing to stand up and fight for them. That is the country I love.”
Obama also stirs crowds into a frenzy of cheering and clapping when he talks about treating military veterans with respect, of giving them the best possible equipment, of providing top-notch health care for the wounded.
Not a bad idea for him since he took such flack over the Jeremiah Wright statements such as “god damn America.” Obama’s key to winning independent and moderate voters will be his ability to overcome any liberal stereotypes. For example, if he can use his personal story and those of others to illustrate the incredible opportunities this country provides it’s citizens, he can certainly come off as much more of a uniter than a “liberal senator from Illinois.”
He has reason to address this topic:
Such patriotic statements could be an effort to reassure voters wondering about whether he truly loves America.
First came questions about why he does not wear a flag lapel pin. Obama said he thinks true patriotism is demonstrated by a person’s actions, not his lapel.
Then came a wave of e-mails with a picture that supposedly showed him refusing to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Obama said the picture was actually taken during the national anthem, and he was singing.
More recently, and more seriously for Obama, his wife was quoted as saying America’s response to his campaign had made her proud of the country for the first time. And his pastor was seen criticizing the country in endlessly repeated video excerpts of sermons criticizing government racism.
His wife’s comments have been the most detrimental to him in my opinion. Regardless of what context they were made in, that is not how they have been played on the news nor presented to voters. Should Obama be the nominee, one can assume her statements will be used by the RNC against him come November.
This is a topic that he has to address and I’m betting we’ll see more of this closer to the Pennsylvania primary. Out of any contest, I think his campaign would most like to win Pennsylvania as it would most likely cement him as the nominee.