The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Lapel Pin Politics

CRESCO, Iowa--Barack Obama caused a small kerfuffle in the media earlier this week with his comment, in response to a question to an Iowa television station, that he had stopped wearing an American flag pin on his lapel (which he taken to wearing after 9/11) because he felt that worn by others the pin "became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security."

John Edwards, for one, sees nothing wrong with that explanation. At a campaign stop in Cresco, Iowa today, he told reporters that he himself usually does not wear an American flag pin, instead favoring an Outward Bound pin in memory of his son Wade, who died in a car accident (though today his blue blazer was pin-free.) "I think people are entitled to express their views in whatever way they choose to," said Edwards.

Edwards also defended his decision to accept public financing, which will give his campaign an additional $10 million to spend for the primaries but will also under public financing rules leave him unable to spend much in the months between the primaries and nominating conventions, should he become the nominee. A local reporter asked Edwards whether this spending constraint undercut his oft-cited argument that he would be the most electable Democrat next fall. Edwards vehemently said it did not, noting that the nominee would benefit from extensive free media coverage and that the Democratic National Committee and outside advocacy groups would be free to buy ads on their own. (Though, as the local reporter reminded him, those groups would not be able to coordinate with his campaign.)

"Once you become the nominee, there's huge support for you," he said. "There will be a huge amount of resources brought to bear."

--Alec MacGillis

Posted at 5:30 PM ET on Oct 5, 2007
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Glad Edwards didn't take a cheap shot at Obama. Whoever the Democratic nominee is will need the entire party to rally around them, whether that is through donations to the DNC or the campaign.

Posted by: sfmandrew | October 8, 2007 11:20 AM

Note to all Democratic Candidates:


By wearing your flag pin, you declare your love and support for our country without having to say a word -- and for Democrats -- its an opportunity to state emphatically that they are no less patriotic than the Republicans. Wearing our flag does not have mean that you support the war at all costs. It means that you care deeply about our country, its heroes, and those who toil in our defense.

Wear your pins

The Political Brandwagon

Posted by: pscohl | October 8, 2007 1:18 AM

Previously, Edwards demanded that the DNC stop taking lobbyist money because it's dirty.

Now, he's basing his candidacy on their support?

Posted by: throwingthingsblog | October 7, 2007 7:48 PM

The mega press is screaming its inanity to silence nuanced discourse. That is the real news here--"How to keep the public ignorant."

God bless Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. Let's hope her journalistic integrity is contagious and someone in high places at the WaPo will catch it.

Posted by: LiberalTarian | October 7, 2007 11:43 AM

Wearing a pin is up to the person it does not mean that person does not love his country action speaks volume who are we to judge its what in our hearts an treating people like we want to be treated what happen to freedom of speech .god bless america .

Posted by: kearnsa2 | October 7, 2007 9:57 AM

My flag hangs in front of my home. I wear my flag on my heart. Sometimes I forget I need a pin to prove it.

Posted by: AmericanGirl1 | October 7, 2007 1:31 AM

maybe he can ware the flag of mexico am sure a let of dems do

Posted by: getsix1 | October 6, 2007 7:31 PM

he wants the number one job and he will not wear the flag i cant vote for him then its not a symble of the goverment its for all of us and the ones who have paid with there lives from all walks of life

Posted by: getsix1 | October 6, 2007 7:23 PM

I resent like hell giving a wealthy narcissist like Edwards public financing when he only became a johnny come lately to this principled position after he failed to raise money in the third quarter of the primary race. He is phony enough, however, to expect "huge" DNC and 527 money to carry him to victory. Unbelivable hypocrisy.

Posted by: rdklingus | October 6, 2007 3:23 PM

Edwards might want to say that its no problem, but it is. There can be no coherent way to beat back attacks. Sadly, Kerry lost the election b/c the Swiftboaters hurt his credibility. Even though he won the debates, the damage was done. He perfromed political suicide by taking matching funds. He even lined up the whole "I was against matching funds before I was for them" from his previous statements. He has made the road easier for HRC. Hopefully Obama can get more traction.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | October 6, 2007 12:29 PM

Obama is way ahead of those who would criticize him for not wearing a lapel pin. The swiftboaters greatly damaged the symbolism of medals and pins. Bush finished the job with using medals to coverup incompetent service. It is not a politician's posturing that counts, it is his actions.

Posted by: Thependulumswings | October 5, 2007 9:27 PM

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