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Pin Question Sticks It to Obama

Updated 12:55 p.m.
By Howard Kurtz
In this week's Democratic debate, ABC News presented Nash McCabe as a typical voter with a particular concern.

"Senator Obama," she asked on a video, "I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't."

But the Latrobe, Pa., resident was hardly a neutral primary voter. ABC found her because she had been cited in the New York Times two weeks ago as someone who maintained she could not vote for Barack Obama.

"How can I vote for a president who won't wear a flag pin?" the unemployed clerk typist told the paper.

In other words, in staging a debate between Obama and Hillary Clinton, ABC deliberately gave a platform to a Pennsylvanian who had indicated in advance that she could not support one candidate. McCabe's question, which was expanded upon by moderator Charlie Gibson, forced Obama to defend his patriotism. And it came during a 40-minute sequence in which Gibson and George Stephanopoulos were directing nearly all the tough questions to Obama.

Stephanopoulos had explained the use of citizen questioners by telling viewers that "we asked a lot of Pennsylvania voters for questions that they had."

Asked about Nash's involvement in the debate, ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said today: "We looked for questions from voters who had taken issue with the candidates' responses or lack of response to issues that were important to the voters. One citizen made clear that Clinton had lost his vote over her explanation of her trip to Bosnia."

In McCabe's case, Schneider said, she "pointedly asked Obama his feelings about the flag. These questions were representative of what we heard again and again from voters regarding the importance of credibility and electability as central issues in this campaign."

McCabe's earlier comments were first noted by McClatchy Newspapers. Criticisms of her involvement then quickly surfaced on several liberal websites, including that of Drexel University's College Democrats, which said ABC had hatched a "devious plan to make PA voters look like idiots and fling right wing manure at Obama."

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 18, 2008; 12:31 PM ET
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"This is Obama's master pattern: claim you are a new kind of politician but behave like the old style of politician."
-Andrew Austin | April 18, 2008 4:29 PM

Andrew, I'm pretty sure he's just doing what it takes to get the votes and get the nomination. He and his advisers probably believe that talking about his theories on the subject in that situation would probably result in a net loss of votes.

I don't necessarily disagree with your main argument, but I think this instance is a flimsy support for it.

Posted by: Aaron | April 21, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I'm a Canadian. You Americans deserve Obama. He will lead to what you deserve... becoming the next Islamic state. just you watch. ;)

Posted by: Being Realistic | April 18, 2008 7:06 PM

I am glad you are Ccanadian too. So you just need to stay up there and keep your mouth shut. This has nothing to do with you.

Posted by: Dee, Washington, DC | April 21, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I think we can all agree the "flag pin" question was a bit much, though I didn't realize "the women on the street" who asked the question was actually someone the NY Times quoted about this, but all these other questions really were legitimate. The media has focused on the Rev. Wright and "bitter" remarks ad nauseum, and this IS the first debate held since these issues came up. But the larger point is that of the other 20-something debates, many of them focused rather harshly on Clinton's negatives. This ONE debate was more focused on Obama's, the front runner's, negatives, and the whining is deafening - just deafening. I think that highlights pretty starkly just how great the bias in the media really is. And let's face it, if he had actually performed well, no one would be saying a word, other than to praise how he tough he is.

This entire argument highlights IMO a greater issue, the liberal media's overwhelming favoritism toward Obama, and that's actually the more substantive issue here. When Clinton was the front-runner, that was the "excuse" for her getting the majority of the hammering. If Obama makes it to the general election, you can bet he's going to get roughed up plenty and that these issues are going to come up again.

I know Obama supporters and the Obamedia are angry about this debate - well take a walk in my shoes. This is how the frustraition feels when the media is unduly influencing this election.

But Obama sure never complained about being the liberal media's darling for all these months. So . . . he can cry me a river. He's still way ahead on the media bias scale.

Here's an interesting article on the pin issue:

CNN's glass house: Sr. VP reportedly criticized ABC debate question about flag pin -- but CNN has repeatedly covered issue

Posted by: Teri B. | April 20, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

David Brooks who complimented ABC on their coverage could not keep his eyes elevated during a PBS broadcast when the subject of flag lapel pins came up. He had to agree that that question did not belong in the debate. What I took away from his comments were that he thought values issues were fair game because they decided previous elections.

I think he had it backwards, because the news media allowed values issues to dominate people and people allowed their prejudices to block their minds from thinking about their deteriorating personal situations, the elections went they did. If there is not an attack on that kind of news coverage the deterioration of the middle class will continue until we are an emerging market.

Lest anyone think that I am talking about my own personal situation I have done well so far in this uneven prosperity but I have seen the spirit in this country and the standing of this country in the world plummet and it is not healthy for America's vibrancy.

These are things that are not in the conversation of Mrs Clinton and is why I will vote for Sen Obama.

Posted by: Ron M | April 19, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Laine-It's a "Hawaiian Thing".

Ask "Barry".

He usedtabe one local-boy!

But, the general gist of the Jibe, is Hawaiian Kahunas used "Voodoo". ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 19, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Uneducated bigots like McCabe are are the one's who in 2003 got carried away by Bush's rhetoric and send our troops to Iraq. They were the creeps who labeled all those who did not support the war as "unpatriotic". Hillary and John McCain pandered.

China is practically buying us. We are trapped in an unending war in Iraq. House prices are bottoming out. And this idiot could only care about flags on lapels? Morons like Nash McCabe are ruining our nation.

As Lewis Sinclair may have said:
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross"

Posted by: SD | April 19, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of these flag pins are MADE IN CHINA???? Go to Wal_mart and see the flags they sell that are all MADE IN CHINA!!

Posted by: Tom Guba | April 19, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Again I ask you. Where was Hillarys Pin??

Posted by: Justadad55 | April 19, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

This is amazing -- Stephenopolous & Gibson have been MIA since the heat got turned up so they had Jack Tapper (sp?) go on an NPR program this morning and his defense to the idiocy of once again raising a "flag pin" question was that the question came from a voter. He didn't mention that ABC had to hunt the voter down after deciding it wanted to plant this particular question in the hands of a civilian. Apparently they realized how despicable returning to this subject could be ... but the slime is still on them all. And, as already mentioned above, NONE OF THESE CANDIDATES wears a flag pin. Apparently they all feel that devoting their lives to running for office, or serving in the US Senate, might be evidence enough of their patriotism. But it's only Sen. Obama that gets hounded by this ... interesting.

Posted by: omyobama | April 19, 2008 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Nash McCabe should be worrying about a lot more than whether or not a politician wears a flag lapel pin, given the catastrophes in her life. Is it really any wonder this country is in such shape with that kind of thinking? In fact, I don't know a single person who wears a flap lapel pin. And I bet if we started checking around Congress we'd find plenty more not wearing those pins. Just how stupid can Americans be?

Posted by: spicegal | April 18, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Of course we now we know how disingenuous ABC really was. Nash McCabe was sought out by ABC to ask a completely seedy question they were too embarrassed to ask themselves. They tried to make it look like the question came from some random voter they just pulled off the street. How disgusting. Did ABC really think someone wouldn't figure this out? Pretty disgusting. Let the Obama swift boating begin.

Posted by: spicegal | April 18, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

In time, good reporting will reveal the slimy hands of the Clintons behind the questioning by ABC. This station should be ashamed of itself for thinking the people are that stupid.

Posted by: dr. reynoso | April 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

You are an IDIOT and you are DUPED too. So ignorant of you to think that by cutting and pasting the same thing a morone like you wrote again and again in all the websites that you can find you are helping Hillary. Stop abusing ppl with your monotonous unintelligible monologue.

Posted by: MULU | April 18, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse


WTF are talking about?

Posted by: Laine | April 18, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Geeez, It has been a while.

But, Perhaps someone can correct me, if I am using the wrong phrase, or help me actually get some piece of Obama to slip into my Barack Hussein "Aumakua Image"


Yeah, I got the Wood on Molokai! :-)

One nuddah Pin for da-kine Happa Haole Aumakua Image! No Shibai! :-)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 18, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The problem for Obama extends beyond that. Someone tracked down Nash McCabe. She's a fifty-over year old sole bread winner of her household who lost her job recently. Her husband had not been able to work since a mining accident that left him in poor health. In other words, she's the salt-of-the-earth type middle-America.

Do you really want to alienate these voters by castigating their values without first learning why they ask such questions in the first place, and why such things are important to them?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ABC for giving precious debate time to flat-out bigots like Nash McCabe. She may stick her own pin wherever it makes her feel righteous.

Posted by: Bruce Springsteen | April 18, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

It amazing how some people seem to be brainwashed. What's all the BS with about a lapel pin? With all the critical issues this country face at home and abroad, it is in my ridiculous. Since when is patriotism defined by the wearing of trinkets, and worse probably made in China? Bush beat us over the head for 7 yrs with patriotism while shafting us with lies, and all the while dressed in the flag. Grow up!

Posted by: tydicea | April 18, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I am from PA and I must say a large block of PA voters are idiots. Many of the people I have talked with still think that Obama is a muslim. Hillary is going to win this state because lots of people here are too stupid to vote based on the real issues.

Posted by: Echoes | April 18, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse


Large numbers of Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses from early on. Because they feel he would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. With Hillary Clinton you are almost 100% certain to get quality, affordable universal health care very soon.

But first, all of you have to make certain that Hillary Clinton takes the democratic nomination and then the Whitehouse. NOW! is the time. THIS! is the moment you have all been working, and waiting for. You can do this America. "Carpe diem" (harvest the day).

I think Hillary Clinton see's a beautiful world of plenty for all. She's a woman, and a mother. And it's time America. Do this for your-selves, and your children's future. You will have to work together on this and be aggressive, relentless, and creative. Americans face an even worse catastrophe ahead than the one you are living through now.

You see, the medical and insurance industry mostly support the republicans with the money they ripped off from you. And they don't want you to have quality, affordable universal health care. They want to be able to continue to rip you off, and kill you and your children by continuing to deny you life saving medical care that you have already paid for. So they can continue to make more immoral profits for them-selves.

Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama's. She also leads in the electoral college numbers that you must win to become President in the November national election. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!

As much as 30% of Obama's primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.

Hillary Clinton has been OUT MANNED! OUT GUNNED! and OUT SPENT! 4 and 5 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.

If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. YOUNG PEOPLE. DON'T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose.

The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.

The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.

Fortunately the Clinton's have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic comebacks of Hillary Clinton's. Only the Clinton's are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen.

"This is not a game" (Hillary Clinton)


jacksmith... Working Class :-)

Posted by: jacksmith | April 18, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse


If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of "BITTER"!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. :-(

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary's than they had ever been before or since.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. :-)

Best regards

jacksmith... Working Class :-)

p.s. You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you don't know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering...

You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. :-)

Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don't die from. And I could go on, and on...

Posted by: jacksmith | April 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Bigots and racists, wake up from your slumber. The chance is here for you to wake up and make America the best country to live for all Americans not just for some. Open your eyes and judge the candidates based on their character and policies rather than with stupid things like who wore a flag pin and who is not exactly like me...

Posted by: Mulu | April 18, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:
"According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not provide universal health care."

Hillary is going to make us not be a 3rd world country anymore by providing Universal Healthcare.

Think about it.

Hillary is the fighter, and the one that will make America better.

Posted by: Paul Bunion | April 18, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if Obama becomes president, he can change the rule where soldiers and others who've paid the ultimate price won't get to have a flag draped over their casket.

Oh and maybe Obama could just make a parking lot out of Arlington National Cemetery too.

C'mon, America, Don't let this idiot tread on us!!!

Posted by: No Way | April 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh and here's another one...

What is wrong with this guy?

Posted by: Lookout | April 18, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

It's not that others aren't wearing the pin, rather it's that Obama specifically says he won't wear it.

If this isn't a parlor Joke way of saying screw America what is?

Wake up people!

Posted by: The One | April 18, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

That pin is just another daily reminder of racist America. We need a new flag. Obama will get us one.

Posted by: What? | April 18, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I'm a Canadian. You Americans deserve Obama. He will lead to what you deserve... becoming the next Islamic state. just you watch. ;)

Posted by: Being Realistic | April 18, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Wait, person in rough economic situations but she cares more about flag pins. That sounds like what Obama's bitter comment was all about

Posted by: Nappy | April 18, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Flag pin and the flag itself has been abused badly by career politicians. To prove their worth to the votes, all they have to do is wear a flag pin and sell the interest of the common people to lobbyists.

They will wear flag pins and then take cash from exporters of US jobs, take cash from Saudis and hike gas price.
Flag pin shields them from any criticism.

Posted by: Mike Smith | April 18, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Ms. McCabe,

I was a US Marine. During the time I wore a US flag on my uniform. I am no longer a US Marine. I no longer wear a US flag on my person. I have no US flags at my house. I have no US flags on my car.

By your way of thinking I am un-American.

I'm ashamed for you.

Posted by: Mark | April 18, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so when Clinton got the Bosnia question, it was asked by a man who said he had been her supporter and asked if there was a way she could win his vote back ?

But in Obama's case, the flag pin lady had never started off as an Obama supporter. Her mind was made up. Couldn't they have found someone who had switched from Obama to Clinton ? Or are there not many of those out there ?
At any rate, this is shoddy and biased journalism.

Posted by: vbalfour | April 18, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing this out Howie.

One other thing I really wondered about...ABC broke the news about the torture principals at the White House. You would think that they might mention that just because...well besides the fact that it's was THEIR STORY.

But they didn't. I wonder why...

Posted by: JoyousMN | April 18, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The entire debate was a set up against Obama. And I have no doubt that Hillary was in on it, since she was the one who insisted the debate had to be on ABC. We'll see how ABC likes being boycotted. Maybe they'll get that the people want their voice back in this country, in the media and in Washington D.C.

Posted by: busybee | April 18, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

This is just one more reason to be outraged at ABC for this debate. First you have "little George" who worked in the Clinton Administration, the flag pin, Rev. Wright, "bitter", Ayers, and now this. ABC is just about as low as Fox.

Posted by: Carolyn Grace | April 18, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama and the Country of Doom

Obama spells doom for this country. Not only because of his dubious affiliations with mob members like Rezko and criminals like Auchi, but because of his lack of experience and bias education especially his bizarre religious affiliations. He is like silly putty; able to change his ideas for the public as needed so as to achieve his goal as supreme leader.

His intentions are unclear, but his affiliations are clear. Being surrounded with people like the violent Ayers, or the Hiteresque Wright, or his American hating wife Michelle, or his Kenyan half brother Islamic Jihad terrorist Abongo "Roy" Obama, or his Jewish/Israeli hating best friend Rashid Khalidi, or his close advisor Robert Malley who advocates supporting and helping the terrorist group Hamas, or Mr. McPeaks, Obama's military advisor who open believes American Jews are the "problem." and "Christian Zionists were driving America's policy in Iraq to benefit Israel," or Obama's super delegate and major long term supporter Senator Meeks who openly hates and distrust all whites and gays or Obama's most dangerous affiliation to Mr. Auchi who was Saddam Hussein right hand man and made billions in Iraq and has been a important supporter and behind the scene man throughout Obama's rise to power.

And besides all this questionable laundry in Obama's life, another serious question is why is Obama protected and promoted by the media? Is this also being directed from behind the scenes? The American public has been fooled before and I guess those in power know we can be fooled again. (Kennedy's assassination, Martin Luther King's assassination, the invasion of Iraq...).

The fact that Obama has made it this far demonstrates the collective lack of discriminative intelligence and education of this country. And nothing demonstrates this better than how well Obama plays his black card; which plays on our fear of being labeled a racist.

Posted by: Sammy Rauls | April 18, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think Gibson and Stephanopoulos were part of an insidious anti-Obama plot. Instead, they were guilty of pandering to the worst part of our nature in order to puff up their egos and their Nielsen ratings. I was expecting a serious debate between Clinton and Obama on the significant issues of our times, with the newsmen serving as moderators -- not hecklers. What a disappointment!

Posted by: Judith | April 18, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

From my point of view, not wearing a flag pin signals nothing about a person. Personally, I don't like the emphasis on patriotism in American politics. I tend to agree with Twain on the matter.

But I'm not everybody, and Obama and his followers have to recognize that they're not everybody either. There are millions of people who want to know why Obama doesn't wear a flag pin. He can't just dismiss their concerns by saying people don't care about the issue. They do care about it. They care about it a lot.

According to previous arguments, Obama does have a principled objection to wearing the pin. But when asked the question he was evasive and condemned the condemners. He doesn't want to answer the question because he fears the answer will further alienate voters. So he does the typical politician thing: he responds with a nonanswer.

Obama blew an opportunity to educate people on this business of flag pins and patriotism. But, instead of being the new politician he claims to be, he was revealed as the standard sort by not confronting the substance of the assumptions that lie behind the question.

This is Obama's master pattern: claim you are a new kind of politician but behave like the old style of politician. There is nothing special about Obama, America. But that doesn't mean he is the same as Clinton. The difference is that Clinton is more experienced and has better ideas. She also shoots a lot straighter with the public than he does. That's what ought to be driving this election. Unfortunately, it's Obama's followers who emphasize intangibles like the way Obama makes them feel and it is this spirit that seems to have gripped the coverage.

Posted by: Andrew Austin | April 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

WOW! You must think we are all stupid to care about the pin question. I didn't see anyone else with one on. Get off the HITLLERY tactics a report something with substanance.

Posted by: LarryOregon | April 18, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Mark Penn basically set the agenda for the debate, and ABC corporation allowed it. Are they also Mark Penn's client? So far, McCain and Clinton campaigns are BOTH heavily linked to Penn and all of his corporate minions through Burson-Marsteller, and BKSH.

Erosion of laws preventing corporate monopolies have made our media little more than a shill for the corporate agenda in politics, and the ties to Mark Penn on two sides of a U.S. Presidential Primary Process should give anyone the willies, but our media are so enmeshed with this, it's a story you will never hear on corporate media!

Posted by: Jennie | April 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Democrats, while you're out there fighting over Clinton and Obama, Senator John McCain is gaining respect due to the fact that he's focusing on issues, and solutions to issues facing American.

Humpty Dumpty democrats sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty democrats had a great fall.
All the king's horses
And all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty Democrats
Together again.

According to Senator Hillary Clinton, their dirty laundry will look better hanging outside on the Whitehouse clothesline!

McCain Sandals
1. Keating Five in late 80's and early 90's, after a lengthy investigation, it was decided McCain had only been minimally involved in the sandal.
2. Cindy McCain stole drugs from her own nonprofit medical relief organization due to her addiction to prescription drugs.
3. Endorsement from racial, hard-line conservative Pastor John Hagee

Obama Sandals
1. The racial, hard-line liberal Pastor Wright controversy.
2. Not wearing an American flag lapel pin. Look at Clinton's, McCain, Bush's, senators, representatives, etc. next time to see if they wear one at every event, and every public speech event.
3. Not putting his hand over his heart during the singing of the National Anthem. How will conservative Republicans explain why President Bush put his hand on his mid-section while the National Anthem was being played? True, Bush is not the smartest guy in the world, and maybe didn't know where his heart was located.
4. He attended a campaign event at the home of William Ayer's in 1995. Ayer's is now a respectable, and noted education specialist at the University of Illinois, and works with Major Daley on educational reform.
5. Rezko and his association with Obama.

Hillary and Bill Clinton
1. Outsourcing of jobs to India and China. Hillary Clinton's "opp" moment in 2006 at a fund-raiser hosted by a top Indian American supporter when she said, "I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily." Punjab is a region in India. Hillary Clinton statement while speaking to an audience of business leaders during her visit to New Delhi, "There is no way to legislate against reality. Outsourcing will continue." The Clinton's will have to explain and disclose their business relationships with India's businesses and business leaders.
2. Unanswered questions about her spouse's (Bill Clinton) work to promote the Colombia Free Trade deal. Hillary's answer so far, "Laughter...How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
3. 1995 documented statement made to her spouse concerning working class white southerners, "Screw 'em, you don't owe them a thing Bill. They're doing nothing for you' you don't have to do anything for them."
4. Immigration, March 2006, Hillary Clinton: GOP Immigration Bill Would Criminalize Jesus. She was quoted as saying, "legislation would literally criminalize...probably even Jesus himself. Bill Clinton: Immigration crackdown Hurting US (2005) He argued that tighter immigration laws would only hurt America, saying, "New restrictions aren't worth it even if they stop the "one out of a zillion (foreigners) who might have a bomb."
5. Hillary's statements about Bosnia and Ireland. Can she think of a better response then what she and Bill have offered to the public?
6. Clinton NAFTA-gate. The wink-wink in Canada actually came from the Clinton campaign, not Obama's. Bill Clinton helped a Canadian mining magnate win lucrative uranium contract from Kazakhstan's state-owned nuclear holding company Kazatomprom. It subsequently donated $31 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation. What other interest will the Republicans find?
7. Questionable and illegal campaign contributions. Norman Hsu, $1,100.00 to Hillary Clinton. He ran a pyramid scheme that defrauded investors of about $20 million. Marc Rich raised $70,000 for Hillary and $450,000 for the Clinton Library. Rich fled to Switzerland to avoid racketeering and illegal trading. Bill Clinton pardoned Rich during his last days in Washington. Others: Aaron Tonken, Peter F. Paul, John Huang, James Riady, Johnny Chung, Roger Tamraz, John K. H. Lee, Abdul Jinnah, etc.
8. Then there's Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Castle Grande-gate, Troopergate, etc.


Posted by: timeforchange | April 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Do Jewish American's need to wear the star of David on their chest also...

Sinclair Lewis once said "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross"

Heil Hillary! Heil McCain!

Posted by: Howard Martin | April 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Nazis who didn't wear their swastika armbands caught plenty of grief from the likes of McGabe.

Posted by: Django | April 18, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Davis S. Robins: I too am a veteran and couldn't agree with you more! Amen brother!

Posted by: John | April 18, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why is this question not asked of Clinton or McCain? Hillary was standing next to Obama during the "debate", but she wasn't asked the same question.

BTW, did George get confused and think he was still in the old Clinton war room. In one night, he ruined years of trying to go from partisan to journalist.

Posted by: Get Real | April 18, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The flag pin question is the sort of thing that only matters to extreme right wingers. Let's face it, the vast majority of Americans don't wear them. I'm a decorated Viet Nam war veteran, but I don't feel the need to wear evidence of my patriotism on my lapel or anywhere else. Voters who think this is important are simply displaying their ignorance and unAmericanism.

Posted by: David S. Robins | April 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Who wears a pin? A flag pin made in China represents patriotism?
Give me a break!

Posted by: Kansas | April 18, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Kurtz for covering this story. I've read up on McCabe's unfortunate life and was even more surprised that she was focusing her voting decision on a flag pin instead of on her own person issues (no job, disabled husband, poverty stricken town) It's also hard to believe that ABC couldn't find any other citizen in all of PA to ask their stupid flag pin question. McCabe's pre-debate comments to the New York Times clearly indicate she was biased.

Posted by: Joanne | April 18, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That's what 'truthiness' is all about. Reality doesn't matter, it's whether the fiction is true enough. Just because it didn't happen doesn't mean it's false!

Ronnie Raygun knew this. Hollywood scripts were more true than reality. Karl Rove knew this. Make a fake copy of a real document, get the other side to release it and then show that "it" was a fake! It depends on the meaning of "it". How about just a little honest political debate about real problems. Seriously,

The country is in the sh*t hole and Hillary and McCain share responsibility for the mess. We need someone with clean hands. Someone who is free of culture war scars, someone who wants to lead and govern, not fight and divide.

End the Drama, Vote Obama!

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for this piece Mr. Kurtz. The flag pin question was one of the worst I've ever heard in a debate. The origins of the question just reinforce the idea that the moderators were more interested in attacking Obama than in helping voters learn about the candidates.

Questioning Obama's patriotism because of his lack of flag pin was all the more absurd as Hillary Clinton was standing next to him, also sans pin, and was never asked to defend her choice.

Posted by: illinois2 | April 18, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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