CNN classifies Campbell Brown as an "anchor," but that apparently doesn't prevent her from riding to Barack Obama's defense on a high-profile issue. On this evening's Election Center, Brown seconded a guest's assertion that the controversy surrounding Barack Obama's erstwhile refusal to wear a flag pin was "nonsensical" and "ridiculous."
The topic was the matter of Obama's patriotism as a campaign issue. CNN contributor and ardent Obama supporter Roland Martin [he who gushed over Rev. Wright's address to the Detroit NAACP] addressed the flag pin flap [note: remarks taken from transcript.]
ROLAND MARTIN: First of all, John McCain doesn't wear a flag pin. Hillary Clinton doesn't wear a flag pin and there are people who wear flag pins who call themselves patriots who led us into a war based on faulty intelligence. At some point, people need to use their brains. We have somebody who is an American. Who is a sitting United States senator. Who is running for president. How do we sit here and define somebody's patriotism? The reality is, he is an American. And so I have a problem with anybody, Cliff [Cliff May, fellow panelist], me, or anyone else, saying, you know what? I need to see how much a patriot you are and you are. There is no litmus test. A column on CNN.com the other week said make wearing the flag pin the 28th amendment because we sit here and move the ball back and forth. It's a nonsensical issue to say how do you define patriotism. It is ridiculous.
CAMPBELL BROWN: Roland, I—on that issue—on the flag pin, I couldn't agree with you more.
Thanks for sharing, Campbell.
Let's get something straight. The flag pin became an issue because Obama made it one. As Time has reported:
The pin saga started on October 3, 2007 when a local ABC reporter asked Obama why he didn't wear one. Instead of the standard Beltway refrain, "My patriotism speaks for itself," Obama launched into a long explanation of his decision-making process: "The truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security," Obama said in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe what will make this country great and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."
But now, Obama has had a flag flip-flop. As mentioned earlier in the segment, Obama explained his switch in patriotic fashion sense this way: "I started wearing it again at that veterans event because once again, I had been handed a flag pin by a veteran who said it was important."
Isn't that con-ven-ient? Guess Obama hadn't met many veterans before.
In any case, Barack can rest easy knowing Campbell's got his back—make that, chest.
Hat tip: Lloyd Green.
BONUS COVERAGE: Hillary's Boxing Metaphor Mistake
Chelsea Clinton emailed me tonight [along with a few million others on the campaign's email list] to invite me to vote on what she called "an important decision": which T-shirt to choose as the campaign's next official one. You might think that with Hillary on the brink of elimination there'd be other more pressing matters, but who am I to advise her? In any case, we were given five T-shirts to choose among. Check out the one displayed here, which reads: "For everyone who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you!"
Extra credit for working in both a metaphor from the sweet science and a variation on the Budweiser slogan "this Bud's for you!" Hillary's ratings with the boxing-and-beer crowd are surely soaring. But there is a problem. In boxing, when you're counted out, you've lost. The fight is over. It's a KO. You have been knocked out!
Update 5-28: NewsBuster Dan Gainor, also VP of the Business & Media Institute, visited the Woodrow Wilson Museum this past weekend and reports that the progressive president wore a flag pin back in the day.