In recent memory, every presidential debate eventually distills down into a few catchphrases. Al Gore became known for his sighs and love of lockboxes. John Kerry actually served in Vietnam. Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy.
Barack Obama has a bracelet, too.
That inartful comeback will likely filter out through the political ether in the days ahead. What might not filter through our partisan press is that shortly after pointing out that, like John McCain, he sports a bracelet given to him by a military family, Barack Obama had to stop and look down find out the name of the soldier he's honoring.
That soldier is Ryan David Jopek. Barack Obama doesn't appear to have known that fact.
Here's his complete line:
"Jim, let me just make a point. I've got a bracelet too. From, Sergeant, uh, uh, from the mother of, uh, Sergeant, Ryan David Jopek."
Had a Republican, say Sarah Palin, made this gaffe, who wants to bet that we wouldn't hear this clip repeated endlessly during the post-debate spin shows and in the days ahead? How much would the sincerity of our hypothetical Republican politician be called into question.
I didn't hear it discussed once in the post-debate coverage. Did you?
Sidenote: Michelle Malkin reminds us that this incident is remarkably reminiscent of the now-famous incident of George H. W. Bush looking at his watch during the 1992 presidential debates.
Update 3:22. No mention of Obama's gaffe by Reuters reporter Jeremy Pelofsky.
UK Guardian unsurprisingly misses it as well.
Update 9-28 16:05. Warner Huston reports that the family of Jopek has asked Obama to stop wearing the bracelet.