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Sealing the Deal

The Obama campaign's new logo, which bears a striking resemblance to the Seal of the President of the United States, has raised the ire of many people on the right. CNN.com ran this piece describing the new logo on Friday, June 20, 2008 and even the most cursory review of the article's comments (now closed) reveal that many Republicans have taken great offense to the new logo.

A few gems from some of the "conservative" comments regarding the CNN.com article include:

Freida NYC wrote, "This is scary, he even wants to change the American logo-seal, by replacing it with his name. Americans please wake up and do not vote for Obama. Are these the kind of changes you really want.?He will turn this country into a Muslim sect, Just wait and see."

dz in Austin wrote, "Arrogance has no limits!"

Mary from Westport CT wrote, "He thinks he can take a presidential symbol and make it his. Very disrespectful. If that's not another example of his elitist attitude I don't know what is."

Ruth Bell wrote, "The Logo is just a logo and should not resemble the Presidential Seal. This is another Obama attempt to belittle the traditions of the United States of America, our Nation under God, and he should develop something entirely different. He doesn't like our National Anthem and is making every effort
to undermine our traditional American beliefs."


To these clowns, Obama has committed a great offense by adopting a likeness of an image associated with the Presidency of the United States – you know, as if he had the audacity to run for President or something. These are probably the same people who took Obama to task for not wearing an American flag lapel pin. These are probably the same people who called John Kerry a traitor for, "trying to bring down George Bush," which in representative democracies is also known as running for public office in an election. It is also worth noting that a handful of Obama supporters expressed negative views of the new logo in their comments. Perhaps they were influenced by the manufactured outrage of the right-wing comments, but in any case, I can't begin to see what the problem is.

I'll openly admit to doing a double-take the first time I saw the new logo. At first glance I thought it odd that Obama would be speaking from a podium with the Seal on it until I looked a little closer and saw that the inscription read, "Obama for America - www.barackobama.com" and included his campaign's trademark "O" in the middle. Then I got a bit of a chuckle out of it. It seemed to me to have a bit of a tongue-in-cheek quality to it, almost as if it was a creation of the Daily Show or the Onion. I mean, the man clearly knows he isn't the President yet. I also thought it was brilliant and clever from a marketing standpoint. How better to advertise a candidate as presidential than to put him behind a podium with a very presidential-looking seal on it? For worse or for worse, appearances count for way too much in presidential contests and I would count on a full slate of mainstream media pundits to glowingly remark that John McCain just "looks presidential" as we march toward November. There was no shortage of talking heads who told us, with straight faces, that George W. Bush "looked presidential" and look where that got us.

So, which is it? Should presidential candidates adopt images of the American flag or the Presidency into their campaigns or not? I mean, who the hell does John McCain think he is wearing an American flag lapel pin? Is he so arrogant that he already assumes that he has won and that he represents all Americans? This is exactly the same kind of logic presented by Obama's critics on this matter. This is so loony that we might as well call into question the patriotism of every single candidate for public office in America who has ever used any likeness of the American flag in their campaign. There's not nearly enough room at Gitmo for that many traitors...

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