Republican Party officials today criticized Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama for not wearing an American flag lapel pin and other patriotic buttons, which conservatives call “flair.”
Republican image consultant Francis F. “Fifi” Frandle wants to talk to the Illinois senator about his flair. Frandle — known to many as ‘the Mr. Blackwell of the Right Wing’ — said flair is a must for any serious candidate.
“Items of flair are de rigeur political fashion accessories for anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a politician,” said Frandle.
“Politics is about media, and media is about image,” he explained. “If Obama goes on TV without flair, he’ll be a bland, flair-less island in the middle of a screen filled with sparkly animations, captions and news-crawls. He’ll clash,” warned Frandle.
Obama dismissed the controversy over his flair today in comments to reporters. He had worn flair after 9/11, he said, but stopped because he believed it had become a substitute for true patriotism.
He said he would not start wearing flair again. “I don’t really like talking about my flair,” Obama added.
Even if Obama did start wearing a flag pin again, it is not likely to satisfy critics.
“The patriotic minimum for flair is actually 15 items,” said former Senator Mel Martinez, general chairman of the Republican National Committee.
“It’s up to Obama whether or not he wants to just do the bare minimum. Rudy Giuliani, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.”
Martinez urged Obama to look to others within his own party for leadership. “Why can’t Obama be more like (Senator) Joe Lieberman?” wondered Martinez.
“Lieberman always wears at least 25 items of flair.”
:: Originally ran October 9, 2007 at Wiseline Institute NW