Patriot Acts
One of the by-products of Barack Obama’s difficulties with culturally conservative Democratic voters in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is the emergence of a nascent general election campaign designed to question Obama’s patriotism. Whether the issue is flag pin visibility, ostensibly supportive comments by a Hamas leader, or Michelle Obama’s first-time pride remarks, it is now evident that one line of Republican attack this fall will be to question Obama’s patriotism by painting him as largely outside of the cultural mainstream in America.
Whether these attacks will come primarily from the McCain campaign, the Republican National Committee, or independent (527) advocacy groups remains to be seen, but it is no surprise to see the Obama campaign now moving in a proactive fashion to address these concerns before the general election is in full swing. Targeting a Democratic presidential nominee on this issue is not exactly new, and the combination of Obama’s unique personal narrative and his relative newness as a politician on the national stage may buy him some additional time to weave a more palpable sense of individual patriotism into the fabric of his campaign. Republicans will attempt to cast this move as the cynicism of a liberal elitist trolling for votes, so Obama will need to be sure that any accompanying cultural spectacle is ultimately believable.

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