Presidential Missteps

Note to Fred Thompson: It isn't always a good thing to just tell it like it is.

I have to agree with Ron Christie today. I think the lapel-pin flap now consuming Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is much more of a problem than he realizes, and could dog him for a long time. He pretty much said he had to express his patriotism in other ways and took his flag pin off because he saw others acting unpatriotic. I wonder who that is going to fly with.

But can it top the foot-shooting episode Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) invited in the midst of an attempted comeback? Agreeing to a Beliefnet interview with David Kuo, and then shooting from the hip? Wow. McCain tried saying the United States was a Christian nation and he would prefer someone who had a solid grounding in his faith, but it sounded like he preferred a Christian president to a Muslim president.

When it made the headlines the Comeback Kid said he was very angry and resented that his remarks were interpreted that way. "Maybe I should have just kept my comments to the fact that I'm a practicing Christian, that I respect all religions and beliefs," he said later. "Perhaps I should have kept my remarks to that rather than get into a Talmudic discussion."

In McCain's political position that sounds like a good idea.

This week when he was asked how he would react if a governor signed a gay marriage bill in some unnamed state in the future, Thompson said: "So be it." He's a states-rights guy and his position isn't surprising. But he should know that on the presidential trail, sometimes the truth can hurt, a lot.


***

ASK A.B.Please join me for my weekly Q & A video posts by sending useful, interesting and entertaining questions to askab@thehill.com. We want to talk politics and have a few laughs. Spare us the offensive, unGoogleable, unthinkable or otherwise useless. I look forward to hearing from all of you, often.