In quite-possibly the strangest event in the 2008 presidential campaign so far, a heckler identifying himself as ‘John Q. Public’ interrupted Senator Barack Obama’s (D-IL) town-hall meeting in Berea, Ohio, with complaints that Obama had not had the audience recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The heckler, who has not been identified, carried a professional-grade SLR camera, apparently had press credentials, and was in the press area taking photographs throughout the remainder of the event.

Obama, a consummate presenter to be sure, responded to the interruption by inviting the man to lead the crowd in the Pledgewhich he did—and then thanking him afterward.

While ‘John Q. Public’ wasn’t nearly as obnoxious, pathetic, and immature as certain other hecklers/protesters have been in the past, this is definitely not the way to get your point across. Getting in people’s way, interrupting them, and being an all-around jerk will not win sympathizers to your side. Mr. ‘Public’s’ behavior is especially bizarre, since he wasn’t trying to make a point . . . he just, inexplicably, thought that this political rally should start with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Regardless, kudos to Senator Obama for handling the interruption in a classy, professional manner.

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.