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 Pledge—which he did—and then thanking him afterward.
While ‘John Q. Public’ wasn’t nearly as obnoxious, pathetic, and immature as other /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.