Barack Obama has always been more of a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of president.
In the latest example, Obama busted out the presidential seal for the first time during his re-election bid on Friday, displaying it clearly and prominently on his lectern.
While using the seal while campaigning certainly breaks no laws — he is the president mind you — the Obama administration has previously said the presidential seal would not be used at “strictly political” events because they felt it was inappropriate, CBS News reports. Now, they’ve apparently changed their minds.
CBS News has more:
Until now, a campaign sign was often affixed to the lectern at campaign events. Earlier in the day, at a campaign speech in Poland, Ohio, a placard bearing the slogan “Betting on America” was affixed to the lectern. The same was the case yesterday at other stops on his bus tour.
Displaying the presidential seal serves to enhance the prestige of the event and contrast Mr. Obama‘s incumbency from Mitt Romney’s status as a challenger.
There’s nothing illegal about displaying the presidential seal at a political event being addressed by the president, but until now, the Obama White House felt it was inappropriate.
In 2010, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told CBS News that it had been decided “that at strictly political events we would not use” the presidential seal.
“It’s common practice for sitting presidents to use the presidential seal at campaign events when they are running for re-election,” an Obama campaign official said, referencing the re-election campaigns of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Reagan.
To be fair, it doesn’t appear to be the use of the seal that is being questioned but rather the blatant flip-flop by Obama and his campaign concerning when it is “appropriate” to use the iconic symbol.
The Obama camp will now use the presidential seal at future campaign stops, but they have developed a new ethical standard: They won’t display the seal at campaign related fundraisers.
For now, anyway.
(h/t Weasel Zippers)
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