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Obama and the cross: A double standard?

May 18, 2008 |  4:00 pm

Much conversation this Sunday morning on the talk shows about the flyer that Barack Obama is distributing in Kentucky about the role of Christian faith in his life.

Here's a look at the flyer (in which, blogs David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, the Obama campaign "goes for the in-your-face cross") ...

obamaflyer.jpg

Republican pundit Peggy Noonan, who as President Reagan's speechwriter knows something about the use of symbolism in politics, said on ABC's "This Week" that the flyer was part of Obama's effort to reassure Americans that he shares the same culture they do.

But another Republican, ex-Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, had a bit of a gripe. Remember Huckabee's famous Christmas ad, in which the camera slowly pans over his shoulder to reveal something that looks like a white cross in the background?

"I think it's interesting that nobody's jumping on Obama for this very blatant cross in his ad. And I took grief for months," Huckabee said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I'm still taking it, over something that wasn't even a cross. It was a bookshelf, for heaven's sake."

He said a double standard existed for Republicans and Democrats who invoke their faith in campaigns. "If Republicans even get near a church, we are accused of embracing it," Huckabee said.

He then, however, praised Obama as a "person of faith."

--James Oliphant

Oliphant writes for The Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.

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