One of the – words temporarily fail – most cloying moments of the debate on Friday was Obama’s “I have a bracelet, too” moment. Not that there wasn’t a legitimate point – not all parents of troops killed in Iraq support the President or the war effort.
Although, as it happens, the parents Obama referred to weren’t two of them:
Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son’s name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family…Jopek began by saying that his ex-wife was taken aback, even upset, that Obama has made the death of her son a campaign issue. Jopek says his wife gave Obama the bracelet because “she just wanted Mr. Obama to know Ryan’s name.” Jopek went on to say that “she wasn’t looking to turn it into a big media event” and “just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself.” Apparently, they were all shocked it became such a big deal.
But, he also said that his ex-wife has refused further interviews on the matter and that she wanted Obama to stop wearing the reminder of her son’s sacrifice that he keeps turning into a campaign soundbyte.
Jopek’s mother has said that she wants Obama to stop using her son as a prop, and that she otherwise supports Obama.
Wouldn’t want to let a little human decency get in the way of his ambition, would we?