A 1997 photograph has been unearthed showing Barack Obama marching in a tea-party-style parade, long before the tax-cutting, patriotic movement began, and despite Obama’s apparent disdain for “teabaggers,” as he has termed them.
“Yes, that really is Barack Obama wearing a regimental coat and carrying a tricorn hat in his hand,” writes John Sexton of Breitbart.com, which is publishing the photo. “And that flag behind him really is a Gadsden flag, with its serpent and its ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ slogan.”
Sexton notes, “In 2009, President Barack Obama reportedly called members of the tea party ‘teabaggers.’ It turns out that our fourth greatest president, first in so many things, may have been the first ‘teabagger’ himself.”
Breitbart.com explains the forgotten photo has been in plain view for fifteen years, explaining it appeared on the front page of Chicago’s Hyde Park Herald on July 9th, 1997, snapped by photographer Nancy Campbell Hays.
It says the original picture, which was donated to the University of Chicago, isn’t yet available for public view, and the image obtained by Breitbart News was very dark, and so it was lightened in Photoshop.
The Herald’s caption below the photograph read:
“Hey, look over here! Something catches the attention of Sen. Barack Obama (13th), Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (25th), Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and Stephanie Franklin as they lead the annual ’4th on 53rd’ parade.”
Breitbart points out neither Democrats nor the media have been especially kind to the tea party in recent years:
“MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was one of many who saw mockery of the ‘teabaggers’ as the first recourse. (The word was used so often by liberals in 2009 that Oxford made it a Word of the Year finalist.) Liberal sites like Talking Points Memo presented attendees who dressed up the way Obama did above as weirdos. The ever-predictable Bill Maher got hoots from his audience when he donned his own tricorn hat (complete with dangling tea bags) to bash the Tea Party on TV.
“President Obama blamed the ‘teabaggers’ for his failures, according to Jonathan Alter’s book ‘The Promise: President Obama, Year One,’ complaining that his own 2009 stimulus ‘helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.’ (Vice President Joe Biden is blaming them still.)
“Yet in the dramatic battles over trumped up charges of Tea Party racism and extremism, Obama never mentioned his own ‘Tea Party’ episode — and neither has anyone in the media, even as Obama’s allies and friends on the left ridiculed the Tea Party for seeking to make the same symbolic connections to the country’s founding.”
Sexton noted: “Since 2009, the ridicule of tea party signs and costumes has been so constant from Obama, the mainstream media, and the left that Glenn Beck encouraged people to stop dressing up so as not to give them an excuse.”