The Obama campaign asked Zach Bencal of Londonderry, New Hampshire to sing the National Anthem at an Obama rally there Friday and then told him to forget about it -- they had scratched the National Anthem from the program.
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Obama people dumped the Star Spangled Banner to make room for another speaker.
"We regret the miscommunication with Zach about today's event, but we are pleased that several other New Hampshire residents were able to speak at today's event where thousands of voters in both parties gathered to hear Sen. Obama discuss his plan to bring the change we need to Washington," Sandra Abrevaya, communications director for the Obama campaign's Manchester office told the Union Leader.
Bencal, who the Union Leader explained sings the anthem for a number of school events and is actively involved in local community theater, had been contacted by the Obama campaign to sing the anthem. He agreed to do so, then was told later in the evening the anthem had been scratched from the program. Bencal said he was told by the campaign the decision was a simple programming change to make room for another speaker.
"I guess it just wasn't meant to be," Bencal said.
Commenting on the incident, Union Leader reader Jean Holden of Manchester N.H. wrote to the newspaper: "That says a lot about what Obama does not stand for and that's 'America.' John McCain is 'proud' to be an 'American' and has shown it in many ways while Obama refuses to say the Pledge and have our nation's anthem sung at his rallies."
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