President Barack Obama has reversed his policy of keeping the presidential seal off his podium at campaign events.
The seal appeared on his lectern Friday at a campaign appearance in Pittsburgh, The Washington Times
reports. Vice President Joe Biden also utilized his official seal Thursday during a campaign speech at the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) convention in Houston.
Obama’s use of the seal contradicts 2010 comments from then-White House press secretary that “at strictly political events we would not use” the presidential seal.
Current White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that past presidents used the seal at campaign events too.
“You will find that many presidents running for re-election have — when they stand in front of that particular podium, use the presidential seal,” Carney said. “It’s government — that podium is government property. We don’t hang campaign signs on it. We use the presidential seal.”
In the past, Obama’s campaign podium was decorated with a campaign sign or slogan such as “Forward.” Carney said it is “appropriate to have the presidential seal on the podium behind which he is standing, because he is actually the president of the United States.”
Obama campaign officials said both President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush used the seal at campaign events in 1996 and 2004.
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