WASHINGTON--Over at The Page, Mark Halperin has the tape--Barack Obama adviser Robert Gibbs and the folks at "Fox and Friends" squaring off over a post debate matter much discussed in the blogosphere--Obama's mention of a bracelet he wears with the name of a soldier, Ryan David Jopek, killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb.
After John McCain made a point of highlighting a bracelet he wears, Obama piped up to host Jim Lehrer, "Jim, let me just make a point. I've got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant -- from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, given to me in Green Bay. And she asked me, "Can you please make sure that another mother's not going through what I'm going through?"
At issue: Jopek's mother Tracy, who lives in north central Wisconsin, later asked Obama not to mention the bracelet during debates and speeches, AP reported, because it may be misinterpreted.
Ryan's father, National Guard Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek in a Wisconsin Public Radio interview on March 20 said something a little different--that Obama was asked not to wear the bracelet at "public appearances."
"So, that's his own choice. I mean that's something Barack Obama, that's a choice that he continues to wear it despite Tracy asking him not to," he told Wisconsin Pubic Radio.
AP reported "Tracy Jopek said she didn't hear the interview but that her ex-husband, who is currently stationed in Cuba, mischaracterized her viewpoint."
BOTTOM LINE: Tracy Jopek told AP after the debate she is not upset.
"I think he knew my intention, he understands it was a gesture between me and Sen. Obama," she said. "It was just little piece of peace for us. I don't understand how people can take that and turn it into some garbage on the Internet."
She wouldn't directly say whether she wanted Obama to refrain from mentioning the bracelet again, but she hopes the whole issue will just go away."