10/18/2006

'I pledge allegiance to the tie'

Ties have yet another use..

Before the start of last night's congressional candidates debate in Williamsport, the candidates and audience of 60 pledged allegiance to U.S. Rep. John Peterson's necktie.

Peterson represents the 5th congressional district, which includes Centre and 16 other counties. He was on stage at the Community Arts Center, the former Capitol Theater on West Fourth Street, between two other candidates:

Jefferson County Democrat Don Hilliard, Peterson's rival for the seat, and U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood, the 10th District incumbent. (The 5th and 10th districts are adjacent, and each includes part of Lycoming County.)

The problem was that, when it came time to pledge allegiance to the flag, there was no American flag anywhere in the center to pledge allegiance to.

But Peterson was wearing a wide necktie with an American flag motif, and the moderator directed everyone to regard it as a flag and pledge allegiance to it.

Peterson cooperated. He held his right hand to his breast, but he slid his hand under the tie flap over his hand.

The flag wasn't the only thing missing Tuesday night. Sherwood's running mate, Democrat Christopher Carney, a political science professor at Penn State Worhington Scranton, did not attend because, his top aide said, he had a previously scheduled commitment.

But an empty chair for Carney was placed on stage next to Sherwood, and the embattled incumbent made the most of it.

After answering his first question Tuesday night, Sherwood gestured to the vacant seat next to him and said: "Do we want a rebuttal from the chair?" More...

Learn how to tie a tie with easy to follow video instruction.

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