FingerGate: Did Obama flip the bird to Hillary Clinton? And, is this a previous example of him giving the finger?
FingerGate (aka MiddleFingerGate) enters its bitter second day with some people saying that, during a sequence of semaphoric hand gestures (!) at a speech in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday, Barack Obama flipped off (aka gave the bird to, gave the finger to) Hillary Clinton. The campaign's video is here, it gets MSM attention here, CBS has video from another angle here, liberals agree with the assessment here, and a roundup is here. The latter explains the various references his gestures were meant to convey. A video still here shows that there were two fingers involved, but that his middle finger was extended above the other; those in the audience in front of and to his left would probably only have seen one finger. Note that, despite what some people have said in comments on the videos, there appears to be only one speech, not two.
Whether he was just scratching his cheek or whether he was trying to send a message isn't clear. What is clear is that he writes in code, so something like this isn't impossible.
And, note that he's done something like this before. At 1:56 of the following video shot on 3/31/08 (and discussed here), he raises his middle finger briefly, as pointed out in one of the comments on the video. I originally wrote it off because he switched the microphone to his other hand shortly after that, but now I'm not so sure.
On the one hand, I'd rather discuss the dishonesty shown on that video (see the last link), but on the other I don't think any of the other candidates from this year would have gotten themselves into the situation where we'd even be discussing this.
UPDATE: Various finger-related videos have racked up over half a million views on Youtube, implying this is something that will have a bit of an impact. A slo-mo version is here. And, past examples of him scratching his face - using his index finger both times - can be found here at about 3:10 and 5:15.