Nervous in first Miami Commission meeting, Sabina Covo froze on Pledge

Of course she knows the pledge of allegiance.

Miami Commissioner Sabina Covo, who won a special election Feb. 27, was sworn in on the Saturday after that and had no office for a week — working out of a park while she prepared for her first commission meeting — has gotten a lot of heat for not quickly spouting off the pledge of allegiance on demand Thursday.

Someone even suggested on Twitter that she isn’t American enough because she held a Colombian flag when she was elected — as the first Colombian-American to serve on the Miami Commission, which is something to be proud of, by the way.

Covo, who became a U.S. citizen in 2014, says she simply got stuck when she was suddenly asked to do the honor by Commission Chairwoman Christine King, who, by the way, had endorsed another candidate for the District 2 special election.

Read related: Who is Sabina Covo? What you need to know about Miami’s new commissioner

“I froze,” Covo told Ladra. “I wasn’t expecting it. Commissioner King never told me she wanted me to do it.”

It wasn’t a new feeling for the professional TV journalist.

Sabina Covo on election night with the mayor and former senator held a Colombian flag

“The first news report I did for Telemundo, I froze on camera. The producer had to shout ‘Go! Go!’” Covo told Ladra.

The hate got so intense — mostly from Republicans because she is a Democrat darling — that she had to issue a statement on Friday.

“Serving the people of Miami is the honor of a lifetime. When you feel a responsibility is that important, nervousness is very normal, and I’m not afraid to admit that I was,” Covo said in the statement. “The oath and pledge I took to our nation and to the residents of District 2 is clear and I am focused on honoring my promise to get things done for our community. Which is why I am not focused on Twitter Talk – but rather on passing two very important pieces of legislation.”

And, by the way, she was able to recite the pledge on the spot, no pause — no errors — when Ladra asked. And then Ladra was embarrassed for asking.

Read related: Sabina Covo beats 12 others to win the special election in Miami’s District 2

Covo, who replaces Ken Russell (who resigned to run for Congress), was already a little nervous about her first meeting on a dais where three commissioners had publicly endorsed another candidate and where meetings typically go from shitstorm to hell in a hurry. She’s human.

King, who also endorsed another candidate, shot out “You don’t know it?” Seems mean girlish.

“I said I didn’t want to do it, not that I didn’t know it,” Covo said, adding that she prepared diligently on the agenda items and wasn’t prepared for this.

“I practiced it for weeks with my son so he could say it at my installation,” Covo said. That’s cocky. Her boys Paolo and Pedro recited the pledge at her swearing-in, as she whispered it next to them.

By the way, neither Commissioner Joe Carollo nor Alex Diaz de la Portilla were at the installation ceremony. That’s worse than freezing on the pledge.

The haters focused on that miscue moment must have missed the part where Covo halted the Bahamian Village project — Russell’s legacy of affordable housing — to get more information because she heard concerns from the community about the commercial aspect. It will still move forward, she said, but she wants to make sure it’s what the residents want.

The haters must have missed the part where she will have a town hall this week with all the stakeholders before the project takes the next step.

That’s far more important than dancing on command.