If it's open to discussion, I'd rather not have it right next to the username myself. I can sort of see the logic to the extent that the motive might be more to accord the OP some sort of exceptional status within the thread, but to me: It doesn't look especially pretty by the username (it clutters up the text of the name with a rather square and bureaucratic looking icon I think)...
I also don't really want people to see it immediately along with the name every time someone posts. To drag out a slightly pesky analogy, it's like constantly facing player sex markers in an ongoing roleplay where the player is playing "another" sex: Some people may be positively indifferent or amused, but others are going to be constantly distracted. That changes their tone or ability to participate neatly in the conversation. If we must have it... Then by the bubble on the right, perhaps would be better.
More skittish and personally but... Off the bat, I'm actually a little skeptical about whether we need such an imposing icon at all. It's not obvious to me that simply having an icon will (or even should) keep people "on topic" or force extra deference to the OP on choosing the boundaries of the topic, or whatever it's supposed to do. It might make some people keep thinking "that's the OP, can't really argue" and others more prone to use "the responsibility of the OP" as a claim about what that person is or is not saying... Especially in threads like Politics where bounding the topic narrowly is a great way to exclude the more predictable counterpoints, but also sometimes to set up a rather crass diatribe thread.
Now if the OP wants to say, "I was really trying to ask about something else," it's always possible to simply say that. Often enough, unless they are going to repost the whole first post anyway, there is enough going on that people are going to have to go and look back there to really get it. There may be some other advantage to this icon I've missed (??)... But this is what strikes me right away.