Dec. 12, 2006
A US president named Hussein?
Oh, what's in a name? Media and leftist darling Barack Obama may
learn answer soon as public debate shifts from his talent to his
politically-unfortunate middle name
by Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 12.12.06, 21:31
WASHINGTON - The youthful African-American senator from Illinois
has not yet officially announced his intention to contend for the
top spot on the Democrat's presidential ticket, but you couldn't
tell that fact from the hoards of supporters screaming Barack
Obama's name this weekend in New Hampshire – a key election state.
The energetic senator, aptly labeled a true media-darling,
continues however to stick to his 'testing the waters' routine no
matter how convinced everyone else is that he's already kicked
off his election campaign.
Touring New Hampshire under the official guise of touting his new
book 'The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American
Dream', it was clear that Obama was also using the opportunity to
seriously examine his chances at running against strong
Democratic candidates such as widely expected front-runner
Should he choose to announce a presidential bid on his part,
Obama is likely to face a wall of questions doubting his
eligibility for the job. The 45-year-old son of a Kenyan father
and American mother, has only two years of senate service under
his belt and no additional experience on the national level.
Obama also faces a difficult battle against various stereotypes,
namely the color of his skin and his middle name – Hussein –
which reminds many Americans of certain figures they would rather
forget, much less elect as president.
Obama's 'problematic' middle name does not appear on his official
Senate biography webpage, nor is there any mention of it on other
official sites. But apparently someone viewed this rising-star as
a threat in the political sky and pushed the name forward into
the public arena, perhaps in the hope of tarnishing Obama's image.
While it remains unclear who stands behind the revelation, it
left the considerably low-key internet political blogs and forums
and made its way to American households when New York Times
columnist Maureen Dowd dedicated last weekend's column to the
Liberal bloggers were seething. Obama is their sweetheart, the
alternative to Hillary Clinton and the only potential candidate
who objected to the war in Iraq besides Al Gore; who for now is
maintaining a low profile and even lower polling figures.
And so now instead of questioning Obama's capabilities - will
Americans be more busy wondering if they can live with a
president named Hussein?
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