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We as a nation face a conundrum heretofore unmet: the propriety of mentioning a presidential candidate’s middle name. The fact that Senator Barack Obama’s middle name is “Hussein” has become another one of those seemingly meaningless bits of trivia to which millions of Americans will pay entirely too much attention this year. Since “Hussein” is an Arabic name, was Saddam’s last name, and is nothing like a “regular” American name, mentioning it may make Obama seem a little less “American.”

I understand the concern—I was born with a “funny-sounding,” “ethnic” name. “Viscariello” is too difficult for most people to get right the first time (except for the complete stranger who read the names at my college graduation—he nailed it). I’ve had to reason with more than a few people who claimed it wasn’t an American last name, or who made some particularly foolish assumptions because it’s an Italian last name.

At a campaign event this week, Senator McCain felt compelled to repudiate some talk show host’s use of Obama’s middle name—which is “Hussein”—during the warm-up act. The Republican National Committee has followed suit and said that they will not use Obama’s middle name, “Hussein,” during the campaign.

The decision, at least on McCain’s part, seems sincere. Of course, there’s always the possibility that it’s a well-crafted dirty trick: McCain and the GOP can claim nobility by refraining from mentioning that “Hussein” is Obama’s middle name–but the very act of rejecting the tactic may draw even greater attention to Obama’s middle name: “Hussein.” Pretty sneaky. Alas, we may never know the truth.

Will it become permissible for Obama-voters to mention the name “Hussein,” but impermissible for Obama-opponents to do the same? Will it show pride on the one hand, but ethnic-religious bias or political hackery on the other? Or is the name going to be off-limits for everyone? If so, what would happen at his inauguration? “I, Barack Hu-[cough-mumble] Obama, do solemnly swear…”

If it’s really going to be that big a deal, then for the sake of national unity Barack Obama must change his middle name, which is currently “Hussein.” I have some suggestions, which should dispel even the merest flash of a thought that Obama is un-American:

  • Barack Jefferson Obama.
  • Barack Rodham Obama.
  • Barack Herbert Walker Obama.
  • Barack Milhouse Obama.
  • Barack S Obama.
  • Barack Fitzgerald Obama.
  • Barack Delano Obama.
  • Barack Tiberius Obama.
  • Barack Lincoln Truman Reagan John Wayne Rambo Obama.
  • Barack Dominic Obama.
  • Barack al-Maliki Obama.
  • Barack Amerigo Obama.

Please, Barack, unite us.

3 Comments

Discupulus ex Abysso Says:

Haha. I loved Barack Tiberius Obama and Barrack Dominic Obama. But seriously, the American public needs to get over these phobias they have with foreign names, race, gender, and religion (the Louis Farrakhan thing). And as I was reading just the first paragraph of this post, I thought “Then why doesn’t he just change his name”, but wouldn’t that give more attention to what he wants to kind of put to the side in the first place? “Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away”.

February 29th, 2008 at 5:43 am

Doctor Hmnahmna Says:

I am taking this opportunity to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.

March 1st, 2008 at 7:18 pm

bigboojaknow-all Says:

The problem with the quote “Please, Barack unite us” is that racial phobias and relgious differences
have unfortunatley been embedded in the generations to come. Even though the generations
of blacks that experienced the horrific tragedies of american slavery has almost passed,
many elderly have passed down that bitterness. Same goes for the hardcore “confederates”.
Why have blacks assimilated just fine into french and British society when the french and British
are the ones who enslaved them. American whites have only spent decades of time, billions of dollars,
and countless petty lawsuits on racism to end the american struggle for unity. That kind of
unity (if that is what you’re referring to) will not happen in our lifetime. The U.S. needs
someone who will not bow to black militants and extremist preachers. We do not need a fisrt
lady who has just now experienced pride in her country. Barack will only bring more struggle
between races trying to balance “the right”… i would fear the militants too. Almost as much
as trying to stay off the Clinton’s hit list. They don’t mind taking people out, literally.
We all know what the politicians promise now is malarchy so let’s start with analyzing character first.
we can’t have a president that was baptized by a man that claims that the U.S. gov’t
created the AIDS virus to kill off black people. wow. Maybe if he conives his way into
office he will atleast lower the handgun ownership age or ill just have to go the illegal
route… or move to Canada. They seem chill.

March 24th, 2008 at 11:04 pm