02 February 2008

The Importance of Obama's Middle Name

In the spring of 92, I asked Sandi, "Ross Perot for President bumper stickers. Do you think those will be like pet rocks by October?"

My 5 year old daughter Jordan pipes up from her car seat, "Ross Perot. He wants to be president. I don't know, though. He doesn't sound like a president." And then from nowhere, she puts on this oddly convincing drawl, "Howdy, Howdy. I am Ross Perot and I want to be president." she says. And then she concluded, quite authoritatively, "His name does not sound like a president's.” [Note to young parents everywhere - that child in the car seat is not always ignoring NPR.]

"And who do you think should be president?" I asked.

"I don't know, maybe George Washington or George Bush. That sounds more like a president’s name."

Apparently, names matter to some of the polity. I've heard more than a few folks express shock at the fact that Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein. "Just like Saddam's last name!" they exclaim.

And that matters. Almost as much as it matters that once we had gained our independence from King George we turned around and elected George Washington.


Anonymous said...

If Obama gets the nomination, I expect conservative talk-radio hosts will make a point to always use all three names.

And of course, the local rednecks will use with a sneer in their voice. It's as close as they can come to "clever."

cce said...

Wow, that's unfortunate for him though Hussein is as common a last name as Smith in other parts of the world. I love the image of your daughter in her car seat taking some jabs at Ross Perot. And you're right. They may not be getting everything but NPR does not simply roll off their backs.
(Glad you share my affection for Once, I love validation from people whose opinion I respect.)

Ron Davison said...

talk radio is to reality what rat droppings are to cuisine.

Actually, that is a bit of a catch-22. If I hadn't thoroughly enjoyed Once you no longer would have respected my opinion. :)