The ‘controversy’ over Senator Barack Obama’s middle name

Posted by: ST on December 19, 2006 at 7:09 pm

I have seen some discussions in the blogosphere of late about the fact that Barack Obama’s middle name is “Hussein” – the discussions usually involve speculation as to what that supposedly means (“is he a closet Muslim terrorist?!?” is the strong implication I get from some of what I’ve read).

Greg Tinti, I think, has the definitive post up on this ‘controversy’ – to paraphrase and summarize he says “So what”?

So, the point is, the character of the man and his positions are what should matter and neither can be determined from a middle name. That some Republicans/conservatives/whoever, have decided to try to use his middle name to play into fears about terrorism is really low. And I think it shows that Hillary isn’t the only person grasping at straws when it comes to a candidate with a clear record and no scandals in his shadow.

Blogs of War and Blue Crab Boulevard are on the same page.

BTW, one minor correction on scandals and Obama: there was the issue of a land deal with a shady Chicago political insider, a deal that Obama in retrospect has called a “boneheaded” mistake on his part.

WED AM UPDATE: Just to clarify, I don’t mind looking at a candidate’s religious background as part of his overall record. As some commenters have pointed out and I agree with, it’s important to know about it along with knowing whether or not the candidate is sincere. What I objected to was some people making Obama out to be a closet jihadi because of his name when he’s done absolutely nothing that would lead me to believe he is.

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  • 24 Responses to “The ‘controversy’ over Senator Barack Obama’s middle name”


    1. Marshall Art says:

      Obama has a clear record all right. It’s clearly and severely leftist.

    2. Gina Cobb says:

      To me, sincere Christianity is a plus in a candidate. There are plenty of positive values that go hand in hand with sincere Christian faith, including humility, a desire to be of service, an attempt to be kind to one’s fellow human beings, etc.

      If Barak Obama was not raised a Christian (I see some references stating that his mother was a secular humanist if not an atheist and his father a Muslim) then I wonder whether Obama is Christian now or simply trying to appear to fit the mold.

      It is certainly relevant to consider the worldview of our candidates for high office. Religious beliefs are part of that. It doesn’t mean that I’d never vote for a Muslim or someone of another faith. I’m sure I have done so many times without even being aware of it. I usually look first to the types of policies a candidate supports. But religious faith or lack thereof is a legitimate topic for discussion when consdering candidates for office, and there’s nothing wrong with taking a close look at what people believe.

    3. Gina Cobb says:

      Re-reading my comment, I do want to emphasize that I don’t think Obama’s middle name “Hussein” alone is a red flag nor that he’s a latent terrorist simply because his father was Muslim. How a person was raised makes all the difference. Kids can be taught tolerance or they can be taught hate. In America today, we do a pretty good job of teaching tolerance. In fact, compared to most of the Middle East today, we do an outstanding job!

    4. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      I guess we should not be surprised that the Democratic Party – the Party With No Ideas – now wants to nominate the Candidate With No Record But A Scary Middle Name. Democrats have become so celebrity-oriented that they have devoted themselves fully to the old advice once given to budding stars and starlets: In Hollywood, there is no such thing as “bad” publicity. Thus, Barak Obama, a walking and talking empty suit, is trying to parlay idle talk about his crummy middle moniker into a one-way ticket into the White House.

      This “controversy” cannot help but be a welcome diversion to Obama’s supporters. A Barak “The Audacity of A Skimpy Resume” Obama administration probably won’t strike an excess of fear into the hearts of Islamofascists (though it would give any thinking person a coronary), but in a MSM-polluted political climate his supporters hope that the victim card might still works enough magic to dump the Oval Office into his lap.

      And they may be right. We just survived an election where voters worked themselves into a MSM-induced lather over the word “macaca”, even though no one quite knew what it meant. Thanks to the MSM’s yeoman efforts, we know more about Brittney Spears’ Gates of Paradise than we do about a Democratic strategy to win in Iraq. Such a voting public is ripe for a rude awaking, and Osama (not Obama) stands ready to deliver it.

    5. Marshall Art says:

      I too hope for sincerity in those candidates that claim to be people of faith, particularly if they are Christian. It is a plus in my opinion. The trouble comes in gauging whether or not a candidate is indeed sincere. One must first have a working knowledge of the faith claimed, and match that to the actions of the candidate. Yet, still the sincerity may be real, but not true to the faith, or more specifically for me, true to Scripture.

      It is my understanding that Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ and of the same Chicago congregation as Oprah Winfrey. It’s the same denomination that counts the Rev. Barry Lynn and columnist Cynthia Tucker as members. The UCC is a very liberal denomination which has recently welcomed a Texas congregation into their fold which is considered by some to be one of the biggest gay congregations in the world. I say this to illustrate the true value of someone’s sincerity and it’s worth along side other qualities of an individual. Being a member of a more conservative congregation of the UCC for several years, I’ve come to believe one’s sincerity is of little use by itself. All of the above have sincerely held beliefs about issues that conservatives oppose and many that God does as well. Obama settling in with the UCC is really quite the perfect match for one as far left as he. The UCC has quite a loose interpretation of Scripture. It’s at least as loose as the average liberal interpretation of the US Constitution. It’s hard to nail down a UCC minister about right and wrong beyond murder, lying and stealing.

      Obama’s record as an Illinois state senator does not serve as evidence that he is sincerely Christian in his political position, only that he sincerely believes far left thought is the way to go.

    6. benning says:

      I don’t have any worry about his middle name. I do worry because Obama is a typical leftist with no real track record who is being pimped by the MSM as a worthwhile candidate.

    7. Dana says:

      I see absolutely nothing wrong with identifying a candidate by name; if the voters decide to form some opinion of a candidate named Barack Hussein Obama simply because of his name, well that’s fine with me!

      Please note that black voters are supposed to flock to him, because he is black, and that’s perfectly acceptable, but if white voters vote against him because he is black, why that’s just bigoted.

      Our Democratic friends have absolutely no problem with identity politics that work in their favor; they have huge problems with identity politics which work against them.

    8. ST,

      Provocative and interesting.

      For Christians in America, Obama’s “faith” may be of more interest than his name.

      I wrote an extensive post on his church, religious affiliation and leftist connections.. for which I was called racist.


    9. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Our Democratic friends have absolutely no problem with identity politics that work in their favor; they have huge problems with identity politics which work against them.

      An excellent point Dana! Identity politics and an appeal to victimhood are all that the Empty Suit Known As Barak Hussein Obama has to offer the nation.

    10. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      ExPreacherMan: Don’t you know by now that we are living in Pelosi’s America and that disagreement equals racism?

    11. Dan Irving says:

      As The Great Bard once put it, “What’s in a name?”

      I don’t care if Barak has Hussien as a middle name.
      I don’t care that, being a Freshman senator, he’s an ’empty suit’.
      I don’t care that I disagree with some of his idealogy.

      I do care that he voted for Governmental Transperancy [S.2590]. A bill that both parties attempted to hold (Ted Stevens, R-Alaska and Robert Byrd, D-WV). If you look at his voting record he toes the party line so this is a pretty gutsy move on the part of a Freshmen Senator. I don’t think this means he’s a good presidential candidate – he is way too inexperienced. I’ll see in 2012 whether or not he meets what I want in a president.

    12. Mwalimu Daudi

      Yep, I know — but it poured forth from the left long before Pelosi.

      I have experienced it for over 40 years.. just in slightly different forms. But I do admit it has become more virulent in recent years.


    13. Chip says:

      ExPreacherMan: Don’t you know by now that we are living in Pelosi’s America and that disagreement equals racism?

      Yep, the same America in which disapproval of behavior is equated with outright hatred of a person/group.


    14. Holli says:

      I cant believe the American political system would allow this, but my grandfather and our four fathers should be rolling over in their graves. I heard a broadcast on NPR when Obama was voted in that this guy is of the muslim faith, and was voted in by the muslim populus. Osama Bin Ladin is for sure laughing at us. First the guys name is Obama which is way to close to OSAMA to me. His father is from Kenya, and HELLO people… His middle is that of a dictator we that was hung for devastating crimes againg humanity. Yall are all on crack if you think that this guy wont be the antichrist that our Holy Bible talks about. All politicians say whatever they need to to get in then do opposite of what they promise when they get in. Its called American History!! I wont vote for Obama. Not unless mind control is placed on me which is what we are looking at in these elections. God help us.

    15. Severian says:

      What’s in a name? The whole Shakespeare thing, a rose by any other yada yada yada. There is a time, however, when a name matters, and it’s when it was chosen and changed by a person to make a political statement. If Obama is named Obama Hussein, or Osama Hussein, and was named such by his parents when the little bundle of joy first peaked out into the new wide world, no worry. You evaluate the man based on his character. If he chose the name in adulthood, say, a man converts to Islam and deliberately chooses a name that is linked with terrorist attacks, that’s another story, as his decision to take that name is strongly indicative of his character.

      But to just dump on Obama because of the accident of his parent’s unfortunate choice of names, that’s silly. There are plenty of reasons to be against Obama that have nothing to do with his name, mainly his politics and views and character, let’s stick to what’s important here and not get sidetracked.

    16. Nathan Bellereau says:

      Obama is of solid character and faith, and to overlook these core attributes in favor of skin tone and a slightly ironic NAME is indicative of an ailing America. George W. Bush was elected because of his name and not his substance, and hopefully that will serve as a lesson learned.

    17. Thomas Jansky says:

      Barak Obama is a Muslim by Islamic Sharia law.

      Nothing he or anyone else can do can change that.

      The real question is this — is ANY Muslim suitable to be president of the United States.

      Well, how would you feel if the president-elect were greeted at his victory party with chants of Allahu Akbar (as was the case with Congressman-elect Ellison)?

      How would you feel if the president-elect takes the oath of office with his hand on the Koran (like Congressman-elect Ellison has promised to do)?

      How would feel about a Muslim president with CAIR at his left hand and the nuclear football at his right?

      Islamic authorities have made it clear that every Muslim’s first loyalty is to dar al Islam.

      Unlike false concerns about John Kennedy’s loyalty to the U.S. vis a vis the Vatican — the loyalty of ANY Muslim to the U.S., in any governmental capacity, is a genuine and realistic concern.

      The stakes are much too high — especially in this time of war with Islam

      Please do not post using multiple nicknames. –ST