As the nation gets to know Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) better--as he prepares for a 2008 presidential run--there has been chatter about his little used middle name, Hussein. It's a paternal family name.
At a press conference in Manchester, Obama comments on the attention his middle name has been given lately. He did not address whether focus on the middle name had to do with racial or religious bigotry.
Said Obama. “It would be one thing if my name was John Hussein Smith, then this might be a real problem. When you are already starting with Barack Obama, you know, let me put it this way. If my name is going to be an issue, than I don’t think my middle name is relevant.
"For those voters who are going to judge me on the basis of my name, the fact that I’ve got one more strike against me in the name catergory, I think is not going to be a concern.
"….The American people are not concerned about middle names. What the American people are concerned about is (if) we can deliver a vision that moves us forward.’’
Bottom line: " This is not something I am giving a lot of thought to.’’