The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

11 December 2008

Use Of Obama's 'Hussein' Middle Name Comes Full Circle


Even Obama's Now Using 'Hussein' Middle Name

When the book is written on the many strategic failures of John McCain's pathetic presidential campaign, his tendency to actually protect Barack Obama from public criticism ought to top the list.

McCain was so afraid of mainstream media heat that he ultimately turned in a toothless, feckless effort, resulting in a loss that could be seen coming a mile away.

One of the most notorious examples came in February, where McCain loudly and repeatedly denounced WLW / Cincinnati host Bill Cunningham simply for using his opponent's full name: Barack Hussein Obama. Cunningham was serving as a warm-up act ahead of an appearance by the Arizona senator.

With McCain aiding their cause, the Obamist media went to town over the manufactured controversy, pointing to supposedly out-of-control behavior by conservative opponents.

Here's the oddly prescient reaction from your Radio Equalizer at that time:

What is most distressing about the incident is that it provides an early reality check for conservatives, who face a repeat of 1996, where an "honorable" candidate ran a "nice" campaign and was clobbered in November.

And because talk radio was just finally beginning to warm up to the Arizona senator, the timing of this incident couldn't be worse for his candidacy. Hosts are faced with their own ugly reality check: McCain's campaign is all about pleasing the mainstream media, rather than winning in November.

Already, Cunningham says he is no longer backing McCain and your Radio Equalizer doubts he will be alone in that regard. Say good-bye to any hope of winning over the conservative base, Johnny Boy.

From that point forward, almost everyone was afraid to use Obama's middle name and its association with corruption, terror and tyranny.

Fearless on the issue, Rush Limbaugh made the controversy easy to understand:

Now, what if McCain's middle name was Adolf instead of Sidney? His name is Sydney. What if Obama, what if the Democrats started talking about John Sidney McCain? Is somebody going to say, "We're not going to tolerate that? That's the kind of disparaging reference to my opponent we're not going to put up with." His middle name is Hussein. "Come on, Rush, you know they're trying to use it in a disparaging way." How? Because of Saddam Hussein, because it's an Arabic name, what? It's his name.

As I say, we don't make a big deal out of it here, but this just illustrates the fact, we're not even going to do that. In fact, if somebody does call him Hussein, we're going to apologize for it because it's disparaging. So we're going into this defensively.

For his supposed crime, Cunningham was widely vilified by the mainstream media for months to come, with other conservatives (especially talk hosts) smeared by association.

But now, the issue has come full circle, as a post-election Obama suddenly has no objection to the use of his own middle name. From the Politico yesterday:

President-elect Barack Obama says he plans to use all three of his names when he takes the oath of office in January, giving voice to a name that was was rarely used during the campaign except by critics.

In his first post-election newspaper interview, with reporters from the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, Obama was asked: “Do you anticipate being sworn in as Barack Obama or Barack Hussein Obama?"

He replied: “I think the tradition is that they use all three names, and I will follow the tradition, not trying to make a statement one way or the other. I'll do what everybody else does.”

Limbaugh had this reaction:

RUSH: I am struggling, ladies and gentlemen, valiantly here to keep a straight face while sharing with you the information of the day.

For example, Barack Obama, who announced yesterday that when he takes the oath of office, will use all three names because it's traditional. So he'll be sworn in as Barack Hussein Obama. I wonder if McCain will denounce him for using his own middle name.

Though we'll probably never get the full story behind the reasons for McCain's incredibly inept campaign, one thing is certain: he and the mainstream media reporters who beat this issue to death back in February owe Bill Cunningham a full apology.

Why wasn't it okay to use Barack Obama's full name? And why did so many conservatives accept McCain's ridiculous edict? In hindsight, it makes even less sense now than it did at the time.

Most astounding is how Obama himself never had to address the issue, much less fight Republicans. McCain's own camp engaged in a ridiculous campaign of self-censorship that cost us all dearly on election day.

Luckily for us, Obama's political lucky streak is clearly coming to an end, as corruption becomes the dominant theme of what could be a short-lived presidency. But all of this would have been avoided entirely, had McCain not been so clueless.

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    in other news, the mn canvassing board sided with Al Franken on both the recount challenges...

    By Anonymous TJ, at 12 December, 2008 14:10  

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