I don't know about you, but the last time I saw a candidate attacked so much so early as Barack Obama was Bill Clinton in 1992. Over and over we heard the pundits say that no way a Governor from a small state with no foreign policy experience and little national name recognition could be elected President. Now many of the same pundits say no way an African American can be elected, or at least not one with as little experience as Obama. They may be correct. Obama has a formidable opponent in Hillary Clinton, who has higher name recognition and more money than any of Bill's primary opponents. Paul Tsongas was perceived as a Michael Dukakis clone, Bob Kerrey was often confused with John Kerry, and Jerry Browne was widely ridiculed as "Governor Moonbeam".
Having said that, Obama and Bill Clinton had one major thing in common: charisma. Both have a certain "it". Star Power, for starters. Maybe that will only be enough to get Obama 2nd place on the Democratic ticket. Maybe he will be shot down as a national player and never recover. Maybe it will carry him all the way to the White House. A lot could happen between now and Nov. 2008.
I'm sure the far right radio blowhards will only remind us a few thousand times of Obama's middle name. A lot of Joe Bob Six-Packs confuse Obama with Keith Ellison, the muslim elected to Congress who took the oath of office on the Koran. Even though it was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, that was a very controversial act. Never mind that many of the Congressman who take their oaths on the Bible, would use the same hand to steal pencils from a blind man, at least if the blind man had a PAC.
The conventional wisdom at one time was that a Roman Catholic could not be elected to nationwide office and JFK had a more seasoned opponent in 1960 in Richard Nixon than any Republican in the race for President. In my opinion Hillary and Al Gore, if he gets in the race, are the only Democrats who stand in Obama's way. With the shape the country figures to be in after 8 years of Bush, unless the Democrats implode (which has been known to happen), whichever Democrat wins the nomination figures to be favored.
This whole madrassa smear will blow over, it was brought to us by one of the "Rev." Sun Myung Moon's mouthpieces. Talk about strange bedfellows, members of the so-called "religious right" teaming up with a self-proclaimed Messiah. And as for Obama's middle name of Hussein. I guess technically it's not a smear since it really is his name. It's quite common in Kenya, birthplace of Barack Obama, Sr.
Is that what debate has come to in this country? Middle names? Obama has not advertised it, but he hasn't tried to hide it either. I don't advertise my middle name of Hugh, but it doesn't mean I lounge around in my bathrobe, smoking a pipe surrounded by Playboy bunnies all day. As appealing as that sounds, I don't think it would make for a harmonious home life with the wife. In my opinion, all the attacks and smears coming Obama's way are proof that he is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Someone or some group is scared. The likes of Rush Limbaugh don't attack someone daily otherwise.