Barack Hussein Obama discovered long ago that his middle name might become a political liability in his quest to become president, but a growing number of his young supporters are deciding that the best response is to embrace it – by taking Hussein as their own middle name.
It is a phenomenon that was sparked in February when a conservative radio host, Bill Cunningham, mentioned Mr Obama's middle name not once but three times while introducing John McCain at a rally in Ohio. Mr McCain scolded him for it, but the purpose was hardly subtle: to fan rumours that Mr Obama is variously a Muslim, a terrorist or a friend to Hamas.
Exactly how many Obama supporters are striking back by adopting his middle name, albeit informally, is hard to say, but a scan of social networking sites suggests it is thousands. Some have blogs dedicated to encouraging the practice, while others announce their name change on YouTube.
Meanwhile, the silence between Mr Obama and Bill Clinton has been broken, with the candidate asking the former president to campaign for him during their first conversation since the primaries.Reuse content