Thursday, February 7, 2008

What's In A Name

We love to tell our children that they could be President someday. But that might not be true. A person's name would seem to be a disqualifying factor in some circumstances. For example, there is no way someone named John Hitler will ever be President. Nor will young Charlie Manson. Just think about the fuss over Barack Hussein Obama's name. Does it sound too much like Osama? Will people think thet are voting for the illegitimate son of Saddam Hussein? But it is not just people with names similar to the infamous that cannot win, people with silly names also cannot win. For example, Mike Huckabee will never be President. Why? Because his last name is Huckabee. Just say the last names of the last 10 Presidents and you will understand: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush. Now say the names with "Huckabee" at the end. I dare you not to giggle. Sure, Eisenhower wasn't a name without obvious ethnicity, but it sure didn't sound silly.

Now what about Obama? Not exactly a normal American name. I suspect that a white politician named Barack Obama would have no chance, as the name is so foreign to us. But white America doesn't find it so odd that an African-American has an African sounding name. So white America does not find it so silly. "Huckabee" sounds silly no matter who has the name.

Some other politicians I think can never be President solely becasue of their names: Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator Mike Crapo, Governor Mike Beebe, Governor Sonny Perdue, Governor Linda Lingle, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, Governor Ted Kulongoski, Rep. John Boozman, Rep. Elton Gallegly, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. John Shimkus, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (actually, anyone with "Berry" as a part of the last name is doomed not to be President), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, Rep. John Boehner, Rep. Darlene Hooley, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte.

I'm sure there are more. I tried to stay away from names that were simply ethnic, and stay with silly as my test. Anyone got any others I missed?

Oh, and one person destined to be President? Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.


Godfather said...

I like your thesis, but how do you acount for the listed individuals already holding elected office, or for names like Rutherford, Lyndon, Warren, Gerald, and Abraham?

Annie V said...

I vote for goodlatte every morning.
Tell godfather, Abraham is not silly.
And by the way, what about President Nessen?
Do you think Huckabee would have a better or worse chance if it hadn't been for the I heart Huckabee movie?

Peter said...


First names are a different story. And as for those already elected, I think we are willing for silly names to represent us to our neighbors, but not to lead the free world.

ilir said...

What's wrong with Hussein anyway?
I have a cousin Hussein....

Oh yeah, I won't be president either