Barack Obama in 2008? No Baggage?

The Washington Post throws Barack Obama (again) into the 2008 Presidential race.

"EAST ORANGE, N.J. - Barack Obama was standing before a packed high school auditorium when he noticed a familiar face in the crowd -- none other than singer Dionne Warwick. He paused, flashed a mischievous smile, then let loose with a perfectly on-key performance of the opening line of her hit song "Walk On By."

The audience of 300 students and adults roared with approval.

Obama, a first-term Democratic senator from Illinois, seems to be hitting the right notes these days. During Senate recesses, he has been touring the country at breakneck pace, basking in the sudden fame of a politician turned pop star. Along the way, he has been drawing crowds and campaign cash from Democrats starved for a fresh face and ready to cheer what Obama touts as "a politics of hope instead of a politics of fear."

His office fields more than 300 requests a week for appearances. One Senate Democrat, curious about Obama's charisma, took notes when watching him perform at a recent political event. State parties report breaking fundraising records when Obama is the speaker.

The money he is bringing in for fellow Democrats is shaping up as an important influence on 2006. And the potential Obama is demonstrating as a political performer -- less than two years after his elevation from the Illinois state legislature -- is prompting some colleagues to urge him to turn his attention to 2008 and a race for the presidency. Obama has made plain he is at least listening.

"I think he is unique," said Illinois's senior senator, Richard J. Durbin (D). "I don't believe there is another candidate I've seen, or an elected official, who really has the appeal that he does." As for the 2008 presidential race, "I said to him, 'Why don't you just kind of move around Iowa and watch what happens?' I know what's going to happen. And I think it's going to rewrite the game plans in a lot of presidential candidates if he makes that decision."

Little baggage

Obama deflects such talk, while not ruling out a presidential candidacy. The speculation is as much a commentary on the state of the party as it is on Obama. The Democrats' most prominent likely contenders -- such as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and John F. Kerry (Mass.) -- are figures who have been in the public eye for many years and wear scars from earlier controversies.

At age 44, the former Harvard Law School standout has little baggage. But he also has a scant legislative record in the Senate, where some members privately say they view him as drawn to news conferences and speeches more than to the hard details of lawmaking."

Little baggage? Well, that depends on who you ask. Back in 2004, Columnist Andy Martin did a background on Obama and found his 'truth meter' wanting:

"I feel sad having to expose Barack Obama," says Martin, "but the man is a complete fraud. The truth is going to surprise, and disappoint, and outrage many people who were drawn to him. He has lied to the American people, and he has sought to misrepresent his own heritage.

"Obama's life story is vastly different from the one he portrays. My point: if he will lie about his mother and father, what else is he lying about? Can we expect 'bimbo eruptions?'

"Fiction: Obama stated in his Convention speech: 'My father ... grew up herding goats.' The 'goat herder' claim has been repeated endlessly. It is a lie. Fact: Obama's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama was a prominent and wealthy farmer. His son, Obama's father, was a child of privilege, not privation. He was an outstanding student, not a herdsman.

"Fiction: Obama was given an 'African' name. Fact: Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion. I am a strong supporter of the Muslim community, and I believe Muslims have been scapegoated. Obama has a great opportunity to be forthright. Instead, he has treated his Muslim heritage as a dark secret. His grandfather was named 'Hussein.' That is an Arabic-Muslim, not African, name. Hussein was a devout Muslim and named his son, Barack Senior, 'Baraka.' Baraka is an Arabic word meaning 'blessed.' Baraka comes out of the Koran and Arabic, not Africa.

"Barack Senior was also a devoted Muslim, and also chose a Muslim name for his son, our own Barack Obama, Junior. Again, his name was an Arabic and Koranic.

Obama has spent a lifetime running from his family heritage and religious heritage. Would his father have given his son a Koranic name if the father was not a devout Muslim? Obama's stepfather was also a Muslim. Obama will be the first Muslim-heritage senator; he should be proud of that fact. There is nothing to be ashamed of in any of the three great Abrahamic religions.

"Fiction: Obama Senior was a harmless student 'immigrant' who came to the United States only to study. Fact: Obama was part of one of the most corrupt and violent organizations in Africa: the Kenyatta regime. Obama's father ran back to Kenya soon after the British left. It is likely Obama's father had Mau Mau sympathies or connections, or he would not have been welcomed into the murderous inner circle of rapists, murderers, and arsonists. I believe Obama's secret shame at his family history of rape, murder and arson is what actualizes him. Our research is not yet complete. We are seeking to examine British colonial records. Our investigation to date has drawn on information on three continents.

"And what about Obama's beloved Kenyan brothers and sisters? None of his family was invited to Boston to share his prominence. Are his relatives being kept in the closet? Where are they? More secrecy, more prevarication.

"It is time for Barack Obama to stop presenting a fantasy to the American people. We are forgiving and many would still support him. It may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel. His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles where Obama now enjoys support," Martin states.

"Our investigation is continuing. In he meantime, Crown Books should stop selling Obama's novelization of his life. We have asked Crown to do that. Obama is living a lie."

Obama never did refute these assertions, so you have to ask as well, "Why not"? So what if Obama is really a "closet Muslim"?

What's the big deal? Do I have to ask?

Is American - post 9/11 America, RED STATE America ready to elect a Muslim President?

More at Obama Truth Squad, which hasn't been updated lately, but still contains archieves from the 2004 election when Obama came into the spotlite.