James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, January 22, 2009


What are we to call the new President?

Frankly, I love it that his name is Barack Hussein Obama. How could you top that? Yassir bin Shamir? Ehud Saddam Khadafi?

It's unfortunate that some on the Paranoid Right evoke the name to suggest something sinister. Frankly, it works because it's ironic.

But what's his nickname? What should we call him, like we called previous Presidents Ike or Ronnie or Bubba or Dubya?

I don't surf as much as I used to, so I don't know if something's already caught on. It depends on his actions in the early days. Closing down Guantanamo is a good start.

But if his Presidency really starts to stink, we have the perfect nickname: B.O.

If he does next to nothing but still makes soccer moms feel good about themselves and America, there's one I've seen from the Right: Oprahma

And then there's Barry. "Barry" sounds like a kind, decent, honorable fellow. In many ways, Obama comports himself like a Barry. On the other hand, relatively few "alpha male" types are called Barry, and people know this, deep down. Thus, to call him Barry will be to suggest that he's not up to the job. The last Barry who ran for President didn't do too well.

(By the way: no President has been a Robert/Bob, Dave/David, Edward/Ed, or Frederick/Fred. But we have had a Rutherford, a Chester, a Grover, a Woodrow, and a Warren. Not to mention a Harry and a Gerry, so a Barry just follows in their footsteps.)

"BHO" doesn't have much of a ring to it like JFK or FDR, at least not yet. To me, it sounds stupid and awkward.

The Big O would have been perfect, but it has been taken by basketball great Oscar Robertson.

I'm tempted just to call him "H," following the footsteps of W.

Or perhaps "44." It will just put Obama as just another in a line of people who, even when "effective" did more harm than good.

To call him "44" would be to suggest that he's just another President we have to endure. It will be up to him to prove to us he's better than that.


  1. James,

    I don't like 44. Willie McCovey was my favorite player as a kid and I eat at his restaurant, which has lots of 4's in the address and phone number. I'm also 44 years old. Too close to home.


  2. The tabloids in NYC call him "BAM" in headlines.

  3. Barack used to call himself Barry actually. More than likely because for awhile he was sick of people butchering "Barack".