"I'm an American, our names don't mean shit"-Butch (Bruce Willis), Pulp Fiction
That's right. Most of the people I grew up with, all had Anglicized names-Bill, Tom, Rich, Andy or Dave, names given to second, third or fourth generation immigrants to conform to society's norms. My name was also meant to reflect my father's perceived ethnic heritage, since he was, like myself, and my children, an American mutt, too many mixed breeds to have a dominant hyphenated ethnicity, he chose the one he liked best, the Irish.
Then the hippies came, and "straight" names went out the window. This was followed by the great division of the civil rights movement, when everybody suddenly took pride in their roots, and named their children from the old country. (Now, names are chosen based on popular television show characters, or the names celebrities choose for their own children, until, as Butch so astutely points out, our names don't mean shit) Biblical names are always popular as well, especially among the Bible-damaged souls out there.
I like Barack Obama's name. To me, it sounds like a character from Star Trek, the wise leader of a dying planet. I believe it was chosen by his father as a way for his child to feel connected to his ethnic heritage, or at least half of it, so he may feel pride. I'm sure when he gave him Hussein as a middle name, Saddam was still a CIA stooge, working his way through the ranks to be an asset in the oil rich Middle East. But there are those who have their doubts about him, some solely because of his name. It's like anti-semitism, in reverse, which is a perfectly acceptable from of prejudice in America.
There are many reasons to vote for a candidate. His stance of policies and issues being the most important. Will they stand up for America, or will they let other countries make their decisions for them? A person's name should be way down on the list of reasons to vote for some one. But I do like Sen. Obama's name. Mainly because it isn't Bush or Clinton. Let's hope we never have to hear those names preceded by "President" again.