Monday, March 31, 2008

What's In A Name?

Since I may want to be President some day, I will tell you a story that is based on eyewitness accounts and statistical data.

It is also possible I dreamed the entire thing up.

I live in New York's 9th Congressional District. Part of the district is in Brooklyn, part is in Queens. The district is Jewish, Italian and other white ethnics. In a Congressional election, Jews hold the balance of power.

Before 1998, our Congressman was Charles Schumer. When he gave up his seat to run for the Senate, a bunch of Jews from Brooklyn announced their intention to run for Congress, including a City Councilman, Anthony Weiner, who was a protegee of Congressman Schumer.

Only one Jew from Queens announced her candidacy, a State Assemblywoman, Melinda Katz, who was closely allied with Alan Hevesi, who was not, and even after everything has happened, is still not, a dirty name here in Forest Hills (his son is our State Assemblyman). Anthony Weiner took the Brooklyn Jews. Melinda Katz took the Queens Jews. The vote was basically tied.

Weiner won the Democratic nomination and the Congressional seat (no one in this part of Queens is a Republican) because the Italians in Howard Beach (a part of Queens), voted for the Brooklyn candidate. They felt more comfortable with a Congressman named Anthony.

Some people say that the people in Howard Beach thought Weiner was an Italian name, or maybe he was Italian on his mother's side. No. And these people always knew that. They just felt that spending your life walking around as an Anthony may have made Congressman Weiner more sympathetic to issues concering Italian Americans.

Similarly, it doesn't matter whether Senator Obama is Muslim or Christian. It is hard for some people to believe that, given his name, that he won't be sympathetic to issues concerning Islam.

And that is going to cause him a world of problems