Did I hear that right? In front of a Jewish audience Thursday in Florida, Obama said the following:
"My father was from Kenya and Barack actually interestingly enough means the same as Baruch. It means one who's blessed. And the reason-the reason that that's interesting is that it's the same Semitic root. The same source. My father was basically agnostic as far as I can tell, and I didn't know him. He left as I said when I was two years old. So I was raised by my mother who was from Kansas. And it's true they called me Barry when I was young, but as I got older, I thought it was important to acknowledge this other side of my heritage and so I was called Barack,"… "You've had a prime minister named Barack in Israel. It should be pretty familiar to this audience."
If you go about 5 minutes into the following video clip, you will see him say this. The clip is here.
I know he was trying to relate to his Jewish friends so props to him for that. But maybe he should lay off the "blessed" rthetoric a little right? I mean the last time I checked, the "elite rap" was hurting him. Saying that your name is "One who's blessed" may not be the best way to go about changing the elitist tag. Hey, I grew up Jewish so all I have to say is "Oy-vey". And for you Obama fans out there, calm down. We're just having a little fun yet at the same time please understand that there are people out there that think Obama is some sort of "annointed one".
Obama has some heavy lifting to do to convince the Jewish community that he's a big time supporter of Israel. He's saying the right things now but some past associations may haunt him. For example, read below from Fox News on some questions he was asked today:
Two questions later, Obama was asked about his connections to a pro-Palestine scholar named Rashid Khalidi as well as proof that he has pro-Israel friends and advisors. The questioner rambled on a bit and as the crowd got restless, Obama cut off the man as diplomatically as he could. "There's a question in there that's important. Let me respond to the question," he said. Obama acknowledged that he knows Khalidi, as they both were on the faculty at the University of Chicago and their kids attended the same school. Yes, he's had conversations with the controversial figure, but said, "To pluck out one person who I know and who I've had a conversation with who has very different views than 900 of my friends and then to suggest that somehow that shows that maybe I'm not sufficiently pro-Israel - I think is a very problematic stand to take."
Obama said part of his job as an elected official was to listen to different perspectives - even if he does not agree with them. "We gotta be careful about guilt by association," he warned. He also ticked off a few names of friends and advisors who are known to be pro-Israel. "I have to be very cautious about this, because you know, you remember the old stereotype about somebody says, 'well I'm not prejudice, some of my best friends are Jewish.' Right? Or, 'I'm not prejudice, some of my best friends are black.' So I hesitate to start listing them out," he said. But since the man asked…
Where are the Jewish Brody File readers? How about some thoughts here?