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Throughout the past 12 months, our President-Elect's name has been the subject of silly and pointless controversy by both the mainstream media and the right-wing attack machine.

His first name rhymes with "Iraq," and he decided to go by that instead of Barry, his Anglicized childhood nickname.  His middle name is the same as that of the fallen Iraqi dictator.  His last name rhymes with Osama.

How controversial!  How foreign!  How terribly un-American!

Earlier this week, Barack Hussein Obama II announced that he would be sworn in as President using his full name, including his middle name of Hussein, on Inauguration Day.

And guess what?  Not a peep of outrage from the media.

Obama frequently joked throughout the primary campaign that in no other country but the United States could a "skinny kid with a funny name" grow up to become President.  But our next President is not the only Commander-in-Chief in our nation's history to have, for lack of a better term, a funny name.  The Baby Name Wizard has some shocking new evidence that might surprise you!

Here are the others, in alphabetical order:

  1. Grover Cleveland.  The name "Grover" was somewhat popular during his first term (BNW ranking of 56 among boys in the 1880's), but it took a steep decline by the time he served his second non-consecutive term (BNW ranking of 114 in the 1890's).  The name has now long since disappeared from the top 1000, gone the way of the dodo just like "Wilhelm" and "Adolf."  Plus, Grover was his middle name!  This exotic, mustachioed man's real first name was Stephen, which had an even lower BNW ranking in the 1880's (89) than did Grover.  Pretty suspicious if you ask me.  Even more suspicious when you consider that Cleveland's first name (or really, his middle name) is shared by these two shady characters:

Grover Norquist (400c) Pictures, Images and Photos
Grover Norquist

grover Pictures, Images and Photos
Grover the Muppet

And lest we forget, Grover Cleveland's last name bears a striking resemblance to this guy:

family guy: cleveland brown Pictures, Images and Photos

  1. Dwight D. Eisenhower.  I have to give our country's 34th President for bringing the name "Dwight" back from obscurity.  Languishing with a BNW rank in the 300's and 400's, the onset of WWII and his election gave the name "Dwight" a real baby boom (BNW rank of 147 in the 1950's).  But other than that, this guy's name was riddled with problems.  First of all, we all remember his affectionate nickname of "Ike."  We were all supposed to "like Ike," right?  "I like Ike, you like Ike," right?  Wrong.  "Ike" was never a popular name (BNW ranking of 888 during his Presidency, completely gone now), and it doesn't even roll off the tongue all that well anyway.  Ike Eisenhower.  Sounds more like the sound you make when you're choking on a rotting taco, if I should say so!  Second, his surname is German.  German!  This guy "allegedly" kicked some serious Nazi ass during WWII, and we trusted him to be President, with his GERMAN last name?!  And not only that, "Eisenhower" means "iron cutter" or "iron worker."  More like, Iron Cross worker!  This is unacceptable.  I demand that Congress initiate a full, posthumous investigation into Eisenhower to determine if he was pro-America or anti-America.
  1. Millard Fillmore.  Sadly, the data from the BNW does not stretch back as far as the days of our nation's 13th President.  But by the 1880's, the name "Millard" was not even in the BNW's top 200, and by 1970, it completely fell out of favor.  And come on.  Millard?  Bang up job there, Mr. and Mrs. Fillmore, naming your kid Millard!  You wouldn't want that kid to become President one day, would you?  Imagine how badly the kids on the playground treated him.  "Hey look!  It's Milli Vanilli!  You're stupid, Milli the Silly Vanilli!  Why don't you go do some lip-synching!"  Baby Namer reports that three drawbacks to the name "Millard" include these three teasing nicknames: Mallard, Milk, and Lard.  Great.  That means he could have been teased as being like a duck, like a cow, and overweight!  Such easy name-teasery is an obvious threat to America's national security and we should feel ashamed for ever having elected the guy.
  1. Ulysses S. Grant.  This guy's first name wasn't even in the top 350 of baby names by the 1880's, and it's not at all popular today.  Ulysses might be the title of one of the most celebrated books ever written, but that book was written by James Joyce, an Irishman!  Plus, "Ulysses" means"angry or wrathful."  Do you want an "angry" or "wrathful" guy taking that important electric telegraph at 3 am?
  1. Rutherford B. Hayes.  You know how exotic this name is?  "Rutherford" was NEVER in the top BNW 1000 names at all in the past 120 years.  EVER!  And neither was his middle name.  You know what it was?  Get ready for it....Birchard.  You read that correctly: Birchard.  Rutherford Birchard Hayes.  That was the full name of our 19th President.  Try not to cackle with pre-pubescent laughter.  His name clearly signalled "Danger!" to America.  I mean, yeah, there was that whole business with Reconstruction and corruption and whatnot, but that's besides the point!
  1. Lyndon B. Johnson.  The name "Lyndon" enjoyed a brief spike in history, according to BNW.  When LBJ was President, "Lyndon" soared! a BNW ranking of 548.  It has never been higher.  Yup, 547 other boys' names were more popular than "Lyndon" in the 1960's, barely beating out "Humberto."  Those other 547 more popular, groovy names during LBJ's time include A) that totally girly-sounding name of Lynn (1960's BNW rank of 307); and B) that totally fish-sounding name of Marlon (1960's BNW rank of 464); and C) that totally British-sounding name of "Reginald" (1960's BNW rank of 132), currently enjoyed by the actor Reginald VelJohnson (a.k.a Carl Winslow from "Family Matters").  And need I remind you that Carl Winslow bears a striking resemblance to THIS GUY:

family guy: cleveland brown Pictures, Images and Photos

  1. Harry S. Truman.  I know, I know.  You're probably wondering what this name is doing on the list.  I'll tell you.  That "S" doesn't stand for anything!  It suspiciously stands there for no reason, tempting you to wonder why a President would need a middle initial if it doesn't stand for anything.  Maybe the S. is for "suspicious."  What, was "Stan" too popular?  Was another guy named Harry Stan Truman arrested for murder, so the President avoided getting mixed up with the Feds by eliminating his middle name?  Was President Harry S. Truman a murderer?!!  It makes you wonder, what DOES Harry S. Truman stand for?  Who is the REAL Harry S. Truman?

Originally posted to SuperBowlXX on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 01:39 PM PST.

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