ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: President-elect Barack Obama plans to take the oath of office using his complete given name — including the middle name that, at times, was viewed as a slur when it was uttered on the campaign trail.
In an interview with Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times reporters, Obama said he would take the oath as “Barack Hussein Obama.”
“I think the tradition is that they use all three names, and I will follow the tradition, not trying to make a statement one way or the other. I’ll do what everybody else does.”
But “what everybody else does” is a bit different in this case: During the campaign, when supporters of Sen. John McCain used Obama’s middle name, it was so clearly meant as an insulting comment that McCain repudiated the comments as “disparaging.”
In another portion of the interview that’s likely to get some attention, Obama said he would make good on his campaign promise to deliver a speech in an Islamic capital.
Said Obama: “This is something that I talked about doing in the campaign and it’s something that I intend to follow through on. What the time frame is, how we structure that, you know, is something that I will determine with my national security team in the coming weeks and months. But I think we’ve got a unique opportunity to reboot America’s image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular. So, we need to take advantage of that and the message I want to send is that we will be unyielding in stamping out the kind of terrorist extremism that we saw in Mumbai. We will be at the same time unrelenting in our desire to create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership with countries and peoples of goodwill who want their citizens and ours to prosper together. And I think that the world is ready for that message. . . . I’m not going to speculate on the date . . . but it’s something that I will do.”