Fallout from Randy Cunningham's insinuative invocation of Barack Obama's middle name at a McCain event continues to percolate, even in the wake of a forthright and creditable apology from John McCain himself. In the immediate aftermath, McCain made it clear that any such commentary that was "disparaging to the integrity, character [or] honesty of either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton was wrong." That response only earned him enmity from conservative commentators, including Cunningham himself, who, feeling slighted, vowed to back Hillary Clinton.
This was the backdrop for a discussion of the matter on MSNBC. Republican analyst Cheri Jacobus, initially stuck up for McCain, noting that the candidate was not on hand during Cunningham's remarks and adding that she thought that "[it was] nice that he apologized."
From there, however, the discussion went right off the rails, with Jacobus accusing the Obama campaign of being "thin-skinned" (this despite the fact that the Obama campaign's reaction was simply to offer their thanks to McCain - Bill Burton stated yesterday "It is a sign that if there is a McCain-Obama general election, it can be intensely competitive but the candidates will attempt to keep it respectful and focused on issues."). From there, Jacobus only got several degrees more ridiculous, insisting, "[Obama] has this middle name. Why doesn't he address it and get it out of the way?"
But what's to address? His parents gave him a middle name back in 1961, which, decades later, coincidentally ended up being the same as the last name of a dictator with whom the United States went to war. Is Jacobus suggesting there was some sort of secret plan hatched by Obama's psychic parents forty-seven years ago to provide a minor stumbling block to his presidential ambitions? And hey, Saddam Hussein was a U.S. ally as recently as 1983 - does this mean, for twenty or so years, Obama was the type of person that Donald Rumsfeld would shake hands with?