While still a teenager, "Barry" Obama got rid of his Western-sounding nickname and decided that he wanted to be called Barack - his real name given to him by his Kenyan father.
Newsweek March 31 2008
: "Barry Obama decided that he didn't like his nickname. A few of his friends at Occidental College had already begun to call him Barack (his formal name), and he'd come to prefer that. The way his half sister, Maya, remembers it, Obama returned home at Christmas in 1980, and there he told his mother and grandparents: no more Barry."
Meanwhile, and somwhat conversely, Piyush Jindal decided it would be better to mask his own "funny name" which reflected his Punjabi Indian heritage. So, he found the most Western-sounding name he could find - "Bobby", based on the character Bobby Brady from that truly multiracial TV show The Brady Bunch (we're not making this up - see
). Now he serves as the Republican governor of Louisiana and is viewed as one of the top GOP presidential candidates in 2012.
But the question remains: Would anyone have voted for "Steve" or "Rick" Obama, knowing that he was so ashamed of his real name that he took a white Western name from The Brady Bunch? Don't think so. Sorry, Piyush your campaign is already over.