'Hussein,' 'Haley,' 'Lamar' Top Twitter Inauguration Names
The president used his full name while taking the oath of office.
President Barack Obama has the middle name Hussein, one that has caused controversy because of its Arabic roots and America's uneasy relationship with Islam.
During today's inauguration, Twitter lit up with a discussion of the name — the willingness of some to finally say it, and the reluctance of others, most notably the event's emcee, Sen. Chuck Schumer, to utter it.
"I am proud that my President's middle name is Hussein. I am proud of diversity and of our eclectic cultural heritage," wrote Twitter user Brandon Hamilton bran_hamilton
"Schumer referred twice to "Barack H. Obama" - doesn't want to say Hussein," wrote user dan Danmable. (It's not clear whether it was the Senator's own decision to say "Barack H. Obama.")
Obama himself and Chief Justice John Roberts used the president's full name during the official swearing-in ceremony on Sunday and in the public ceremony today. Both times, the president began with the phrase, "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…"
The president may have also touched on the issue in his address, saying "We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names." [See also: Top 5 Tech Initiatives for Obama's Second Term]
Another prominent name was that of "Roots" author Alex Haley, whom Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander quoted when introducing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for the vice president's swearing in. “The late Alex Haley, the author of ‘Roots,’ lived his life by these six words: ‘Find the good and praise it,’” Alexander said.
Liberal users on Twitter kept the conversation about Alexander among the top trending topics long after traffic on the "Hussein" topic had dwindled.
"I have never and will never vote for Lamar Alexander (R-TN), but his speech was a perfect placement of thoughts and words," wrote Becky Brewster Sain beckysain.
Ana Marie Cox (anamariecox), the original "Wonkette" political blogger, mused that conservatives must have been reeling at Senator Alexander invoking the name of Alex Haley.
In fact, the two Tennesseans, Alexander and Haley, had been long-term friends.