Remember when using Barack Obama's middle name was a big deal? Yeah, vaguely right? Well it seems like his moniker has become less of a slight and more of selling point, at least for six politicians in Brazil, all of whom have changed their names to "Barack Obama." It's not just a tribute, but a sneaky election tactic.
Brazilians have embraced the candidate enthusiastically in a country with a large population of African descendants and a corresponding minority of space in government. It's thought that by adopting the name of the Democratic candidate, the politicians will have a better chance of being elected. A quirk of Brazilian election law allows candidates to run under the name of their choice, so Obama seems a likely pick.
To see the story of one such name-switcher, read more.
One new "Barack" says "In truth it was an accident. I'd been on the television wearing a suit and people thought I looked a bit like him so they started calling me Barack Obama. They'd see me in the street and shout: 'Hey! Barack!" So I decided to register it." He's running for mayor and like Obama I, he has relatives in Kenya. The Obamas' messages are similar too, "I say the same things. I talk about political renewal, change, about transforming the city."
Unlike showing up at a party in the same dress as someone else, the newest Barack wants to be in a room with the original. He says, "It would be great if he could come and see our reality. Just imagine."