February 2005 (v7 i4)
Counting the Ways Since 1997
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Obama named best Democrat ever
Freshman senator modest about near-perfection
by Kathryn Edwards, Associate Editor

Obama? More like YO MAMA!
WASHINGTON — Barack Obama was named 'Single Greatest Democrat of All Time, Ever' by the Democratic National Committee, said DNC spokesman Jerry Kitridge Monday.

In the lobby of the Dirksen Senate Office Building later that morning, a small crowd of nuns, veterans and small children awaited Obama when he came down from his office to respond to the announcement. After taking pictures with several rosy-faced babies, Obama addressed the crowd.

"I remember, back when I was the skinny kid with the funny name in Harvard Law School, hoping I would someday be the skinny kid with the funny name in the U.S. Senate."

Obama's remarks were interrupted by waves of laughter followed by reverent sighs. He looked down at his feet and smiled shyly before continuing.

"In all seriousness, I am happy to accept this award, not just for me, but for all the people that led me here," Obama said. "Not only for my native Kenyan dad and the thousands of low-income voters I helped register before running for office, but everyone — from the Blue States and the Red States — who still believe in the American Dream."

The award was presented to Obama by former President Clinton in a ceremony the next night at the Capitol. Attended by celebrities such as Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Angelina Jolie, as well as most elected Democrat officials in Washington, the party went on well into the night. The DNC felt confident that their decision to honor Obama, whose first name means "blessed" in Swahili, was not premature.

Since his election, Obama, who was a well-liked Illinois State Senator before shooting to universal acclaim with his keynote address at the 2004 Democrat National Convention, has become a mover and shaker in Washington. Popular on both sides of the political divide, the senator has incurred little criticism — a near-impossibility within the Beltway.

"Those irreligious Democrats tarnish the moral order of this nation — they're liberal, nasty and a bad influence on our children," says Pennsylvanian Republican Rick Santorum, one of many Republicans who attended the party. "But that Barack Obama is like sunlight shining through the dark clouds raining moral depravity upon this country."

Santorum leaned forward, turned to make sure no one was immediately behind him and whispered: "I might even tell my kids about him."

Walking around the party after the ceremony, Obama displayed charisma and boyish charm. Flashing an earnest smile, he informed Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria that his suit was "slimming" — prompting the columnist to giggle loudly and hide his blushing face behind his notepad.

Obama then told Helen Thomas, a reporter who has covered the White House since President Johnson, that she "didn't look a day over 90." Thomas grabbed a fellow reporter and led her to the women's restroom where the two recounted the exchange in detail.

Obama's easy relationship with the press has led some to claim that an alleged 'media bias' towards Obama has contributed to his popularity. These people are wrong.
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