At the time (basically, all of 2003 and 2004 until the day before the primary election), my standard response to people suggesting that voters wouldn't go for a candidate with a name so similar to Osama was something along the lines that voters elected a guy named Blagojevich, so funny names are OK in Illinois.
What we should have said is that it will make it easier for hip hop stars to throw a shout-out to Barack.
As "Chris Rhodes" in the joincross blog found in today's Sun-Times, rapper Common has this line in a recent hit:
"Why is Bush acting like he trying to get Osama? Why don't we impeach him and elect Obama?"
Thanks Common. How could we have not realized the benefit of his name during the primary?
(But by the way. . .it would probably be a good thing if more people than Common and Ralph Nader were calling for President Bush' impeachment for lying about the reasons for invading Iraq. Those hardball GOPers know that pushing impeachment on Clinton helped to make some people feel like there was something wrong about him. I think the Dems should play some more hardball and call for impeachment proceedings).