Talk:Barack Obama/Archive 4

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Font problem

Why is the text so tiny in the Obama article? It's the only article in mini-type.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 67.167.189.167 (talkcontribs).

Font looks fine on my computer. Are you talking about the text itself, or other sections of the article? The references are in a smaller font so that they won't take up too much room. Gzkn 06:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Hold ctrl and scroll backwards. Shakam 06:26, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Looks like it may have been related to this issue. Gzkn 02:14, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
why would that affect only this article, and only for one user (apparently)? that's weird Tvoz 06:47, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Meh, s/he was probably mistaken. Might have been browsing Obama right when the small tag was unclosed. Gzkn 07:03, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

African-American, again

Sorry to open up this discussion again, but I do not see any justification for saying that if elected he would be the "first (half) African-American President" as the article said in that section. I didn't plow through history or this talk page in depth, so maybe that was just an edit that crept in and wasn't placed by consensus, but I object to it and changed "(half) African-American" to "biracial". I have no problem if it is changed to "African-American" either. But I don't think we want "(half)" in there. Are we now going to measure ethnicity by percentages? I don't think so. Did I miss something here? Tvoz 20:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

If he so self-identifies, he's African American. He's most definitely not half-African American - he's half Kenyan. Race is a matter of self-identification, not blood quantum. If he's American (which he is) and black (which he is) he's African American unless he chooses not to so self-identify. Guettarda 21:00, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
That's not entirely true. To be legally considered a Comanche Indian and receive the benefits from the government, you must have at least "1/8th" Comanche blood in you...so that means if your great-grandmother or great-grandfather was a "full" Comanche, and you can prove it, then you can be legally registered as a Native American. You'll receive a card from the government as proof with the percentage indicated on it. I don't know how it works with other tribes. Niasain 19:33, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe so, but irrelevant to this article. Tvoz 21:10, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
So has Obama tried to register as a Native American? What happened? Did he get his card? Jasper23 21:21, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with that. He is indeed African-American, and in his case that's not just a euphemism, or currently acceptable term. And mostly, the page should be consistent. (I believe he also self-identifies as biracial, by the way, but either way is fine with me. Just not "half".) Tvoz 21:03, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
And as for the hyphen - I have no opinion on that, as to me there is no difference. I just want the page to be consistent. Tvoz 21:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Discussions on Obama's ethnicity on this talk page have been extensive and have gone in circles. I deleted the sentence for now; it's pure speculation anyway (he's not even running yet). · j e r s y k o talk · 21:29, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Fine with me. I didn't insert the sentence, but I could not let it remain as it was with a parenthetical "half". Surprised no one noticed this before, in fact Tvoz 22:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

If he does announce his candidacy, the discussion will come up again; and, I believe social perceptions should not be used when that time comes. It is 2006. I would however accept first non-Caucasian. Shakam 06:28, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • The way I see it Jersyko was right to remove it... pure uncited speculation. Considering the nature of the race discussion, we should probably not refer to Obama racially unless using something from a reliable source. In that case the racial designation should match the source (similar to the "African American" designation in the first paragraph from the Senate Historical Office). It is not our place as Wikipedia editors to give him a racial designation per WP:NOR. --Rtrev 06:39, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Shakam, referring to Obama as the first non-white.. is a little crude. Reasonorgan 09:20, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I do not understand? Shakam 00:48, 12 December 2006 (UTC)


This argument is absurd. For one, how can you state he is a non-caucasian, when he is half white? If you are going to argue that he is a non-Caucasian, he is also a non-African American. It is a contradiction to deny that he is Caucasian and claim he is African-American, when it is clear that he is NEITHER pure African-American nor Caucasian. Kelvinator 23:49, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you all are misinterpreting what I am trying to say. For weeks I tried to get "first African-American" removed because he is not African-American, he is a black/white biracial. I was just saying that since the Nazi Police is around, if he announces his canidacy, they will try to add African-American as a qualifier. I would first suggest putting "first bi-racial" but "they" wouldn't even allow that for the introduction to this article. Shakam 00:44, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Shakam, I find your nazi police joke very offensive and would ask you to remove it. Jasper23 02:21, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree, it isn't correct to label him as an African-American, but unfortunately this is a byproduct of American racial categorization. If you notice, the reference for the "African-American" statement in the first line directs to a US Senate page. It is the government that's classifying him African-American. Kelvinator 00:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

So why not "biracial" and avoid all of this nonsense? Tvoz 02:10, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Read through the archives. There is a very lengthy discussion that led us to the compromise statement that is currently in the article. Jasper23 02:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I finally got around to reading the archives, and no, I don't believe the issue is resolved. While it is true that Obama himself claims to be African-American and the US Senate page identifies him as an African-American, it is a very valid point that he is biracial. This is a fact. Yet, the sentence in question makes no reference to this, and just says outright that he is African-American. Kelvinator 03:02, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Nevermind, anyway I think consensus has been reached in the archive pages and what you bring up has been brought up before. I think I will bow out of this conversation. Have fun hashing it out. Jasper23 03:11, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Gzkn suggested this:
3) Anyway, with regard to the lead, I took what you wrote above and came up with another compromise: "Obama, who is multiracial, is the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history and the only African American now serving in the Senate, according to the Senate Historical Office."
There was no opposition to this suggestion, yet there has not been a change made that makes note of his mixed ethnicity. Yes, the suggestion was brought up, but no, there was no discussion of it. Kelvinator 03:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Here is my "how I really feel rant." Don't we all have mixed ethnicity? Do you believe in pure race? I for one don't. For me it is a lot easier to label him with a social construct than a falsely constructed pseudo-biological one. Obama is an African-American. It is silly to argue otherwise. Who cares if he is biracial or multiracial? If Obama wants to be black, let him be black. If he wants to be African-American, I am fine with that too. Who are you to tell him who he is and who he cant be. Let him put himself in his own box. Jasper23 03:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Jasper23, I agree with you, race is a social construct. However, the argument made before (and this will be the last time I bring this up, I know everyone wants to end this conversaion) is that if you accept race as a social construct, you are acknowledging that it is a subjective viewpoint. Kelvinator 04:08, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Just a note, per WP policy on talk pages it is better to use strikeout than it is to completely remove when changing comments already made. --Rtrev 03:19, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. How do you strikeout comments? Jasper23 03:24, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
<s>Is the tag to strikeout comments</s> it looks just exactly like this. --Rtrev 03:32, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Jasper23 03:38, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Regarding changes to the intro, I'm not going to argue about it any further here. I support the version currently in the article, as it's sourced to an undoubtedly reliable source and does not say that Obama is objectively African-American, but rather that a particular source says he is African-American. I support this, as it is indisputably accurate to say that the Senate historical office says he is the 5th Af-Am and only currently serving Af-Am. We can question the Senate historical office all we want. But that's what it says. This Wikipedia article doing no more than repeating the office's claim, with the caveat that it is, in fact, the Senate historical office making the claim, is the best way for us to adhere to Wikipedia policies and guidelines. This has been talked to death, and the current version is an acceptable compromise. Basically, I don't see any improvement over the current compromise, in terms of Wikipedia policy, in any other proposals. · j e r s y k o talk · 03:39, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Jersyko I don't think there is really much more to discuss on this topic. --Rtrev 03:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I emailed the Senate Historian and inquired about the categorization. I will get back to you after should I ever get a response. Kelvinator 03:58, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Here is my "how I really feel rant." Don't we all have mixed ethnicity? Do you believe in pure race? I for one don't. For me it is a lot easier to label him with a social construct than a falsely constructed pseudo-biological one. Obama is an African-American. It is silly to argue otherwise. Who cares if he is biracial or multiracial? If Obama wants to be black, let him be black. If he wants to be African-American, I am fine with that too. Who are you to tell him who he is and who he cant be. Let him put himself in his own box. Jasper23 03:37

Falsely constructed biological one? I think the social construct is false. And even though we all have mixed "ethnicity", his is diametric. It seems to me like African-American is becoming another Hispanic. Hypothetically speaking, if you called yourself a female (and you are a male), do you really have the right to put yourself in your own box? Shakam 04:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Per Wikipedia guidelines, Wikipedia uses a subject's self-identification where known. See Wikipedia:STYLE#Identity. If this were an obvious mis-identification (if, for example, Obama self-identified that he was neither African-American nor bi-racial, but rather "a rubber accordion from the planet Venus, manufactured by elves"), it might be a close case. However, the American usage of African-American includes individuals with mixed origins, so WP guidelines and common sense both support using Obama's identity. Also, if say, his father was of Italian descent and his mother was not, nobody would really complain if Obama self-identified as "the first Italian-American to march at the head of the Rose Bowl parade" or whatever. TheronJ 15:01, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • In response, I think it is entirely appropriate to use Obama's self identification when there is a citation for it. The problem is that we have had too many edits where people simply change "African American" to "Bi-racial" or "(half) African American" or whatever. I also think it is important for people to read all of Wikipedia:STYLE#Identity in this case. However, I think you might be over-simplifying a bit. Per the identity section:
  • "Wikipedia’s neutral point of view and no original research policies always take precedence. However, here are some nonbinding guidelines that may help:" (emphasis mine)
  • "In a direct quotation, use the original text, even if the originator does not conform with the above guidelines."
  • "Do not assume that any one term is the most inclusive or accurate."
  • I think that keeping these all in mind (especially the last one) is probably good idea. But remember there is, according to the guideline, a great degree of flexibility here. --Rtrev 16:55, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I was reading this back (and I admit I haven't yet read the archived discussions), and I thought I would add my own point-of-view. I'm from Hawaii, where just about everyone is multiracial. For us, one of the big things is being part Native Hawaiian. However, since full Hawaiians are very rare (I've met two in my life), most people are content to identify as "part-Hawaiian". This takes out the (ludicrous) claim that you are full Hawaiian as well as indicating that you identify with that racial background especially. Now, I'm not sure if there is the same connotation for African heritage, as honestly I've never met an African-American. But I would wonder if it's possible to identify Obama as "part-African"...it's not a fractional quantifier, but it indicated briefly his heritage. I'm sure you guys have come up with many different compromises, so I won't puff myself up to say this is any better, but in case it hasn't yet been suggested, here you go. Otherwise, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this article; it's really well-done, and it's nice to see such attention on a (sort-of) Hawaii-related article. —Keakealani 18:45, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Regardless of what colour his father was the simple fact is that Obama, while African descended, for certain, does not fall under the classical definition of 'African American' in that he is not descended from black slaves brought to the Americas during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This is a divisive statement, I know, which causes harm to those who would see him as a bridge which connects individuals high over the tides of racial and ethnic strife in this country, but it's the truth.

Calling people who've emigrated here recently 'African Americans' is detrimental to that ethnic group's social progress. As a Caribbean/West-Indian American, the distinction is paramount to understanding the several racial tensions in this country. For instance-- Affirmative Action, intended to lift up African Americans through job opportunities, is more often than not used to seat black people of more direct African descent and/or Caribbean/West Indian people, which boxes the 'socially native' black people out of the competition for spots in schools and jobs that are by law, made available for them.

Self -identification makes little sense in the context of fact. You can't entertain a consensus (whether it's a one man consensus or wiki-style)whereby Michael Jackson is a Caucasian simply because he identifies w/ Caucasian people more than he does the African American. 207.190.217.90 19:32, 28 December 2006 (UTC)Refractions of the Dawn

My parents are both first generation immigrants (from Scotland and India respectively) who have both been US citizens since the 1980's. I am thus biracial, Indian and Scottish. I was born in the United States, however, and have lived here pretty much all my life (vacation time not included). I don't consider myself "half indian" or "half scottish" when thinking of my country. I am American through and through. That's the beauty of this country. We shouldn't even be debating about what color he is - I'm not half brown. As a matter of statistical interest, we could mention he is the first biracial president. Anything else is taking the matter out of hand. The focus should be on his qualities as a president - not on his ancestry and the semantics of his race. Mrmaroon25 18:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I think his article should classify him as being black, as opposed to the much more exclusive term African-American. I think black people should all be called black, because they're not all of African descent. For example, Haiti, India, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Australia, and Jamaica are a few other countries they can be from. Slicedoranges 05:50, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm tempted to move this discussion to the archives... Gzkn 06:14, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Well it might be worth it to archive it and just create a perma-link to the discussion so editors new to the topic can see that it really has been discussed from every possible angle. --Rtrev 06:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
And it will keep coming up, again and again, I'm afraid. Tvoz | talk 08:23, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

LOL at slicedoranges. And unfortunately, I fear the same thing Tvoz. Shakam 20:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, you guys can quibble about how you want to classify him based on the colour of his skin if you want to waste your time like that. The only kind of American I will refer to Barack Obama as is a Great-American, and hopefully soon, I will be able to call him a Presidential-American. Fuck labels and categories. His 2004 DNC Keynote Address talked about how much he hated the 'slice and dice' job people are doing to divide this country into categories, be it Red State/Blue State, White America, Black America, Gay America, Straight America-Barack Obama himself only acknowledges one America-Our America. That's the country I wanna live in. And this is the man I want to lead it. Wandering Star 14:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The statement below is deeply unfair-- and is completely incorrect. It oversimplifies what it means to be an African American, limiting that to having multi-generational roots in America. The fact is, any fair-minded person can see that Obama has to deal with the reality of racism any time he leaves his home in the United States. The fact is that if someone has even one eighth African heritage in this country-- and it shows in their features in any way-- they have to contend with racism as an undeniable reality in this country.

America is a great country, but for if someone has any visible African heritage at all--you can be 100% sure they will encounter racism during their lifetime. Barak Obama is of 50% African heritage and he is American. That is more than enough to call him African American with no hesitation and no second thoughts. Saying, in effect, that his status "doesn't count" also oversimplifies the entire African American community in the USA-- the African American community is hugely diverse-- ranging from predominantly priveledged, highly educated, hugely successful, on the one hand; all the way over to poor and struggling on the other extreme (not unlike the White American community). It encompasses both recent immigrants and those who have roots here going back hundreds of years. Sean7phil 09:54, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

NPOV

See opening paragraph:

Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention while still serving in the Illinois State Senate. In November 2004, he was elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat by a landslide in a presidential election year marked by Republican gains. (note no citation)

These two bolded bits show some of the pro-Obama bias that comes out in the article. Surely, he is a phenomenon and significant politician. But some of the rhetoric in the article takes it too far. Any other comments or views on this issue should be outlined below; I am not establishing a comprehensive look at the POV of the article, but it is quickly obvious that it is not neutral. Happy editing! Shagmaestro 14:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe I've addressed the specific concerns you raised in your comment. Do you (or anyone else) have any other specific NPOV concerns? · j e r s y k o talk · 14:49, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I took the liberty of removing the NPOV tag after reviewing the article. Andrew 19:10, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
What was wrong with the original opening paragraph? Or is Shagmaestro just trying to provoke? They're facts. Obama was still serving in the state senate, the election was a landslide (70% to 27%), and the year was marked by Republican gains. Sjenkins7000 22:28, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The word in question is landslide. This is a subjective opinion and not a fact. There is no agreement as to the point where you switch from a 'close' victory to a 'landslide' victory. Kelvinator 08:06, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Fortunately it's not a decision Wikipedia has to make, nor should it. Even though Jersyko made the requested changes, there are several reliable sources that cite Obama's 2004 election as "landslide". Namely, the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and the New Statesman, to name a few. However, it was quite appropriate of you to point out that the term was not properly cited or attributed. But hey, moot point now that Jersyko made the changes. --Bobblehead 08:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
By any reasonable measure, a Senate election victory in which the victor garners 70% is absolutely a "landslide". I detect no bias whatsoever in referring to it as such. KyuzoGator 06:23, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
While I don't see any harm in not including the word "landslide" in the opening paragraph, I do think it is interesting to note that Obama's victory is listed in the US section for landslide victory. --Bobblehead 07:54, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

In the Chicago area a vote of 70% Democratic to 30% Republican is not all that unusual. :-) Steve Dufour 03:41, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but why not report that he won by a large majority? This is just factual and does not contain any POV pushing elements. --Kukini 19:20, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
It is POV/weasel wordish to simply state a "large" majority. What is the threshold for large? 60%? 70%? 80%? It is entirely subjective. I think that article makes it very clear that Obama is a popular politician in his district. I wouldn't have a problem with simply saying "Obama was elected with 70% of the vote" or something neutral like that. --Rtrev 19:34, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
It does. Neutral statement of 70% was alreeady there - see end of Senate campaign grafTvoz | talk 20:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I gave it a shot, let me know what y'all think. Oh, just out of curiosity, what would you call a 70% to 30% vote? I thought "large" was a reasonable description, yet it was called it weasel language. Anyways...it is on there now as suggested. --Kukini 22:11, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Ethnicity within the European American component of his heritage

He is half-white, or as we say today, half-European-American. What is (or are) the national origin(s)/ethnicity origins of Obama's maternal side?Dogru144 01:32, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I am pretty sure that she is or was an American.Jasper23 20:08, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

American is not an ethnicity. Mis mother is from Kansas, in a region with many German and other northern Europeans -is she of English, German, Swedish heritage?Dogru144 16:13, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

If there is further debate

Respectfully, I'm half white and half black. In a pinch (because I don't really like the phrase for personal reasons), I will say I'm African-American. I really liked the article the last time I read it (two days ago). In the end, it doesn't really matter what anyone wants to call me, but I would really appreciate it if they would respect what I want to call myself. Barack Obama calls himself African-American, so please lets leave it. Since I begged the question, I call myself a human being and that's about it.Nina Odell 01:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm half black and half white and I don't call myself African-American because I refuse to lie to myself and be ignorant (not directed at anyone). [sarcasm] I am a human, but if I want to call myself an alien I have that right. [/sarcasm] Shakam 07:14, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

How about we just drop this tired subject. Restarting this debate is not going to get anywhere. Issues of race and racism are not going to be resolved through a Wikipedia talk page. Gzkn 07:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
seconded Tvoz | talk 07:37, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
No doubt - I just saw "African-American - again" on a summary and thought maybe I would nip whatever it was in the bud. I'm often wrong though:).Nina Odell 17:27, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Thirded (word????), but I am pretty sure it will arise again when/if he announces his presidential bid. Shakam 19:44, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

middle name

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the consensus reached was that Barack Obama's complete name including his middle name of Hussein was correctly included in the first sentence in boldface, as per Wiki style, and then again in the first sentence of "early life" as this is an expansion on the first intro sentence, but that since he is widely known as Barack Obama, the title of the article and any other references to his name would not properly include his middle name. Some people are known by their full names (e.g. John Kenneth Galbraith), others are known by first and last with middle initial (e.g. George W. Bush), and others by their first and last names only, even if they have a middle name (e.g., John Kerry). So I believe the name in the infobox should remain as Barack Obama, the name he is generally known as. Therefore, I reverted the last edit. Tvoz 07:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I think your reasoning is sound. He is most commonly known as "Barack Obama" hence the title of the article. I think his infobox should reflect that. His full name appears in the article so I see no need to change what you have settled on. --Rtrev 08:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
The "early life" sections of others not known by middle names, e.g., John Kerry, do not include middle names. I am removing Obama's from this section. Cj67 23:51, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
You know what - I don't really care either way, myself. I reverted the previous edit earlier today and reinstated the middle name in the Early Life first sentence because I was hoping to avoid an edit war over this incredibly minor point - I thought this had been hashed out here enough. The reason, to me, for including the full name in the first sentence of Early Life as well as in the intro sentence - and nowhere else - is the Early Life section expands upon the information that is sketched out in the Intro, and in this case there is additional detail in Early Life regarding his name that clarifies the intro. Namely, he is actually a "Jr." - his name is identical to his father's name - and so if we say there that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr, and that he is the son of Barack Hussein Obama of Kenya, etc., we are clearly providing a succinct explanation of how his name came to be. I agree that he is not commonly known by the middle name or the Jr, and that's why I say above in an earlier comment (yesterday) that neither belongs in the the infobox. But Early Life should be used to expand upon and clarify and provide details for the introductory sketch - this does - and I would say we should reinstate it. But I mean it when I say I don't want to get into an edit war over this - it is far too unimportant a detail to warrant such dissension, in my opinion. So I didn't revert it again - instead I'd like, once again, to hear what other editors of this page think, reach consensus, and for heaven's sake move on. Tvoz 00:10, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Obviously, the name should be included in the intro. Standard practice, however, is to use only the most commonly known names throughout the rest of the article, including "early life" sections. See, e.g., Al Gore. Thus, "Hussein" should be in the intro but not in the early life section, in my view. · j e r s y k o talk · 01:16, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
It seems there is no dissent, so I removed it again. This makes it consistent with others, as noted previously. Cj67 01:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Since his father has the same name as him and on his birth certificate it says "Barack Hussein Obama Junior" and his father's name is "Barack Hussein Obama Senior", should we come to an agreement on the use of the suffix Junior or Jr. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 162.83.140.199 (talkcontribs).

Please note that we do have guidelines for this in the manual of style. See here. Gzkn 02:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Barrack was born to a Muslim father and inherited his fathers Muslim and Arabic origin name. If Wikipedia is truly the beacon of truth and fairness it claims to be, his original name of بارک حسین ابامہ will be included. But I doubt it, too many people pushing their Islamophobic agenda on Wikipedia. Islamican 23:53, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

All reputable sources i've seen refer to him as "Barack Obama". Do you have a reliable source detailing that his "original name" is, in fact, in Arabic? · j e r s y k o talk · 00:46, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
His middle name is Hussein, see Hussein for more information on the origin of this name.

Others with the name "Hussain" or a variant spelling of it include Muhammad_Husayn_Haykal, Mullá Husayn, Tahir ibn Husayn, etc etc. They also all have the Arabic spelling of their names on their page. Also, please note that the page Hussain states:

"Husayn, Hussein, Hussain, Husain (Arabic:حسین), is an Arabic name which is the diminuitive of Hasan, meaning "good" or "handsome". It is commonly given as a male given name among Muslims, after Husayn ibn Ali."

Also note, later on the same page is this entry:

"Barack Hussein Obama, United States Senator"

So why doesn't this man have the Arabic spelling of his name on his page? All others do. Ignorant people will contend that this is a Muslim name. While it is, many Christians also have this name. So again, why doesn't this mane have the Arabic spelling of his name on his page? Why is he treated differently? There is only one answer. See Islamophobia. 68.163.135.90 00:57, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

If you say so. ;)

Please assume good faith instead of accusing other editors of Islamophobia. Gzkn 02:15, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Another explanation... Barack Obama is not from an Arabic country, therefore his name is not and should not be written in Arabic. Just because his name has a Muslim origin, it does not mean that his name should be also written in Arabic. Barack Obama was born and raised in the United States and as such, it would be unencyclopedic to provide a spelling that is not native to his native country. All of the examples you provided come from Arabic countries, so it is logical to provide the Arabic spelling of their names. As an example, Dashiell Hammett's name is of French origin, should his article include "de Chiel Hammette" as a spelling? Is not including the French spelling Francophobia?--Bobblehead 02:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:STYLE#Identity and WP:NAMEPEOPLE can be applied here. Arabic script would not be used unless Obama himself used it when writing his name. The fact is that Obama was born in the United States means that latin characters will be on his birth certificate. It would only be proper to use Arabic characters if Obama had been born in an Arabic writing country, lived there for much of his life, or had adopted Arabic script as his preferred character set.
Example:
  • Walid Phares is American and refers to himself as "Walid Phares" so you will notice that his page uses latin characters
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky was Russian so his name was spelled in Cyrillic characters (Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский) which are noted on his page parenthetically along with the other common transliteration of his name.
In the English Wikipedia as well as the English speaking world Obama is known exclusively by his name in Latin characters not Arabic ones. There is no need to add the Arabic script. --Rtrev 06:27, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
There is no really no question about this. Barack Obama is American, and his name is therefore rendered in English. As for Arabic spelling - it is not true that "all others do". See Muhammed Ali, Yusuf Islam, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for example. It makes no more sense than rendering George Stephanopoulos's name in Greek letters - which we do not. Or try Danny Thomas who was Lebanese, birth name Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yakhoob, rendered in English in his article. Or Laila Ali, Muhammed Ali's daughter. Or Jacqueline Onassis for that matter. I could go on - I think the point is made. Barack Obama is American - there is not a sliver of doubt about that, and rendering his name in any language other than English in this article would be incorrect form and make no sense.Tvoz 06:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of Obama's Muslim background? His family has a Muslim history, and there is some indication he was raised in a Muslim household, and has a Muslim middle name. If his unique racial background is worthy of discussion, why is his even more unique religious background (for someone being considered for President in the age of terrorism and after 9/11) not mentioned at all? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 67.23.164.225 (talkcontribs).

Only his father's side is Muslim. His mother is a Christian. He may have been raised as a Muslim but he converted to Christianity. So he is now a Christian and his muslim background should be talked about as much as Mohammad Ali's Chrisitan origins.

This is completely INCORRECT. As far as I have read he was neither raised as a Muslim, nor did he convert to Christianity. Tvoz 01:11, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Senator Obama's background is amply mentioned, in more minute detail than one usually encounters here. To say he was "raised in a MUslim household" is not supported by the facts that have been presented. If you have other facts that are verifiable, please share them. His parents were divorced when he was 2 years old. He lived with his non-Muslim mother for the next 4 years. He lived in Indonesia for the next 4 years, from ages 6-10, 2 of which were spent in a Muslim school, as the article says. The other two years were in a Catholic school. At least one source (which I will dig up if needed) said his mother's new husband, with whom he lived for only 4 years, was a "non-practicing Muslim". NOte, please, "non-practicing". This hardly constitutes being "raised in a Muslim household". He was sent back to the US and lived with his mother's parents who are apparently not Muslim. He attended a non-sectarian school from 5th grade through high school and for the remainder of his education. He is a member of a Christian church. I see absolutely no indication that his "Muslim background" is being short-changed - indeed, the article is bending over backward to reveal every little detail of his multi-ethnic, multi-racial background. I am becoming increasingly disheartened as I see the kinds of edits and questions that are being raised here - let's try to remember WP:AGF and WP:NPOV and look at this article with the same standards we apply to others. Tvoz 23:23, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

---Removed trolling---Jasper23 23:56, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

What a stupid comment. Jasper23 23:44, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Semi-prot

I requested semi-protection for this page, fyi. The IP edits are killing my watchlist. · j e r s y k o talk · 17:10, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Hooray! Good move - and I think it should be long-term. Thanks for taking the initiative. This is a good article, and our energies should be spent on improving it where needed, rather than running around after these destructive, and often racist, vandals. It's a pleasure to not have to wade through all that crap. Tvoz 02:17, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Wow. Semi-protection really killed off the edits to this article. Been awhile since I've seen this one go two whole days without a single edit, heh. Gzkn 02:41, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Happily, true. Tvoz 03:26, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
ANy idea why the semi-prot was so short-term? I wish I had reason to believe the problem is passed, but I doubt it. Tvoz 07:20, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't understand that, and it's somewhat disappointing. I mean, why should George W. be essentially indefinitely protected against IP vandalism while Obama, arguably the biggest thing to hit the Democratic Party since RFK and increasingly a target of vandalism, be protected for only a few days? I don't meant to accuse the unprotecting admin of political bias, but rather to explain the possible need for a more long-term protection of this article. In any event, I'm certain we'll be requesting protection again in the next month or so. God help our watchlists. · j e r s y k o talk · 14:37, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Its really a matter of volume and ability to revert. S-Protection should be used carefully. From WP:SPP:

"Semi-protection should be considered if it is the only reasonable option left to deal with vandalism on a page or to stop a banned or blocked user from editing it.

Like full protection, it is usually not a preemptive measure. However, Jimbo Wales has suggested semi-protection may be used in cases of '...minor [biographies] of slightly well known but controversial individuals...' which are not widely watchlisted, if they are "...subject to POV pushing, trolling [or] Vandalism." In such cases, semi-protection '...would at least eliminate the drive-by nonsense that we see so often.'"

The truth is Obama is pretty highly watched and the amount of vandalism here has been comparatively low... although annoying. The page is subject to all three "POV pushing, trolling [and] Vandalism" but it is widely watchlisted and vandalism is routinely and quickly reverted. The important thing is that it is not a preemptive measure. My guess is that the level of vandalism on the GWB page is a constant stream as opposed to the more sporadic seen here... but I don't know that for sure. --Rtrev 16:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, we'll all find out soon enough. Believe me, I'll be happy to be wrong on this. Just to say, though - it's not the mindless drive-by juvenile ("JOE IS THE COOLEST GUY IN MILWAUKEE") vandalism that was causing problems here - it seemed rather more targeted (Osama, etc) so I don't think this is pre-emptive, I think it was reactive to the situation we were seeing, and have no particular reason to think will change. But, hey, hope springs eternal. It seems to me that it is such a trivially easy thing to do to register a username, that I do wonder why people of good faith wouldn't - it's rarely registered usernames who do that kind of targeted vandalism.
Also, although it's true that lots of people watch this page so lots of us were doing the reverting and keeping the integrity of the page fairly stable, the effect it has on diligent editors who wish to track changes is they have to slog through a lot of crap in histories until they can see substantive changes, and in my opinion that's an unfair burden on a page like this one which is by definition frequently changed because the subject is evolving. ANyway, I don't want to be a pessimist... Tvoz 18:16, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I think semi-protection as an ad hoc 24 to 72 hour temporary restraint is our best and most balanced solution. It seems to have worked well in the most recent case, with only one IP vandalism incident in the last 24 hours. --HailFire 12:38, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with HailFire. The article has been nice and quiet for a while now. The good thing about random IP vandals is that they are fickle and not very dedicated. Obama was just near the top of the news cycle. Now he is out of it. I think that the 24-72 hour sprotect is fine. Perhaps we can be a little quicker to save ourselves some headaches when the vandalism starts but I see no need for an extended protection at this point. A couple other points.
  • "It seems to me that it is such a trivially easy thing to do to register a username, that I do wonder why people of good faith wouldn't" Anonymity pure and simple. This makes it possible for anyone to edit the wikipedia without being identified. Most people don't have to worry what they type but not everyone. It is just one of the basic tenets of the Wikipedia.
  • Tvoz, everyone knows that Fonzie is the coolest guy in Milwaukee.
--Rtrev 15:43, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
BTW, I agree totally about Fonzie. Tvoz 04:43, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
You don't mean "anonymity" - you mean "accountability". It is simple to remain anonymous here - pick a screen name that is unrelated to your own. But you are accountable because wikipedia admins have access to your IP address, and maybe even your email address. Well, that is as it should be. That is how the vast majority of online systems work. Why not do it here? In fact, you'all spoke too soon. SInce the semi-protect was lifted on 12/20, there have been at least 6 anon vandalizing edits that had to be reverted.It was "nice and quiet", because we had semi=protect on. NOw, we'll see what develops. I don't think you're right that "Obama ... Now he is out of it." I expect we'll be hearing a lot from him. (By the way. what is meant by 24-72 hr?) Tvoz 08:18, 23 December 2006 (UTC) sorry forgot to sign
Requested semi-prot again, this time asked for long-term or permanent. IP Vandalism has been on the rise. Tvoz | talk 08:26, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Copied from my posting to Wikipedia:Requests for page protection:

I request that the current semi-protection tag be changed to the less obtrusive {{sprotected2}} and removed after an appropriate timeout interval. I believe that any move to establish permanent semi-protection is premature and preemptive for this article. I have previously expressed this view on the article's talk page, where no consensus has yet emerged on the issue. While it is true that some IP edits have been needlesome, they are manageable because the article is closely watched by a global audience. Reverts have been made by many editors, including some with IP addresses. Blatant vandalism is usually corrected within minutes and at all hours of the day. I have been an active contributor to the article since September 2006. Though I appreciate that there are others who may define the role of semi-protection differently, I have reviewed the policy documents and I think my view is more to the mainstream of the current thinking. Kindly consider my request. --HailFire 15:27, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

There's no way this will be permanent - the article has had far less vandalism than many others that just have to continue on. Longer than last time, probably - I suggest two/three weeks might help quieten it off. As for the tag - well that's an aesthetics issue for the page editors (not necessiarily admins) to decdie, so feel free to change it. --Robdurbar 16:37, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
HailFire: sprot only blocks IP (and brand new) addresses from editing - it does not stop anyone from reading, nor does it stop anyone who wants to contribute to create an account with an unidentifiable and untraceable name (i.e., don't give your email address) and contribute. The edits made by multiple IP addresses on this page, as you know, have been (not always but by and large) at best unhelpful but much more often downright offensive and I see absolutely no reason why that should be allowed to continue. Again, you know I am not talking about the juvenile HI MOMs - they are also annoying, but that is not what plagues this page. We are plagued by targeted vandalism - changing "Obama" to "Osama", for example, and the regular changing of text that has hidden text clearly requesting that it not be changed right there, plus blatant POV pushing, trolling, etc. Classic case for permanent sprot. The result, when sprot is in place, is the ability to conscientiously edit and improve the article (which has a changing base of facts so needs constant attention). But rather than being able to easily evaluate substantive changes that responsible editors make, we are bogged down in having to go through screen after screen of pure and often vicious vandalism. For what positive reason, may I ask?
IP edits also can be used, I suppose, by regular editors who don't want to reveal that they are making sub rosa changes, but I would hope that is not going on here.
And IP addresses have quite rarely reverted vandalism here - in fact I just looked at the last 500 edits and didn't see a single case of an IP address reverting vandalism. Maybe I missed one, but that claim was not really reflective of what goes on on this page - it is a very small group of actual editors who do the vast majority of the reverting.
Your comment above about there being only one vandalism on Dec 21 was just one day after sprot was lifted the last time. I said then that I hoped to be wrong, but predicted that vandalism would be back up and it is. That's why I requested extended protection.
If what you were unhappy about is the tag itself, I also thought all along that we should have {{sprotect2}} and had thought to change it last time but the block was lifted before I had a chance to. I have changed it to that less obtrusive tag. The question of the duration of the lock is what I am interested in. Two-three weeks is much better than what we had a few weeks ago, and may coincide with any announcement that Senator Obama makes which is also good timing for sprot, but I'd like to understand why you would want it not to be an extended one, because I can't make any sense out of your position on this, as a person (you, I mean) who clearly is interested in having this remain a high quality page, as evidenced by the excellent work you do here, and the fact that this page has been by far your main area of Wikipedia editing. Tvoz | talk 18:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Peace. --HailFire 19:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

circular reference

Footnote #5 is actually a circular reference, as the article it footnotes credits as its own source wikipedia. In other words, Wikipedia should not quote a source whose main source is wikipedia. Also, the minor changes about his stepfather's occupation and Barack's childhood are from the following source: [discoverthenetworks.org]

The circular reference whose link was removed is http://www.eastandard.net/hm_news/news.php?articleid=1143957108. The article credits "wikipedia and its agencies" as its own source. --Djbrei 22:19, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Consensus on intro wording in is Archive- NEW EDITORS PLEASE READ

For new editors: there is hidden text on the intro for good reason - please don't change the relevant sentences without reading the extensive archives on this point, and then please discuss here before proceeding, as requested. Editors of this article worked hard to reach consensus on how to accurately and neutrally describe Senator Obama, and apparently it was agreed that the US Senate Historical Office was a neutral source and that they should be cited - in the text as well as in the footnote - exactly as: "According to the U.S. Senate Historical Office, he is the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history and the only African American presently serving in the U.S. Senate." followed by the footnote. I was not editing this page at that time, but I believe the consensus reached by the editors involved should be respected. So I have reinstated the agreed upon text, and I hope that this reverting will stop. I also believe discussion is welcome, however. This is not a closed subject - nothing ever is closed on Wikipedia - but reverting wars won't get us anywhere. Tvoz 08:22, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I was here when this editing was been discussed. The deal is this: It is unclear one way or the other to describe Obama's racial background. Most attempts by Wikipedia editors to "decide" what to call him are pure and simple WP:OR. It is not out place to assign a racial descriptor to Obama so it is best not to refer to him in racial terms unless you are citing from a RELIABLE SOURCE that describes Obama's race. Otherwise you are running the risk of violating WP:NOR and WP:NPOV. Its all in the archives many times... please read. --Rtrev 14:25, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Here's a helpful link: Talk:Barack Obama/Archive 3. Nearly the whole page, so I won't link individual subsections. . · j e r s y k o talk · 14:58, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Electoral history is selective --thus, inherently POV, to put it lightly

Where are the election returns specifics for the state legislature election?Dogru144 01:19, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Not sure I understand what you're saying...are you asking for a complete tally of Obama's voting record during his time in the state legislature? That's not something that would be worth including in an encyclopedia article. I'm not sure I understand the POV thing either. What are you saying is POV about that section? Gzkn 01:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Clarity for whether law professor post was concurrent with state legislator position

Was he a law professor at the same time that he was a state legislator?Dogru144 01:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Well he wasn't a "professor", just a lecturer at UChicago. According to the article, he didn't take his leave of absence until he became a Senator: "Obama...taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1993 until his federal election." Gzkn 01:33, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Over Rated?

Removed trolling. Gzkn 02:34, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Unofficial sites - wrong on both sides

The "web articles" section seems to have devolved into a list of articles that attack or support Sen. Obama - I don't see how these are "unofficial sites" at all. They are at best "further reading", but would be out of proportion there - they are not in-depth looks at t Obama pro or con - they are just individual commentaries. They could be used as references to the text of the article, if the article addresses the issues raised in these pieces and if someone actually used them as source material. We have to have a balanced view in this article, absolutely, but attaching an attack piece with no context as an "unofficial site" (like Raimondo's or Cockburn's) or for that matter a "pro"-Obama piece like the Vermont one - as "unofficial sites", I think is wrong on both sides. I propose removing the "web articles" section from unofficial sites. Tvoz | talk 22:58, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Sure. WP:EL seems to lead to this type of edit. · j e r s y k o talk · 23:18, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually I'm not saying this because of the WP:EL guideline which I personally have some problems with - I am saying it because these just aren't sites of any kind, they are articles and as such amy be eminently includable but not in this way. I have no problem in principle with the rest of the unofficial sites listed here, or with the idea of external links - just think that these either should be incorporated into "further reading" or used as actual references. Tvoz | talk 00:42, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

why remove my addition to Iraq War on Obama's page? (I was not logged in)

On January 1st, from IP 12.219.104.40 I added to the Iraq War (5.3.3) the following paragraph:

Never the less Obama voted in favor of every additional funding for the troops in Iraq, and voted against Senator Kerry's Troop Redeployment Amendment [1]

It was edited out without comment. I do think it is relevant information about Obama's position on the Iraq War.

Peace!

Marcos marcos 07:29, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not the one who removed it, so I can't say why it was removed, but perhaps if you had a citation for the first part of your text it would have been better - this citation only refers to the Kerry amendment, and the first part is not given with any context (i.e., how did everyone else vote?) or verification. Tvoz | talk 07:46, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Muslim schooling

People will be interested to know that a politician who wants to lead our nation in the fight against Islamic extremism spent two years in a Muslim school. I'm not saying it disqualifies him (maybe it's even an advantage -- know your enemy), but it is certainly relevant. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.163.230.185 (talkcontribs).

The addition looks like WP:Undue weight to me. --HailFire 10:00, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Slow revert entered. --HailFire 16:27, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


ON "MUSLIM SCHOOLING"

The above unsigned comment on "Muslim schooling" is very silly. Attending a Muslim school has nothing to do with leading the nation against Muslim extremists or any other extremists, any more than my having attended a Christian school has anything to do with my dislike of Christian extremists like Jerry Falwell. Most Muslims are perfectly peaceful and decent people, just as most Christians are. Neither of them are "enemies." You're supposed to reject Muslim extremists because they're extremists, not because they're Muslims, you idiot! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 129.93.17.139 (talkcontribs).

No personal attacks, please. · j e r s y k o talk · 22:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

This is interesting. Can we have a source for this? Arrow740 04:58, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

OK. It's not clear what you're asking for a source on, but if you're asking about his schooling, here it is. Obama's mother married a non-practicing Muslim Indonesian man and they moved to Indonesia when Barack was 6 years old. He attended a school there for 2 years - when he was ages 6-8, which has been described as a "Muslim" school, but no further detail given as to what that means; he then was put in a "Catholic" school from ages 8-10, then his mother sent him back to Hawaii to her parents where he went to a private non-sectarian school from fifth grade through high school. It is apparent that going to these 2 schools from ages 6-10 neither made him Muslim nor Catholic - they were just elementary schools - and has been deemed an unecessary detail for this piece as it is completely irrelevant to anything else. Some people seem to want to make a big deal out of it for unknown reasons. The source we had for this was one short sentence in an article written by Scott Turow, and the point of Turow's article was that Obama is "the face of American diversity", not that somehow he is a secret Muslim, or a secret Catholic for that matter. Somewhat ironic seeing as how this little tiny factoid seems to be wielded here. If you look at earlier edits of that section you'll find one that I did which spelled out this unimportant story, because I thought that it was preferable to spell it out rather than just saying that he spent 2 years in a Muslim school as if that somehow conveyed something meaningful - when you look at the whole story it is crystal clear that these were merely educational choices that his mother made, and of no lasting import at all. I agreed with whoever decided to remove the whole explanation, because I never really thought it rose to the level of a notable fact either. So that is the whole story as I know it. Not worth the time it took to tell it, not significant, and not needed in the article. Tvoz | talk 06:09, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Amen to that! Gzkn 06:11, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Campaign Ad

What happened to NPOV? This article looks more like an "I Love Me" campaign ad than anything.69.151.50.128 10:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

If you can point out specific violations of NPOV, please do. Gzkn 10:49, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
The main thing notable about Senator Obama is his great popularity; there is no way to talk about that without sounding positive about the guy. Of course any criticisms expressed in published sources should not be left out of the article. Steve Dufour 04:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The Opening Paragraph

I asked this about a month ago, and i'd like to ask you all again

Does anybody have a problem with removing that "according to the US Senate" part? It's incredibly redundant, particularly since there's a link right afterwards. Since it's been heated and discussed before, I'll wait a few days to see if anyone still has a problem. Just H 01:38, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

It's the consensus edit. Check the archives. Jasper23 01:47, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with it, but it is the result of compromise. I think we should respect the consensus for now, unless it's clear that some editors have changed their minds or a large number of other editors agree with the change. If you really want to make the change, I recommend a short, clear rfc on the subject. · j e r s y k o talk · 02:28, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't like the way it is now (the entire qualifier should be scratched if it isn't accurate), but it was a compromise. So yes, I have a problem with removing "According to the US Senate." Shakam 06:27, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I too think it's a bit awkward but it is accurate, and a reasonable compromise. And I go along with respecting the consensus that editors managed to reach in this sometimes contentious crowd.Tvoz | talk 06:33, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok. Just figured i'd check. Just H 21:50, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Please don't take out the disclaimer. I lost two days worth of work spent arguing the point last time.  :-) Steve Dufour 04:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

This article is missing any reference at all to Obama's vote against the Kerry-Feingold Amendment co-sponsored by Barbara Boxer and Pat Leahy.

Put it in if it was mentioned in any new articles. Steve Dufour 04:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Added section on Global Labor Arbitrage

I wanted to start a section on global labor arbitrage even though I'm unsure of Obama's exact position on the subject or if he even has one. I suspect that his views on related issues will prove contradictory (favors illegal alien amnesty but supports American middle class and jobs for Americans). Why start such a section? Because this issue, a crucial economic issue often known as "foreign outsourcing", played a significant role in the 2004 presidential election where, but for the War in Iraq, it might have helped John Kerry win the election. It is a crucial issue that few Americans (and politicians and media pundits) understand, but it has in many forms that people would recognize: immigration, foreign outsourcing, H-1B and L-1 visas, trade deficit, and popluation explostion (an increase of labor relative to the limited capital of land and natural resources). This issue is also related to the economy in general, health insurance, unemployment, crime, and education (often advocated as a magical panacea for global labor arbitrage -- "We need better education so our jobs won't go overseas. Education will save us!"). Consequently, it is very possible that a great many of these issues, especially the issue of foreign outsourcing, could play a role in the 2008 election, especially since the American middle class feels that it is being squeezed by many aspects of global labor arbitrage. For example, in spite of news reports about the health of the stock market and allegedly (and deceptively) low unemployment numbers, the news reports have also said that the American middle class does not feel that it is enjoying any of the benefits.

I hope that people will take this issue seriously and begin filling in the blanks on Obama's stances on these crucial issues. Perhaps this section will encourage Obama and his campaign to think about these issues. If he could articulate the threat that Global Labor Arbitrage poses to the American middle class and if he were to play his cards right on these issues, it could win him the election.—Preceding unsigned comment added by WhipperSnapper (talkcontribs)

That's nice, but how is unsourced analysis worthy of inclusion in the article? Wikipedia is not the place to insert original research. Gzkn 05:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
In the absence of voting records, speeches, major news coverage, etc. what exactly would you want to add to this section? Speculation and original research are not part of what Wikipedia does. Even if this is a crucial issue as you say, why is the Barack Obama article on Wikipedia uniquely deserving of a section on "global labor arbitrage?" There are 99 other senators. I put the term in quotes because you seem to be using the phrase as an attack on U.S. work visas, as opposed to the economic phenomenon of arbitrage. Rhobite 05:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
He has to have some sort of a record on issues like mass immigration (legal and illegal), H-1B visas (aka "The Skill Bill"), and trade policy. I just don't know exaclty what they are other than that he voted for the Senate illegal alien amnesty bills. Perhaps the new section could start with that. Regardless, every Congressman's Wiki page and especially every presidential candidate's page should have a section on this issue. So many Americans have suffered because of it. Maybe we should just just create the section and leave it blank for now, allowing more knowledgeable folks to fill in the blanks with cited references?—Preceding unsigned comment added by WhipperSnapper (talkcontribs)
Unfortunately, creating blank sections is not the right way to go about doing things. You're welcome to dig around to see if there are any reliable sources on his record on this issues. But keep in mind that the article shouldn't become a record of every vote Mr. Obama has cast. That wouldn't be very encyclopedic. Finally, please sign your talk page posts with four tildes (~~~~). Thanks! Gzkn 07:51, 9 January 2007 (UTC)