Barack H. Obama foundation drops middle initial
March 21st, 2014
03:53 PM ET
4 months ago

Barack H. Obama foundation drops middle initial

(CNN) - The foundation dedicated to planning and building Barack Obama's presidential library dropped the 'H' from its name.

A spokeswoman for "The Barack Obama Foundation" confirmed that the name change was deliberate, in order to avoid confusion with similarly named foundations.

An internet search of the "The Barack H. Obama Foundation" - as Obama's library foundation was known until Thursday - brings up a charitable organization in Kenya founded in 2008 by President Obama's half-brother, Abon'go Malik Obama. That organization is named after their father.

The President’s half-brother’s organization already picked up the domain name barackhobamafoundation.org, leaving the President's foundation with obamapresidentialfoundation.org.

Obama's middle name, Hussein, sparked controversy in Obama's first presidential race when some opponents used it to suggest he was Muslim.

The Tennessee Republican Party referred to him as "Barack Hussein Obama" in a February 2008 release questioning the then-Illinois senator's commitment to Israel. It also included a photograph of Obama from a 2006 trip to Kenya, in which he is dressed in traditional attire.

Obama chose to use his full name at both his 2009 and 2013 presidential swearing-in ceremonies.

On Wednesday, the presidential foundation put out a request for institutions potentially interested in hosting the future library to submit a proposal relating to their qualifications.

"Our goal is to build a library of which the whole country, and hopefully the whole world, can be proud," Martin Nesbitt said in a statement. "Our vision is to create a space that reflects President Obama's values and priorities throughout his career in public service and serves as force for good in the surrounding community and throughout our world."

Nesbitt, one of three founding board members, is a friend of the President who worked on his two campaigns for the White House. He announced the formation of the organization in January along with longtime Obama supporters Kevin Poorman and Julianna Smoot.

The foundation is expected to make a decision on the location of the future presidential library early next year.

Obama's home city of Chicago is seen as the frontrunner, but cities in Hawaii, where he was born, and on the east coast, where he attended school, are also vying to host the site.

The library will likely cost north of $100 million, based on the costs of past presidents' libraries. The money comes from donations, and the foundation says it will disclose all contributions over $200 on a quarterly basis.

CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    Next on Rush Limbaugh: "The first act of an evil dictator is to drop his middle initial from his presidential library foundation"
    Hey, it makes as much sense as the Birther nonsense.

    March 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    For what? He should be proud to be known as Barack "Who's Sane" Obama.

    March 21, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Why? Nothing wrong having that middle name. History books will have any way.

    March 21, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Where to put the library? Get ready for a blast from the past.

    I cast my vote for Freeport, Illinois a long time ago. That's where the Senesta plant is located, or used to be located before Bain Capital came in and simply closed it up, and shipped the jobs to China. That town could use the economic productivity that the library would bring.

    March 21, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Cue all the haters in 3, 2, 1 ...

    March 21, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. HenryMiller

    "Cue all the haters in 3, 2, 1 ..."

    Nothing wrong with hating divisive, disruptive, destructive, incompetent, nuisances like Barry Obama.

    March 21, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    OMG!!!! Alert Faux "News"!!!!!

    March 21, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Henry Miller – If ignorance was a reason to hate people, Henry you would be at the top of a lot of lists.

    March 21, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    If "W" dropped his middle initial, people might confuse him with his more popular father.

    March 21, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Abbey

    LMAO.............all day!

    March 21, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Abbey

    H for Hillbillies!

    March 21, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |