"Obama Addresses Muslim Background"
This weekend, the mood inside a Pleasantville, Iowa coffee shop was decidedly warmer than the frigid temperatures just outside. Barack Obama (a press entourage in tow) had stopped by to rub elbows with potential voters. Given his strengthening poll numbers of recent weeks, the candidate had reason to feel good about his prospects for winning the first two electoral contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, and he worked the room with what has been described as a newly-found authority. As CNN describes it, Obama joined four women in their booth and was promptly asked how his "Muslim background" would influence decisions should he become president.
Such is Obama's burden. To counter the misinformation campaign that has swept the country via e-mail, erroneous television and newspaper reports, and even from the surrogates of his rivals, Obama has had to listen and respond to the Muslim rumor one voter at a time. As far as symbolic value goes, sharing a booth at a diner is as good a place as you'd want to set the record straight.
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