Barack Obama Legally Changes Name to "Barry Manilow"

He writes the books that make the whole world think

N A MOVE pundits say is designed to further groom Barack Obama as a presidential hopeful for 2008, the Junior Senator from Illinois announced today that he has legally changed his name to Barry Manilow.

"Note that it's not Barry H. Manilow," chuckled Senator Obama, referring to his former middle name, Hussein.

When the senator was asked why he had decided to change his name, he replied, "I don't want anything to come between me and the constituents I serve. When CNN puts my former surname up on the screen with video of Osama bin Laden, that's confusing to the American people," said the senator, referring to the recent CNN gaffe that placed the graphic "Where's Obama?" in front of file footage of the outlaw terrorist.

"CNN is never going to display 'Where's Barry?' or 'Where's Manilow?' in front of Obama—I mean Osama—by mistake. Besides, as my college classmates will tell you, I used to be called Barry, not Barack. So my new first name is a natural fit, and the last name just sort of fell into place."

Lawyers representing the original Barry Manilow, famed singer and songwriter of such megahits as "Mandy" and "I Write the Songs," assured reporters that their client had been notified in advance of the Senator's intentions.

Said Byron Malcolm, singer Manilow's personal attorney, "My Mr. Manilow knows who he is. He's not concerned that the distinguished senator from Illinois will be drawing crowds from my client's musical concerts. The new Barry Manilow can't even carry a tune, from what I've heard."

Mr. Malcolm also hinted that his client was not averse to changing his name at least temporarily, if it would help clear up any confusion during the Senator's potential presidential campaign.

"We're not announcing anything definite, by all means," stressed Mr. Malcolm. "But a few names have been floated. The current favorite is Ted Turner."