Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Was Obama's Tae Kwon Do Scrubbed From The Internet?
Let me begin by saying I am a very strong supporter of Senator Barack Obama's bid to become the next President of the United States. I certainly do not intend this post to be critical of his campaign, I merely find it a curiousity.
Here's the scoop: It appears Obama's campaign may have scrubbed his Tae Kwon Do training from the Internet.
Sometime last year I was reading a martial arts news website, and was suprised to see that Senator Obama was training in Tae Kwon Do. I have to say, it suits him well; he appears very atheletic and has the lean, tall build of a long-range kicker. The article I read included a brief interview with his instructor, who described him as "an average" student, but very dedicated to his training.
I took a mental note of the article at the time, thinking it would be good to revisit as the election year developed.
So both yesterday and today, I have searched Google for that article or any other article that describes Senator Obama's training, to no avail.
There was only one single reference to the subject, one line in this Washington Post gossip column, by Mary Ann Akers -who if I'm not mistaken also runs the political blog "Wonkette".
Akers states "Obama took Tae Kwon Do at the swanky East Bank Health Club in Chicago", and that "his campaign declined to comment on the Senator's Tae Kwon Do"...
I could not find another single reference, and even the link provided in Aker's article had been scrubbed.
Now this got me thinking; why the effort to conceal the fact that Obama, who is extremely popular and doing very well in the primary election process, is a martial artist?
One thing that may be a factor is that Obama went to school in Indonesia when he was around nine-years-old. The Republicans have siezed on this pre-teen era, and the fact that Obama's middle name is "Hussein", to promote vicious, false rumors that Obama is a Muslim. (Not that it matters what Obama's faith is, but he has gone to the same Christian church for nearly twenty years). Viral Republican e-mails are spreading this propaganda arcoss America at his very minute, and several Federal employees are being prosecuted for using government computers to help propagate this myth. Perhaps Obama's campaign thinks the martial artist thing can somehow be confused with the Indonesian Muslim falsehood.
Another thing that is possible is that it may be an effort to protect his Tae Kwon Do instructor or the school itself, which may choose to remain neutral in the Presidential campaign. Yet another possibility is that Obama's family may still be involved with the school, and it is for their protection.
As stated above, I am an Obama supporter, and would be proud to view him as a martial artist. Perhaps after this exceedingly lengthy election has played out, we'll hear more about it.
Coming up next: One Bad-Ass Kung-Fu Congressman...