Baby Baracks All Around
11.14.08 President-elect and family spark naming craze
Move over Jacob and Emily—the hot new names for babies from Kenya to the U.S. belong to the incoming presidential family: President-elect Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their kids Malia and Sasha, according to various news reports.
Honoring new presidents with baby namesakes has long been an American tradition, said a baby-name expert quoted in The New York Times. And it looks like new parents across the U.S. are reviving that tradition: A woman in Phoenix named her newborn son Barack Jeliah; a Chicago mom named her baby girl, who was born during the president-elect's victory speech, Michelle Obama; and in Queens, N.Y., a mom gave her baby boy the name Jordan Barack; and the Atlanta mom who no matter the election results said her baby boy was going to be named Obama (Pierre Obama Adell Willis to be exact). The list goes on and on.
The Obama baby boom is especially booming in Kenya, the native country of the president-elect's father. From Nov. 4 through Nov. 8, officials report that 43 children born a hospital in Kisumu, Kenya, 23 boys were given the first and middle name Barack Obama and 20 girls were named Michelle Obama, the BBC reports.
According to the Social Security Administration, other presidential name boosts include Franklin (from No. 147 in 1931 to No. 33 in 1933); Dwight surged in the 1950s and Lyndon in the 1960s.
However, the Obamas were not the only political family honored with namesakes this year. In early October, one Tennessee father was so inspired that he named his newborn girl Sarah McCain Palin. Unfortunately, he didn't tell his wife first before filling out the paperwork. No word on whether the name is going to stick.
Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin caused her own baby-name buzz when the public was introduced earlier this year to her children—Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. The governor of Alaska has been quoted as saying that her children's unusual names are full of meaning to her and her husband.
One of the trickiest things about having a baby for some people is deciding on a name. As one of our writers said, it's a Name Game.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.