The 10: Arab-American politicians



In a now famous exchange last week between Sen. John McCain and one of his supporters at a rally, the presidential candidate cut off a woman saying she had heard Sen. Barack Obama was an Arab. His reply, according to numerous reports: “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen…He’s
not. Thank you.”

While it’s unlikely McCain meant that simply being an Arab is a bad thing – some have speculated that she said or was going to say “Arab terrorist” – it is interesting to note that even if Obama were secretly an Arab as some conspiracy theorists have suggested he would have a decent amount of company in U.S. politics. The following, in alphabetical order, are 10 active U.S. politicians whose rise to power shows that Arab-Americans can be not only decent family men and citizens, but capable political leaders as well.

Maine Governor John Baldacci, Democrat, Lebanese

Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany Jr., Republican, Lebanese

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Republican, Syrian

California Congressman Darrell Issa, Republican, Lebanese

Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood, Republican, Lebanese

Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader, Independent, Lebanese

Tennessee Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh, Democrat, Lebanese

West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, Democrat, Lebanese

New Hampshire Senator John E. Sununu, Republican, Lebanese

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Phillip Zine, Republican, Lebanese



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