Buffeted by criticism of his controversial Christian pastor while continuing to quell rumors that he is a Muslim, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) took a bold step today to settle questions about his religious faith once and for all.
"I am converting to Judaism, effective immediately," Mr. Obama told reporters at a press conference in Scarsdale, New York, adding that he would change his middle name from "Hussein" to "Murray."
As a sign of commitment to his new faith, the Illinois Senator said that he anticipated being Bar Mitzvahed sometime between now and the crucial Pennsylvania primary and that he would no longer campaign on Saturdays.
In a subtle sign of the shift in his religious affiliation, Mr. Obama's signature catchphrase "Yes, we can," was nowhere to be found in his speech, replaced instead by "L'Chaim."
While some political observers praised Mr. Obama's conversion to Judaism as a shrewd tactic to put the issue of his religious identity to rest, the move raised the ire of one of his harshest critics, former Rep. Geradline Ferraro.
"Barack Murray Obama wouldn't be in the position he's in if he wasn't Jewish," said Ms. Ferraro to herself.