Tenn. GOP removes Obama's middle name from its Web site

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Republican Party has reversed course and removed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's middle name from a news release on its Web site.

The party said in a clarification that it dropped Obama's middle name Hussein "to diffuse attempts by Democrats and the Left to divert attention from the main point of this release."

But Democrats weren't the only ones upset with the state party's earlier pledge to keep using the name in releases.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said that after a conversation with state party chairwoman Robin Smith, she had agreed to remove the release and a photo of Obama in traditional African garments.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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