Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Over the past couple of weeks, Sen. Barack Obama's middle name, "Hussein," has generated a minor stir, with analysts wondering whether it's a political liability. This piqued my interest, so I've compiled a list of the full names of every governor and governor-elect.
My favorite gubernatorial middle names are Renfroe, Alois, Ervin, Gilligan, Babineaux, Laurdine and Elmer, but you can see the full list below. (You can also find a list of presidential candidate middle names here.) A few other observations:
* Illinois Governor Milorad Blagojevich -- more commonly known as "Rod" -- doesn't have a middle name, but uses the middle initial "R." as a tribute to his late father, Radisaz.
* Others without middle names include Hawaii's Linda Lingle, West Virginia's Joseph Manchin III and Ohio Governor-Elect Ted Strickland. According to his congressional office, Strickland isn't even Theodore, he's just "Ted."
* In Arkansas, the outgoing governor is Michael Dale Huckabee and the incoming governor is Michael Dale Beebe. In Idaho, the outgoing governor's middle name is Elroy and the governor-elect is Leroy. The governors of Indiana and Maine both have the middle name "Elias."
* The only governor whose middle name I wasn't able to pin down was Vermont's James H. Douglas. James Hussein Douglas? Probably not.
* My middle name is "Swift." As a result, I've waited all my life for someone to ask me, "Are you fast?" Then I can reply, "Swift's my middle name."Alabama Robert Renfroe Riley Alaska Sarah Heath Palin; Francis Hughes Murkowski Arizona Janet Ann Napolitano Arkansas Michael Dale Beebe; Michael Dale Huckabee California Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger Colorado August William Ritter, Jr.; William Forrester Owens Connecticut Mary Jodi Rell Delaware Ruth Ann Minner Florida Charles Joseph Crist, Jr.; John Ellis Bush; Georgia George Ervin Perdue III Hawaii Linda Lingle Idaho Clement Leroy Otter; James Elroy Risch Illinois Milorad R. Blagojevich Indiana Mitchell Elias Daniels, Jr Iowa Chester John Culver; Thomas James Vilsack Kansas Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius Kentucky Ernest Lee Fletcher Louisiana Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Maine John Elias Baldacci Maryland Martin Joseph O'Malley; Robert Leroy Ehrlich, Jr. Massachusetts Deval Laurdine Patrick; Willard Mitt Romney Michigan Jennifer Mulhern Granholm Minnesota Timothy James Pawlenty Mississippi Haley Reeves Barbour Missouri Matthew Roy Blunt Montana Brian David Schweitzer Nebraska David Eugene Heineman Nevada James Arthur Gibbons; Kenneth Carroll Guinn New Hampshire John Hayden Lynch New Jersey Jon Stevens Corzine New Mexico William Blaine Richardson New York Eliot Laurence Spitzer; George Elmer Pataki North Carolina Michael Francis Easley North Dakota John Henry Hoeven III Ohio Ted Strickland; Robert Alphonso Taft II Oklahoma Charles Bradford Henry Oregon Theodore Ralph Kulongoski Pennsylvania Edward Gene Rendell Rhode Island Donald Louis Carcieri South Carolina Marshall Clement Sanford, Jr South Dakota Marion Michael Rounds Tennessee Philip Norman Bredesen Texas James Richard Perry Utah Jonathan Meade Huntsman, Jr. Vermont James H. Douglas Virginia Timothy Michael Kaine Washington Christine O'Grady Gregoire West Virginia Joseph Manchin III Wisconsin James Edward Doyle Wyoming David Duane Freudenthal
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.