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BLACKNESS TIPS FOR BARACK OBAMA

Barack Obama is winning about 90% of the African-American vote, which sounds impressive until you realize that historically, black support doesn't require a high standard from black politicians (Am I right, Marion Barry?). Ninety percent on the black scale is actually about a D-plus. The reason for Obama's disturbingly low "Black Belt" numbers is pretty clear: he's just not black enough. And I don't mean the whole mulatto thing; he just hasn't connected with the entire populace the way that he needs to in order to sweep the African-American vote. So, I put my ear to the streets to find out what the peeps had to say (feel free to steal lingo like that, B.O.) about keeping ol' Barry from Gumbeling up the Democratic nomination. Give yourself a title. Make it something "rappy," like Lil' or O.G. On special occasions, carry a scepter and a tastefully bedazzled pimp cup.

Sleep with Hillary. This might be a bit tricky, with both of you being married and all, but that hasn’t stopped generations of NBA players from bedding white women. Cornrows. Of course, this would require some time to grow your hair out, not to mention that awkward in-between "halfro" phase. A weave might save time—maybe some Rick James braids or a retro Jheri curl. Cling to guns and religion. Contrary to media types, these aren’t the sole property of white rural Pennsylvanians. Black folks can be just as clingy—just more rhythmic with their religion and more illicit with their guns.

Star in a Tyler Perry movie. He’s all the rage, and it would help procure those religion-clingers. Downplay the African connection. Black people are just as xenophobic as whites, so try a more all-American name, like Denzel or Tiger. Or maybe just add a prefix like "La" or "Da" or "Ja" to your name. DaBama would be both a name and a clever pun. Start beef with 50 Cent. Not only would you improve your street cred, but your linguistic skills would come in handy, as verbal barbs like "miscreant" would no doubt go over Fiddy’s head.

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