Petite Maoiste-Michelle Obama
'Barack Obama' contests Brazil elections against 'Chico Bin Laden'
Six candidates in Brazil's local elections have "adopted" the name Barack Obama to help set themselves apart from hundreds of rivals.
By Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo
Last Updated: 7:46PM BST 01 Oct 2008
Claudio Henrique-Barack Obama is one of eight candidates who have taken up the Illinois senator's name during local elections in Brazil. However the three candidates who registered to contest the polls as Obama and another three who are now called Barack - or in one case Barak - Obama, have some stiff competition if they hope to stand out.
More than 200 hopefuls contesting the municipal polls next weekend have renamed themselves after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the country's popular president with an approval rating of 80 per cent.
Others have selected monikers from the wild to the ridiculous. There are candidates named after animals (Cattle Ana, Elephant Without a Tail), vehicles (German in the Lorry, Jeep Johnny), kitchen utensils (Big Charlie Knives, Golden Fork), US presidents (Bill Clinton, Jorge Bushi) and infamous Middle-Eastern leaders (DJ Saddam, John Bin Laden, Chico Bin Laden, Luis Bin Laden). King of the Cuckolds, Kung Fu Fatty and The Second King of Prawns will also contest the polls.
Claudio Henrique dos Anjos registered the name Claudio Henrique-Barack Obama as the one voters will see on the ballot after people started comparing him with the Democratic candidate.
"I am black and I wore a suit on television and people started to tell me I was just like that Barack Obama guy in the United States," said Mr dos Anjos, who is running for mayor of Belford Roxo, a city on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
"It was a great idea, more and more people are paying attention to my campaign. People can see that I have plans and programmes, not that I am just some guy out for power."
Brazilian politicians often adopt unusual names at election time. Candidates are allowed to either register in their own name or a chosen one. Many use their long-held nicknames but some adopt outlandish identities to grab attention.
Lula's personal approval rating hit 80 percent this week, higher than any president since polling began more than 20 years ago, and many candidates have added Lula to their name in the hope that some of his success will rub off.
One man went as far as changing his name to President Lula. Others call themselves Ambulance Lula, Radio Lula, Singer Lula, Hairdresser Lula and Here Comes Lula.
Few have a real chance at election. But the Brazilian Barack Obama is confident both he and his namesake are in with a good chance of victory. "He is doing a bit better than me but things are changing and I think we'll at least get into a run off," said the Brazilian version. "I've got a harder task than he does, he's already nine points ahead of McCain. And I don't have $64 million in my campaign chest."