CRIES AND WHISPERS….In 2000, the whisper campaign that sunk a candidacy was the South Carolina push poll about John McCain’s illegitimate black baby. This year’s big whisper campaign might be one that we all thought had run its course months ago: Barack Obama’s supposed radical Muslim upbringing. The Politico reports:

Rather than vanish, the whispered smear campaign appears to have gone underground, and in its purest form: Obama himself, according to a pair of widely circulated anonymous e-mails, is a Muslim.

“Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background,” warns an e-mail titled “Who Is Barack Obama,” that was circulating in South Carolina political circles this summer and sent to Politico by a South Carolina Democrat.

“The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the U.S. from the inside out; what better way to start than at the highest level?”

….There are at least two indications that the whispers are being heard.

First, “barack obama muslim” is the third most popular Google search for the presidential candidate’s name, behind “barack obama” and “barack obama biography,” according to Google Suggest, which tracks the frequency of word searches.

Second, a CBS News poll in August found that, in response to an open-ended question about Obama’s faith, 7 percent of Americans identified him as a Muslim — more than any other response. The right answer, Protestant, was second at 6 percent. (Most didn’t know or wouldn’t say.)

Lovely. What is it about South Carolina, anyway?

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