Alsammarae, who holds dual U.S.-Iraqi citizenship, thinks he can win in Iraq's 2010 elections with a dose of Chicago-style politics. Over the past few months, he has quietly traveled to the city of Samarra and says he has won pledges of support from tribal leaders representing more than 20,000 voters.And part of the Obama way is a big web effort,
He figures 50,000 votes will win him the seat.
"We have to do it the Obama way. We are trying to send a message of change. We will clean up the system," Alsammarae says during an interview here in the Jordanian capital about his election plans.
Part of Alsammarae's campaign money is being used to pay several Iraqi college students living in Jordan to "improve" his reputation on Iraqi blogs, where he is often pilloried with accusations of corruption.
At a recent meeting with some of the students, Alsammarae praised one young man for responding to a posting that blasted him. The student, Ali Koperly, 22, wrote on the blog that Alsammarae did a good job rebuilding Iraq's electrical grid.
"We have to show the corruption of the current Iraqi government," Koperly said.
Alsammarae has traveled to Iraq on several occasions in recent months, but he says he'll stay clear of Baghdad until he wins a seat in parliament. After all, he says he still has enemies in the current government that he says would like to see him behind bars.
"I have to be careful," Alsammarae says. "You never know if this government will try to make up some new charges against me."
Great...those young bloggers should start first with Alsammarae's appalling press conference with Radio Sawa: Pro-Obama Iraqi-American Ex-Convict Supports Increased Attacks on U.S. Troops. Have at it guys.
PS The photo is Alsammarae at Illinois's Gov Rod Blagojevich's dinner for Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. You'll see a reference to this in the first comment to the USA story by someone well versed in the history