Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oy, there goes the neighborhood

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama owes a lot of his campaign's success to the porcelain gods.

According to the Jewish weekly newspaper The Forward, Obama's Chicago house sits directly across the street from KAM Isaiah Israel, the city's oldest synagogue. Because of its proximity, Obama's Secret Service agents have been reportedly spending a lot of time in the temple -- especially when they need to use the bathroom.

''They came in to introduce themselves and to apologize in advance for any disruption that their presence might have,'' said Sandy Lieberman, KAM's executive director. Lieberman, in turn, offered to let them use the synagogue's restrooms.

The bathroom deal was flush with issues, however. At the beginning of Obama's campaign, Secret Service agents would try to get into KAM at night, setting off the synagogue's alarm. ''But they've gotten the knack of it,'' Lieberman said, adding that the agents have been ''extremely nice,'' even participating in programs with the temple's nursery school students.

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