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Friday, August 6, 2010

Obama's "Birther" Strategy Has Backfired

Ever since Hillary Clinton supporters started circulating claims that Obama was not born in the United States, Obama's supporters and strategists have taken a very aggressive posture.

Almost any attempt to discuss the subject is met with a furious response from Media Matters, Think Progress, their progeny in the blogosphere, and the mainstream media.

It that were all there were to the strategy, it would not be so different than strategies a lot of campaigns use to fight what they believe to be smears. The dilemma is that if you engage in the debate, you might give credence to the claims, but if you don't, it's hard to convince people otherwise.

But the strategy has gone far beyond confrontation. Political opponents who do not even question Obama's birthplace are branded "Birthers" as a political tactic.

For example, I documented how during the Brown-Coakley election in Massachusetts, Democratic operatives fabricated the charge that Brown was a "Birther." A similar tactic was used against Sharron Angle. The entire Tea Party movement has been branded "Birthers" by leading Democrats.

As a strategy, the hyper-aggressiveness has been brilliant in the short run. The accusation of being a "Birther" is right up there with the accusation of being a Racist in the Democratic Party's tool kit, and is politically toxic.

But as I wrote in July 2009, and again in February 2010, Obama was misplaying the "Birther" card because the frequency of the strategic accusations merely raised the public consciousness and suggested that Obama was hiding something. Far from disproving the claims of "Birthers," the Obama strategy simply drove the issue below the surface.

Thus, it is not surprising that yet another poll finds that a significant percentage of the population either does not believe Obama was born in Hawaii, or is uncertain.

According to a CNN Poll, only 42% of Americans believe that Obama "definitely" was born in the U.S.

Put differently, 58% are not certain, or believe otherwise. (The other results were 29% probably born in U.S., 16% probably born elsewhere, and 11% definitely born elsewhere, with 2% having no opinion.)

The results, predictably, where higher among Republicans that Obama was not born here, and lower among Democrats. But among independents, the numbers pretty closely tracked the overall numbers, with the exception that only 37% said Obama definitely was born here.

These numbers are astoundingly bad for Obama, and reflect a strategy which has worked in the short run but failed miserably in the long run.

There was an interesting but long forgotten poll by Democratic pollster PPP taken in October 2009, asking the provocative question, "Do you think that Barack Obama loves America?"

The responses were as follows: Yes (59%), No (26%), Not Sure (14%). I have not seen a similar question polled since then, but I would venture to guess the numbers would be even more negative. But even using those almost year-old numbers, the picture is bleak as a President when 40% of the population either thinks you do not love America, or is not sure.

Put it all together, and Obama has disconnected at a fundamental level from almost half the population, or that population has disconnected from him.

While policies and the economy can turn general opinion around, I'm not sure any of those normal factors would change the minds of the near majority who are not even certain that Obama was born here or loves America.

Clearly, the strategy of stifling the debate has not worked.

In fact, I would argue that the strategy has completely backfired, and has made the situation worse for Obama.

Related Posts:
Obama Misplaying the "Birther" Card
Coakley Supporters Fabricate Birther Accusation Against Brown
A New Day, A New Accusation Against Sharron Angle

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  1. This would be so simple to resolve. If Obama had a scintilla of respect for his fellow citizens this would have been resolved long ago.
    That it hasn't been resolved speaks volumes.

  2. I think Michael Savage has this issued nailed (apart from however other extreme he might sometimes be):

    The birther issue is really a proxy for people's awareness and, yes, fear, that Obama is not really 'American' where it counts -- in his heart and head. An actual foreignbirth would povide a concrete way to attack the underlying and absolutely legit isue.

  3. What's perhaps more interesting about this phenomenon - possibly even paradoxical - is the fact that writers and frequent visitors at so many nominally-conservative forums exhibit the very same knee-jerk response.

    To demonstrate this, all one has to do is post a comment stating a single, indisputable observation: Obama has never publicly released probative documentation affirming his Article II eligibility to be elected POTUS. The response you get will vary in intensity depending on whether you're posting at Ace o' Spades or (formerly conservative) Little Green Footballs. But in all cases Appeal to Birther! (it's now graduated to its own new class of fallacy) will be involved at some point.

    I wrote a while back that if things get truly dire in the U.S. - and this government is making every effort to ensure that outcome - the eligibility question will come up again, violently. I stand by that.

  4. These polls may even understate the problem.

    I think there are a lot of people like me who fully expect a fair investigation would reveal that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii but are annoyed that he refuses to cooperate. We're also shocked to learn that there is no mechanism in place to determine whether this fundamental constitutional requirement has been fulfilled.

    We (I) see Obama as interfering with a satisfying resolution to the controversy. And doing so for the crass political calculation that he can make birthers toxic and then paint all critics as birthers.

  5. Dr. Jacobson,
    Since you are an attorney, many conservatives would be grateful to hear your assessment of the evidence gathered by a group of university historians who have been working in the National Archives. Their research topic: definition of the term "natural born Citizen". Of special interest is the evidence found in Dr. David Ramsay's Dissertation. As an academic, I think you will be intrigued by their research findings. They have blogged much of their research results, but they also intend to publish their findings in an official source. See

  6. It seems clear to me that if by 2012 each state, or a number of states, require a legitimate birth certificate to be presented prior to being given access to the ballot in that state, that this issue would be dead by then. Obama would either have to present the actual thing, or he would never have the electoral votes to win anything.

  7. It's simple enough to "prove" that Obama was born in the US, with this "negative proof".

    Assume that Obama was born outside the US, and therefore ineligible to become President. Who had the most to gain by proving this? Hillary Clinton.

    Whose political contacts around the world were good enough to have found the proof of Obama's ineligibility? Bill Clinton.

    Hillary was unable to knock Obama out of the race by proving that he was ineligible, and of all the people who would have stooped to ANYTHING to win, Hillary & Bill would have been my top choices. Therefore, not even the Clinton political machine was able to prove it.

    Therefore, there IS NO such proof. Because Hillary was unable to find proof of Obama's alien birth, therefore no such proof exists. Obama was born in the USA.

  8. @tim_maguire:

    Indeed, aside from some kind of bizarre political calculation that it's good to have a weird and unfounded accusation floating around out there as a straw man to attack...

    ... why exactly have Obama's people spent a small fortune fighting this thing? I used to believe it was nothing at all (or an alternate theory that the Hawaii birth certificate contained some sort of detail that was embarrassing in some other way), but what, exactly, is the point of keeping this issue alive?

    It's not as if the administration doesn't have plenty of alternate channels to quietly leak the legitimate birth certificate, so that they themselves don't have to be seen as taking the matter seriously. At this point, what gives?

  9. My suspicion has been that the "birther" story was manufactured or at least promoted by Axelrod's shop as a sting operation. It is cover for the far more likely story that Obama was born in the United States but is not legally a "natural born" citizen because he claimed foreign nationality, on a financial aid form or by travel on a foreign passport, after his 18th birthday.

  10. Professor Jacobson

    Well, exactly. Look when I first heard of the issue, my stance was “I am extremely skeptical, but let’s hear it.” I presumed that Obama had his stuff together enough that he wouldn’t have run unless he was qualified to be president, but I give every idea, even outlandish ones, a chance to make their case. I follow the mantra that one should only open your mind for the purpose of closing it upon a better conclusion, but I start out very open minded.

    And then I learned that they were not producing an original birth certificate, and I went, “well, why not?” Suddenly my attena went up and said, “what are they hiding?”

    And then I saw things like newspapers in hawaii announcing his birth and the issue went away for me again. Mind you, I still suspect he is up to something. The issues range from the idea that he might be hiding something about what was written on his original birth certificate (for instance, did they state he was a muslim on it, because his dad was). Or some have suggested that obama didn’t turn it over precisely because he wanted us all to get suspicious.

    And if I am ignorant of some facts in the controversy, my apologies. I haven’t cared enough about it to follow it very closely.

    That being said, I was a little shocked to learn that presidents are not required to prove their natural born citizen status. Seriously, we are going on the honor system, in the same office that Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon inhabited? I would say the next new president should have to prove his eligibility. And that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to produce a birth certificate, but maybe witness accounts, something. Like at least 2 people who can swear mom was on U.S. soil when she gave birth.

    By the way, let me veer a little off topic, because it reminds me of another instance where people were accused of trying to keep a black man out of public office based on bull about his citizenship, only this time it was almost certainly motivated by racism. The year was 1870 and the black dude in question was Hiriam Revels, fated to be the first black Senator, or indeed the first black congressman of any kind, seated in congress. And trust me this is about to get interesting.

    Now first, the Reverend Revels was going to be one of two senators from Mississippi. In those days about half the population of that state was black and about half of the voters were, too. Incidentally, in South Carolina, about 2/3 of the population and 2/3 of the voters were black there, too. Both states saw a large number of black people appointed to and elected to higher office. The fact that by 1880 all of the office holders in both states were white is about all you need to know to know that something went horribly wrong in terms of democracy in that decade—namely the brutal suppression of African Americans by the klan and similar organizations.

    But in that day, Senators were not elected; they were appointed by the states. And since they had two openings, Mississippi had a choice in which senate seat to give him (some white guy got the other seat). So whose seat did they give him? The very seat that Jefferson Davis once held. How kick butt is that?


  11. (continued)

    But that is not the really interesting part. Of course then racist democrats worked hard to keep him from being seated. And they had a frankly ingenious argument. It went like this. According to the constitution a person had to be a citizen of the united states for nine years to be a senator. But Rev. Revels was black, they reasoned, and under Dredd Scott v. Sandford, no black person could be a citizen. Now, the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause undid that ruling, they conceded, but that was only ratified in 1868, and once again, this was 1870. So by that logic, Revels was only a citizen for 2 years, thus wouldn’t be qualified to be a senator until 1875 at the earliest.

    The republicans offered three arguments in response, but it is the last one that is the most interesting.

    The first was to say, “are we even sure he counts as ‘black?’” People noted in the record that they believed the man had more white blood than black blood, using the archaic phrase octamaroon (sp?), indicating he was only 1/8 black. They questioned what standards should be used to make that determination of whether he is actually white or black.

    The second argument was to say that they hadn’t applied this consistently. The example of Texas was cited. When Texas was brought in as a state, they immediately gained full and equal representation in Congress. But prior to that, Texas was its own country. Those proposed senators, therefore, had been until very recently citizens of the Republic of Texas and thus not American citizens. But no one was concerned back then. And thus they accused their opponents of racism, which seems to have been obviously true. I mean this was 1870, and most of even the enlightened party was racist, too, just not inclined to practice racial discrimination.

    But the third theory was the most interesting. They said Dredd Scott was never good law in the first place. in other words, the 14th Amendment didn’t just overturn Dredd Scott. It declared that the case was wrongly decided, which is legal code words for saying that the decision was to be treated like it never even happened. So when did Rev. Revels become a citizen? Upon birth. And Dredd Scott’s declaration that he was not a citizen was a complete nullity.

    This, according to the republicans in the senate circa 1870, which was virtually the same cast of characters as those who participated in the drafting and ratification of the 14th Amendment. I would say the only big difference was that Thaddeus Stevens had died by then. When Stevens introduced the first draft of the Equal Protection Clause (back then it was two clauses—only applying to discrimination generally and the other applying specifically to racial discrimination), he stated that it was his dream that (paraphrase) “no distinction would be tolerated in this purified republic, but what arose from merit and conduct”—a turn of phrase later cited by Thurgood Marshall in his brief in Brown v. Board of Education. The bad irony is Stevens died within months of the 14th Amendment’s ratification, meaning he died never seeing that rule become part of the constitution.

    And that fits in with Graham’s theory that much of the 14th A was not about changing the constitution, but declaring that the constitution said what the founders of the 14th Amendment always believed it said. For instance, most of the framers were surprised to learn that the bill of rights had been interpreted to only apply to the Federal Government. They felt this was an incorrect reading of most of them, and thus incorporation was meant to restore what, in their opinion, the constitution said in the first place.

    Told you it was interesting, albeit off topic.

  12. I think Obama screwed himself. Remember back in 2008 when Barack Obama was adopted by American Indians?

    No? Do a Google search on it!

    According to this New York Times article, The adoption ceremony for Mr. Obama was held in a tent, out of view of the crowd. It was closed to reporters and photographers.

    Now this is complete speculation, but I suspect that Obama did something entirely too clever by half and is now stuck with the consequences. What I think Obama in that closed tent was quietly fill out actual State of Hawaii adoption papers, and then submitted them to State of Hawaii, without telling the public.

    Why would he do that?

    Before taking office, he would have to be certified by various offices as a Natural Born Citizen. However, since his father was a British National, Obama was born with dual citizenship, and by a common definition of the term, was not Natural Born. By other definitions, he "became" a Natural Born Citizen when he failed to exercise his British citizenship before turning 18. At any rate, it was an open question.

    Hawaii is one of the few states that allows adults to adopt other adults. What would have happened if this is true would be that Obama's original hospital certificate would be sealed, and replaced with a new amended birth certificate containing all of the original information, the Hawaii hospital he actually was born at, etc. Except that the lines recording his parents would be replaced by Hartford and Mary Black Eagle, two American citizens.

    Now imagine a partisan Democratic official who has to certify that Barack Obama is qualified for the presidency as a Natural Born Citizen. That official might raise his or her eyebrows, but could rationalize that Barack Obama's birth certificate shows him as the American-born child of two American citizens.

    It was only weeks after the adoption ceremony that the press essentially forced him to release his birth certificate. Under this scenario, Obama would have found himself in a bind -- unable to order a release of any sort of birth certificate, because the State of Hawaii could no longer release his hospital birth certificate -- being sealed. If Barack Obama were to order Hawaii to release a copy of his birth certificate, and it showed that it was Amended in 2008 to show that his parents were Hartford and Mary Black Eagle, two American Citizens, it would be one of the great WTF moments in American history.

    This would explain why he would have released a "Certification of Live Birth" that was a year old. Under this scenario, it would be the best he could do without revealing his ploy.

    Strangely (to me), my scenario is met with violent rejection both by the left and right whenever I post it, so I expect the same here. It really pleases no one. To his supporters, it paints him as deceptive. To birthers, it does not provide them with the "knockout punch" to throw him out of office.

    But, as this article shows, his refusal to release his hospital birth record and the widespread belief that he is hiding a foreign birth certificate are causing him incredible political damage. If not this scenario, then for what purpose is Barack Obama absorbing all of this ongoing political damage? That's the real question.

  13. It's the obfuscation which pisses us off.

    The explanation I heard for why the original document has not been made available was something about some derogatory reference wrt his father? Say what?

    Apparently a lot of lawyer money has been spent by Obama, so the question is "why?" Is it that his citizenship might be questioned ("foreign student" at Occidental?) based on the 14th Amendment ("... and subject to the jurisdiction thereof....") because of his father's citizenship?

    Beats me. But it clearly is a problem. If it was a rope a dope you'd think by now they would have gone "ta daa!" to make the skeptics look bad.

    It may be his undoing if there is a real issue as disgruntled Dems start to look for a way to get rid of him.

  14. It's sad that we have no mechanism in place to insure people follow the law. The biggest argument Obama supporters have is that of course he's natural born. All Presidents have to be natural born and he's President and therefore natural born. Or, if he wasn't the media would have ratted it out. Um, yeah right. Same with the Hillary argument above. I'd rather just see proof than have to use circumstantial evidence to prove something that's the law.

    Every Presidential candidate has had to come clean and open up their schooling and somewhat medical/birth records. Everyone except this one and that's what stinks. The media not only isn't interested in attempting this story, but is suppressing it.

    The guy is a complete liar and has sealed EVERYTHING he can. The media is a partner in this. I'm just glad that the people are starting to actually see through the facade and maybe will wise up. If not, then we're a nation of mostly idiots who deserve everything we get. And that's the saddest part of accepting.

  15. As someone who is almost certain he was born in HI, I can't qualify as a birther. However, the Dems in one form or another have spent north of $2M fighting nuisance lawsuits. These have been dismissed on lack of standing by the plaintiffs, not the facts. Why would someone waste this money when a simple letter or phone call to authorize the HI authorities to release his birth certificate would end the issue? The only explanation I have seen is that is allows them to keep the kooks stirred up. I can't dismiss that, but it does seem a stretch.

  16. I think that Barack Obama was indeed born in Hawaii but he thinks that the Birthers existence benefits him politically, so rather than be completely forthcoming, he's allowed some doubt to fester.

    Since Obama could have defused this entire story by having Hawaii release an actual birth certificate, I believe that he decided to keep this story alive so he can paint his political opponents as cranks and conspiracy theorists.

  17. Expose the lawyer money! If there really is money being spent to keep the original document from seeing the light of day then showing the attorneys getting it, questioning them and getting their spin on video would just be delicious. Also, can't someone start a site to collect money to defend the leaker of O-man's transcripts and papers to Wikeleaks?

  18. Obama appears to be wholly ignorant of what it is to be an American and of the founding principles of the country. It is this ignorance of, and contempt for, America that drives many of the doubts.

    No matter how you slice it he is foreign to us. He is American by birth but anti-American by choice. Osama even in his wildest dreams could never do half the damage Obama has done in just the first half of his reign of terror.

  19. Speaking of Obama's heart, see this piece in American Thinker:


    Perhaps the Constitution's framers were even wiser than we thought?

  20. Dr. Jacobson,
    I continue to wait and wonder how long it will take before people realize that even if Obama was born in Hawaii, according to the research that has been done, he still does not qualify as a "natural born Citizen" because his father was not an American citizen. I know most people believe the 14th amendment resolves that issue, but research (as mentioned in my post above above) clearly proves otherwise.

    I guarantee you this issue will be raised again if Bobby Jindal runs for President. Jindal is an anchor baby. I love Jindal, but I will argue against his candidacy for the same reason that I argue against Obama's - according to the historical writings of our founders, NEITHER man meets the definition of a "natural born Citizen" because of their parentage.

  21. I agree. It has backfired; mainly, IMHO, because....

    This question has been burning so many people since Hillary brought it up in that debate in 2008. To me, the real questions are:

    Why spend all the money to keep everything secret?


    What is there to hide?

    This man is lauded as the "most historic president evah!" yet there is virtually nothing that anyone can get at to trace what he's accomplished or how he's done academically. By his own executive order, ALL his records to ANY school, etc., are sealed. Why? What is there to hide?

    Why spend all the money (about $1M to-date) to keep everything out of the courts? Why not just produce documents, like most other presidents and candidates, and move on? Follow the money..... That will eventually point to the reasons for such secrecy.

    All that said, it would be virtual and political suicide to pursue this. In this toxic "raaaaacist"-screaming environment, to even try to obtain documents ensures an end to your career, your credibility, etc. Just because this man is African-American, to try to find out anything out about him is a "racist bigoted attack". Period. The ultimate race card play.

    No politician is willing to touch this toxic topic. Who wants their career, their life destroyed? Especially when there is virtually ZERO chance of getting any documentation revealed?

    People want to believe the best of others. But, eventually, the question of "Why all the secrecy?" trumps that desire.

  22. conspiracies have intregue. Look at JFK. Look at Roswell. There is less to both of those conspiracies.

    Promoting any conspiracy whether in negative or positive light is dangerous when you are the one blocking the door to the evidence.

    You were right on Professor! It was poor tactics and one that hails from the Rush Limbaugh runs the Republican party days. Shows just how politically inept the administration was.

  23. There is much evidence that the meaning of the Term of Art, Natural Born Citizen, comes from Vattel's Law of Nations (1758), a treatise on Natural Law. Vattel's Law of Nations was the most cited source in SCOTUS decisions in the 19th Century. No SCOTUS case directly addresses the meaning of Natural Born Citizen, but a handful of Citizenship cases define it precisely in the dicta of the cases.
    The Venus (1814)
    Dred Scott (1854)
    Minor v. Happersett (1874)
    Wong Kim Ark (1898)
    Perkins v. Elg (1934)
    All of these cases define Natural Born Citizens as those born in a country of Parents (plural) who are it's citizens. The Venus, only 27 years after ratification of the USC, and with members on the court present during the Revolution, cite Vattel DIRECTLY for the meaning of Natural Born Citizen. It has NEVER been defined as anything less by any version of the SCOTUS.
    It is well known that the purpose of the requirement was to ensure to the highest degree possible allegiance and attachment to country in the Commander In Chief, and to prevent Foreign Influence. The purpose alone should tell you that the children of aliens would not be eligible.
    Obama knows he is not eligible. He flew the trial balloon story about his foreign father, he sponsored Resolution 511, which says that McCain IS a Natural Born Citizen, since he was born of US Citizen Parents on US controled soil (which is false, since he was born in Colon, Panama) (But what about Obama?), he released a book detailing his foreign associations; all of this was done so he could say that the issue was before the public. What he also did was try to equate Native Born (born in the US) with Natural Born (Born in the US of US Citizen parents). He never says that he is a Natural Born Citizen, only a "Native Citizen", on his "Fight the Smears" website. On FTS he also makes the damning admittion: Because of his Kenyan father and the British Nationalization Act of 1948, Obama was born a British Subject. Dual Citizenship at birth alone disqualifies him, and when this was caught on to by Leo Donofrio at naturalcitizen.wordpress.com he had to perpetuate the Birth Certificate controversy and keep it going, in order to keep eyes off the issue that makes him ineligible, even if he was born in the White House on the 4th of July. He was born at best (a pic on a website is proof of nothing) a dual citizen, and is therefore ineligible and not a Natural Born Citizen. Natural Born Citizen has never in any Statute or SCOTUS case as a "Citizen at Birth". Title 8 citizenship is citizenship by statute, 14th Amendment citizens are also citizens by statute, and Natural Born Citizens are citizens by nature, no statute is neccessary to say one born in the US of US Citizen parents is a US Citizen at birth. Natural Born Citizens are indigenous citizens, the most Naturally occurring citizens.

  24. Birtherism is a cancer of "the right." It has helped provoke and organize some of the most reactionary, ignorant, and impulsive strains of the american popular political imagination in ways that have harmed the Republican party and the political influence of conservatism. If, as I suspect, this results in ongoing dissension on the right and thereby blunts the anticipated Republican wave, Obama's response to birtherism could be understood as a brilliant political ploy.

  25. It's not just the matter of where he was physically born, but having a foreign national as a father and living outside the country in his youth, there is a very definite question of citizenship, and which passports he has used over the years, regardless of whether or not his place of birth would disqualify him for the presidency.
    Hell! His thin résumé disqualifies him for that!

  26. Does it necessarily make one a "birther" to note that Obama has been less than forthcoming in providing these details?

    Could that go to his honesty and character?

  27. Even if you believe 100% that Obama's telling the truth about everything, this issue is important for meta reasons.

    That point is difficult for many on the right to understand: because they have trouble figuring it out (or have low integrity) they end up letting their opposition skate on outright lies.

  28. Put me in the "probably he was born in Hawaii" camp, but who knows, really? Who would truly be surprised if that turned out to not be so?

    What I will never understand is why some on the Right feel the need to aggressively attack anyone who voices the remotest skepticism. I say leave the "birthers" alone, and if they ever unearth any evidence, then mazel tov!

    Anti-birthers are far, far more irritating than birthers.

  29. I think, politically, Obama & Co. took what had a lot of elements of a good strategy and overplayed it. At core, birtherism makes conservatives look silly and like we're grasping at straws. So, the cleanest and most rational strategy is to keep the matter alive (by not releasing any further documentation and putting the matter to rest) but otherwise saying absolutely nothing. You don't need to draw attention to it. All you need to do is allow people looking at your opponents to see it. All spreading the reference to the accusation around does is give it currency.

  30. Kensington,

    The problem is that the birthers make you look silly. Not just the accusation itself, but the line of horrifyingly bad reasoning you get from them in follow up. They go on to claim that Biden wouldn't become President in the event Obama was removed, all laws signed by Obama would be invalidated by the claim and Obama would immediately cease being President without an impeachment. None of these claims is even remotely close to accurate. The questions aren't even open issues. Having a significant group making those claims on your side is roughly the equivalent to holding up a sign saying "We're a bunch of ignorant loons. Please don't take us seriously".

  31. "It's not as if the administration doesn't have plenty of alternate channels to quietly leak the legitimate birth certificate, so that they themselves don't have to be seen as taking the matter seriously. At this point, what gives?"

    My call is that on the long form certificate Barack Obama Sr. identifies himself as "Arab" not some variation on black. Being officially "Arab African" in Kenyan records, and reportedly being 7/8ths Arab and 1/8th black ancestry, he would have every legal right to do so, and if you've ever visited Kenya you're quite aware that the social distinction between the two is very very distinct indeed, so it's virtually certain that he would have made sure that the records were laid out that way for his son.

    And the narrative that Obama the Younger has built for himself would be very, very, very, upset indeed were it to come out that neither parent identifies as black, and at 6.25% Negro he's only half black enough to claim official minority status which requires 12.5%, yes?

    So any discussion of birthplace or religion are red herrings at best and more likely active disinformation campaigns, I submit. The real thing he's trying to hide is the detonation of his self-identification as "black". Half-white, seven-sixteenths Arab, one-sixteenth black just doesn't support the propaganda he's put out there for himself.

  32. i have to provide my birth certificate and my Social Security card every time i get hired (back when i could find a j*b to get hired at), so why shouldn't we be able to see Ear Leader's, since he supposedly w*rks for us?

  33. Adopted children sometimes get new birth certificates which show the adopted parent, not the biological parent. If this is the case, then the child is Indonesian, not Kenyan. Did Barack go to college as an Indonesian, for scholarship purposes?

    When the indictment comes down, this will be a small paragraph amongst many. I will have to show more identification to renew my library card than most people show to vote. Will the next election be honest?

  34. According to the state of Hawaii, he was born there.

    Everything else is wishful thinking and the usual lunacy from conspiracy theorist types.

    I have no respect for Obama as a man or as president, but that doesn't lead me into delusional thinking. He was born in Hawaii and duly elected. Get over it.

  35. The birth certificate is inconsequential. HIS ACTIONS speak much louder than anything else.

  36. Lee Reynolds: actually, if you look at what they've actually said and not misleading MSM reports, you'll find only one (1) statement in which HI said he was born there. That's from the same official whose previous statement was ambiguous and that she didn't try to resolve. And, in her more definitive statement she made a legal determination she isn't qualified to make (HI's AG might have had some role in that) and then rhetorically stalked off in a huff.

    The only other statement that comes close is one from HI's governor. Except, she doesn't indicate that she saw anything, in the same quote she lied*, and that followed her sending out a form letter in which she said she was legally bound not to reveal any information. And, that also followed the MSM lying and misleading about what she'd previously said.

    What all of these actions seem to indicate is not so much a conspiracy as people who *think* he was born there but who don't really know but who are darn set on covering for him no matter what.

    None of that means he wasn't born there. The problem is the meta: the establishment (this isn't just R or D) has a story and they're sticking to it and smearing anyone who raises any questions. That should be very disturbing to anyone who wants an open debate on issues, and that's why I say that the anti-"Birthers" have low integrity.

    * In her quote, HI's gov said that the statement from HI's Dir. of Health had indicated the birth hospital, when that's not the case. It would be a simple case of misstating what happened if not for the fact that she's allowing a false statement to be promulgated. If you say Bob's car is red, and then later find out it's blue and say nothing as others repeat your false claim over and over, it's then a lie.

  37. What about McCain then? Not born in the US (and according to US statute, birth on foreign US military basis does not count as birth in the US).

    What about others who ran for president or presidential party nominations:

    Barry Goldwater - born in the federal territory that later became Arizona.

    Lowell Weicker - born in Paris France

    George Romney - born in a polygamous mormon settlement in Mexico (and is Mitt's father).

    Chester Arthur - British father, possibly born in Quebec.

  38. I want to see his birth certificate and it has nothing to do with his birthplace which I believe is Hawaii. I want to see it because I have a right to see it and because he has gone to such extreme measures to keep it concealed.

    There are only three Constitutional requirements for the office of the presidency. Two of those can be ascertained by the candidate's birth certificate. It's not at all unreasonable to expect a candidate to submit his birth certificate for public scrutiny. In fact, it should be required.

  39. Personally, I think Obama was born in Hawaii. However, I do have an interesting thought experiment. Just suppose, He is not and has been found out he is ineligible. What would that mean for all the legislation he has signed. Would they still be valid laws or would they be invalid as being signed by an ineligible President?

  40. What passport did POTUS use when he traveled to Pakistan in ... 1981 was it?

    Having an undergraduate Fulbright scholarship would be cool, would it not? Might give one bragin' rights, right?

    As for being an American, the truth is Barack Obama hasn't a clue. He lived his childhood in Indonesia. His next years were spent in Hawaii -- at a posh private school. Hardly the American experience.

    The "fire" of America does not run through his veins or "in his belly." Not only that, he has no roots, no place that is home. (And no, his roots are NOT in Kansas. That's a political artifact.)

    He spend a Christmas in Hawaii, and has to rent a palace. He has been back to Chicago twice (the second time only this week) since becoming POTUS.

    For all the criticism of previous presidents (think Bush) taking vacations -- they most often went "home" where they were equipped to run everything from the 'other' White House.

    Roosevelt had Hyde Park, Truman had Missouri, Eisenhower had Gettysburg, Kennedy had Hyannisport, Nixon - San Clemente, Reagan - the ranch, Carter - Plains 9fer cryin' out loud), the Bushes - 41 - Kennebunkport, 43 - Crawford.

    The Clintons are somewhat simliar to Obamas in that they didn't have family roots in Arkansas once Mom was gone, (and Hillary's 'home' in Chappaqua & Senate seat from NY was a political farce). BUt all of these people experienced America in the most Americana ways.

    We have a POTUS who doesn't know the American experience except as learned at the knee of Frank Marshall Davis.

    Whatever the issue with his birth certificate is -- there is something rotten in Denmark.

    The fact that the Clintons couldn't solve the puzzle does not mean there is nothing there.

    Too many people had an irrational need to have this guy elected. The chickens will, indeed, come home to roost per Jeremiah Wright. And my money is that something is funny (the Arab African thing might be it) with the birth certificate.

    He might, in the end, really be the second black POTUS.

  41. I live in Michigan and recently opted to obtain an enhanced driver's license, which doubles as a passport. To qualify for this document, I had to show my 'long form' birth certificate - which has the names of both of my parents along with their ethnicity and the US state they were born in - as well as the name of the hospital I was born in, and this document was signed by the physician who delivered me. Without this document, I could not have qualified for an enhanced driver's license nor a passport.

    Using this logic, we have a POTUS who could not even qualify for a Michigan enhanced driver's license.

    Personally, I think this is an outrage on every level, and I still cannot believe that Obama has not been FORCED to prove to the American electorate that he is in fact an American citizen. RELEASE THE LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE, MR PRESIDENT!

  42. The reason Obama doesn't want to release the long form birth certificate is it may show that Obama Sr is not on there as the father. There maybe no father listed.

    He may not want the college transcripts released because at the first college it may show that he registerfed as a foering student using the Indonesian passport.

    For articles on these subjects go to americanthinker.com and search for articles by Jack Cashill.

  43. In the January, 2009 Hollister case, Obama's lawyer, Bob Bauer, requested that the court take judicial notice of the certificate of live birth (COLB) that was posted *ONLINE* and that FactCheck (part of the Annenberg Foundation which is connected to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that Obama used to Chair) said was a real copy of what they saw. Now, why would a lawyer ask for judicial notice of this? Wouldn't the Best Evidence Rule require the lawyer to show the court the ACTUAL COLB?

    On the COLB, Obama's father's race is listed as "African". African-American is a race, but I've never heard of just "African" before. And, back in 1961, it would have been more likely to be something else ("negro", perhaps), because African-American was not in use back then.

    Nobody seems to know with certainty in which hospital he was born: Queens Medical Center or Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Neither hospital will confirm that Obama was born there. Why not?

    So much for the most open and transparent administration ever.

  44. "Jennifer said...

    I live in Michigan and recently opted to obtain an enhanced driver's license, which doubles as a passport."

    Well, it may serve as a border crossing card to get you back from Canada, but it won't serve as a passport.

    Typical birther nonsense.

  45. It is amazing to see every bit of birther crap that has been posted here. The stupidity of the original article and the comments do not really warrant a reply but anyway.

    First, 71 cases have been filed and every court has dismissed them.

    Second, the COLB that was posted on line would be accepted in every court in the nation as proof of location of birth. THose who wnat his long form are ignorant fools.

    Third, the statement that Obama has spent $2 million fighting Birther Bullshit lawsuits is a lie perpetrated by Joe Farah at World Net Daily that ignorant birthers lover to repeat but cannot support. The real number is probably one tenth of that.

  46. I Igor family first victims Arizona law see at

    First deportation attempt in Arizona

    Should Obama be afraid to be stopped?

    Only papers they have were copies of Obama birth certificate. Police officer say this not good enough to even get his son on little league team much less get adult across border(much less be president of United States).

    See Birth Certificate www.igormarxo.org

  47. Lee Reynolds said...
    "According to the state of Hawaii, he was born there.
    Everything else is wishful thinking and the usual lunacy from conspiracy theorist types.
    I have no respect for Obama as a man or as president, but that doesn't lead me into delusional thinking. He was born in Hawaii and duly elected. Get over it."

    This is a typical response of the apologists for Obama. I say "he is not a Natural Born Citizen", you say "you're crazy, he was born in Hi." Of course to response that he was born in Hi. doesn't address fully Obama's eligibility as a Natural Born Citizen. As I pointed out in my above post, NBC has been defined in dicta of citizenship cases in the SCOTUS multiple times. It is ALWAYS defined as Born in the US of US Citizen parents. It has NEVER been defined as anything less. Laurence Trout and Ted Olsen also defined it the same way at the Resolution 511 hearings: "Born within a nation's Teritory AND ALLEGIANCE." If Born in the territory is enough to make one a Natural Born Citizen, why would they have to say allegiance? and why was McCain, and not Obama investigated?
    Duly elected, does not mean constitutionally qualified, and is a dead giveaway for lawyeristic wordsmithing. Since when is a pic on a website proof of anything? How can a man who's citizenship was British at birth be a Natural Born Citizen?

  48. DoctorOfLove said...
    "What about McCain then? Not born in the US (and according to US statute, birth on foreign US military basis does not count as birth in the US).

    What about others who ran for president or presidential party nominations:

    Barry Goldwater - born in the federal territory that later became Arizona.

    Lowell Weicker - born in Paris France
    George Romney - born in a polygamous mormon settlement in Mexico (and is Mitt's father).
    Chester Arthur - British father, possibly born in Quebec. "

    McCain was not a NBC since he was born in Colon, Panama at a time when Panama gave birthright citizenship, thus he was also a Panamanian citizen at birth. Of course he was naturalized by election at the age of consent by his place of residence, but he is not a Natural Born Citizen, i.e US Citizen of Natural Law, i.e. born subject to the jurisdiction of the US and no other foreign power. A statute was needed (born abroad of at least 1 US Citizen parent) to make him a citizen.
    Chester Arthur was the playbook that Obama has used. Before the election (he was the VP candidate) there was a controversy as to his place of birth (just like Obama), and many said he was born in Canada, where his father had lived (father was British). Hiding in plain sight, and not known to the public was the fact that has just recently been discovered; Ca's father wasn't Naturalized until CA was 13. This is why Obama put the "Dreams of my Father" narrative before the public so forcefully: in order to see if anyone would catch him, and to attempt to legitimize and decriminalize his ineligibily running for office.

    Of the others you mention, Goldwater was born within the present territory of the US in US controlled territory, so likely he was a NBC. The others were not, but they were not elected. It is not neccessarily illegal to run for office ineligibily. There are mechanisms in the 20th and 25th Amendments to remove an ineligible President or President Elect.
    What some of you are not understading is that the parents don't have to be born in the uS for the child to be a NBC, they need to be Naturalized before the child is born. That is why Jindal is not a NBC. His parents were non Naturalized Indian citizens when Bobby Jindal was born.

  49. Skeptic said,
    "First, 71 cases have been filed and every court has dismissed them.
    Second, the COLB that was posted on line would be accepted in every court in the nation as proof of location of birth. THose who wnat his long."

    NONE of the cases have been heard on their merits. They have not been heard for reasons of "standing". Every court may take the COLB as proof, but you can't bring a laptop into the courtroom and say, "see there it is". It has to be presented in person. Since when is a pic on a biased website proof of anything? (It's hearsay)

  50. Interesting points, except I am confused by one: Kit you do realize that there are people that are from Africa and are black that are not African-American, right? Even if we take Obama's story at face value, the more correct term for his father was African- he wasn't an American

  51. This is not a brain twister: He has not released his birth certificate. Why not?

    And yet if you pose the question, somehow you are the crazy one.

  52. @Noelie, yes I do realize that. Obama's father was never a U.S. Citizen, so he was never an "American". "African" is not really a race, though, and he certainly would not have been designated "African" back in 1961 when the birth certificate was created. Black people were not referred to as "African" at that time - certainly not on official government forms. It just raises questions for me.

  53. Exactly. If he has nothing to hide, why is he hiding it all?

  54. It's about time the US demands that anyone running for President proves his citizenship. It's about time they demand the truth from this President. He definately is not an American by the way he is doing his job. He ignores the people, bows to terrorist countries and continues using our money for his agenda. Time to bid him farewell.

  55. He was very probably born in the US. It doesn't really matter at this point anyway.

    However, he's definitely hiding almost all documentation of his life before becoming a Senator. There could be many reasons why:

    Perhaps his education records show a mediocre student with a room-temperature IQ?

    Perhaps his birth-certificate and/or matriculation records show him listed as an Indonesian citizen? Perhaps they list his religion as Muslim/Islamic? Perhaps his records list his race as white/Caucasian?

    I dunno, but when someone works sooo hard to hide something, that is usually an indication that there's something worth hiding therein.

  56. Obama has shown his official birth certificate, and the facts on it were confirmed by the officials in Hawaii, members of a Republican governor's administration.

  57. Who told you that the citizenship of a parent affects the Natural Born Citizen status of a child born in the USA? They are wrong.

    It has no effect. The meaning of Natural Born at the time that the Constitution was written was simply "born in the country." It was a common expression, used far more frequently at the time than Native Born, and it was always used by AMERICAN writers and such American leaders as John Jay and John Adams and Alexander Hamilton to mean "born in the country." They NEVER used it to mean "two US parents." That is why Obama's election was confirmed unanimously by the US Congress. Not one of the 535 members believed that Obama was born outside the USA or that the citizenship of his father affects his Natural Born Citizen status, and that is why Obama was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States.

  58. I'm very late indeed to this party, but will chime in anyway.

    When I first saw pictures and videos of Obama, the predominant impression was Egyptian. Since then I have come to think of him as black, but 'thetroll' brought that first impression back into memory.