The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump is doing damage to Republicans by raising the birth certificate issue. I think it's way too early to tell, but it is just as likely that Trump is doing major damage to Obama.
Obama may be winning in some circles, but the polling indicates that increasing percentages of Americans -- including substantial percentages of independents -- do not believe Obama was born in the U.S. or are unsure. I'll have more on the polling tomorrow, but you never hear about the numbers for independents, you only hear about the numbers for Republicans.
Hint, go out to dinner with four independent voters; then try to guess which one of them thinks Obama was born elsewhere. Because if the polls are accurate, one of them does.
Worse than that, the release or not of the original birth certificate now has become a test of wills. The dispute has morphed from "where was he born" to "why doesn't he just release the damn thing, we have to do it." It has become a metaphor for the overall image of Obama as viewing himself as above the rest of us, as reflected in his now-famous line about people in small towns clinging to their guns and religion.
When even the MSM pesters Obama's Press Secretary with such a question (see here starting at 1:30), Obama has lost the message.
This ends badly, regardless. Either Obama releases the birth certificate and is seen as capitulating, or he continues to refuse and is seen as hiding something by increasing percentages of voters who have tuned out the mainstream media's defense of Obama.
Am I wrong?
Update 4-27-2011: Capitulation? So far no link at Drudge, but if true this would confirm that Team Obama recognizes that the birth certificate issue has gone from tactical tool to strategic nightmare. Added: now there's a link, but so far no copy of the document. Added, here's the White House link, looks like a 1961 copy of a Certificate of Live Birth. Somehow, I don't think this will end things.
See my updated post, Obama Releases "Long Form" Birth Certificate?
The Bizarre "Birther" Intellectual Dance
Obama's "Birther" Strategy Has Backfired
The Worst Thing For Obama About Trump On The View
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