Birther Man

Donald Trump may not know much about politics, but he knows how to market himself and get attention. By raising the possibility that President Obama was not born in the U.S., Trump has stirred the conservative, Obama-hating base. So much so, in fact, that he has risen to a tie with Mike Huckabee for first place among likely 2012 Republican presidential primary voters.

In the WSJ interview video above, Trump addresses the birther issue yet again. Now I will concede that the circumstances surrounding Obama’s birth certificate are strange. The president cannot or will not produce his long-form birth certificate; and in an attempt to put the issue to rest, the newly-elected Democratic governor of Hawaii said he would find it and show it to reporters — and then basically said, “Never mind.”

Trump is probably correct that there is something on that birth certificate that they do not want us to see. Maybe it says Obama’s father was a Muslim. I think long-form birth certificates from that era state both parents’ religion. Mine does. Or maybe there is no birth certificate because he wasn’t born in the U.S.

And it is strange there don’t seem to be a lot of friends who recall Obama from his childhood, or remember him during his college days. Strange indeed. Maybe he was just something of a loner. But let’s say we confirm that Obama was actually born in Kenya, or that his atheist father was born a Muslim. Where does that leave us? Pretty much where we are now.

If it was established that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen because he was born abroad, what do we do then? Congress would have to draw up articles of impeachment based on the fact that Obama is constitutionally unfit to serve. Can you imagine what a circus that would be? Wouldn’t it be better for Republicans to put their energies into defeating the president in his bid for re-election?

The point is that it doesn’t really matter what’s on Obama’s birth certificate or where it was issued. And any attempt to make a big deal out of it is either publicity mongering (Trump) or an attempt on the part of nativists and racists to delegitimize Obama.

I know a better way to delegitimize Obama. Kick his ass in 2012.

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  • Terrence McCarthy

    Although I do not want his ass kicked in 2012, I'm with you on how to send him to the showers, if the showers are where one wishes him to go.In my humble opinion, Obama isn't telling all or showing all about his birther certificate because he doesn't want to dignify the comments coming from conspiracy theorists, X-File fans, UFO abductees and The Donald.If you don't like him, vote against him next time around. That's the America I love.

  • W Rand

    Are you serious? What Obama produced *is* his birth certificate. Hawaiian law prevents release of the longer form. And even if he were born overseas he *still* would be an American citizen because he has an American mother.

  • Terry Cowgill

    "Hawaiian law prevents release of the longer form."Where on earth did you get that? "Release" by whom? Are you telling me Hawaiian law prevents an individual from releasing his own long-form birth certificate? That's absurd. Even the governor of Hawaii didn't claim that.I've previously seen the two links you provided, but they do not support the above statement.As for your second statement, you're saying anyone born to an American mother, no matter where the location, is automatically a US citizen? That's news to me. Links, please.If Politifact went back to my undergraduate alma mater or my prep school and started looking up alumni from my classes, they could find dozens of people who knew me pretty well. But I was an extrovert and didn't spend a whole lot of time in the library. I'm not sure I can say the same about Obama. As I stated clearly in this post, he might very well have been something of a loner.Look at Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. Both were/are surrounded by friends from their graduate school and undergrad days. Obama's friends from those days are oddly missing.

  • Terry Cowgill

    The Politifact link says: "State law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record."I think Barack Obama has a "tangible interest" in this matter. If he does not have a copy of the long-form, he could request it, release it and the birthers would crawl back into their holes. But for some reason he does not want to do that. I guess he'd rather let the issue stay out there.

  • Don

    The Constitution says that a someone must be a natural born citizen to be eligible to become President. It's not relevant if he gained citizenship through his mother (or not). If he wasn't born in the US, he's ineligible. If he was born in the US, he is automatically a citizen and eligible to serve as President. Period.I would bet he was actually born in Hawaii, but the issue is a perfect red herring. By getting a lot of attention focused on the birth issue, less attention is paid to the real agenda. Saul Alinsky would be proud…

  • Peter Halle

    Ten days on from your post, the Donald is still the headline. Now, that is amazing! I am sure there are some out there who think he is a brilliant leader with mega moxie. I just haven't met them. Seriously, what a ridiculous windbag – what a cartoon. If he ran (and he won't), he would make Ross Perot look like a regular guy. Check out Doonesbury's take on him.

  • Terry Cowgill

    Peter, your description of Trump as "a ridiculous windbag" is spot-on. I would add "world-class jerk" to the list of phrases that accurately describe him.Trump will not run for at least two reasons. He does not want to spend his own money to run for president. And, of course, no one will donate money to his campaign because everyone thinks he is fabulously wealthy. I, for one, think he is worth considerably less than reputed.Trump typically carries around a lot of debt. If you subtract his liabilities from his assets, I don't think he'd be left with nearly as much as people think — which is probably why he is has been in and out of bankruptcy court. I'd be willing to bet, for example, that Trump's net worth is significantly less than Mitt Romney's — and far less than Ross Perot's when the diminutive Texan ran in '92 and '96.Secondly, a presidential run would leave Trump and his businesses open to unprecedented scrutiny. There is no way, for example, that he would want to release his personal tax returns or those of his businesses.I'd be shocked if he actually runs, which begs the question: is he doing this to boost the ratings for Celebrity Apprentice?