“Let me introduce you to Jerome Corsi,” read the promotional e-mail. “This week he released a new book that the publisher says will be a bestseller ‘of historic proportions.’”
Corsi’s book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President, was ill-timed, to say the least. Its official publication date was May 17, the day before that e-mail went out. On April 27, the White House had released a copy of President Obama’s original long-form Hawaiian birth certificate.
It revealed that the future president was born Barack Hussein Muhammad Jihad Guevara Manson Obama on July 4, 1976, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Not only is he not a natural-born citizen, he’s not even old enough to be president. And his mother, Ethel Rosenberg, listed her religion as “Stalinist.”
Ha, gotcha! Actually, there really was nothing to see. The information on the long-form certificate matched that on the previously released short-form one—which, contrary to myth, is a legal birth certificate and is the only kind of certificate the state of Hawaii has dispensed since it digitized its records a decade ago. To obtain the old certificate, the president had to petition the Hawaii Department of Health for a waiver of that policy.
Presumably Obama could have made this request at any time, so what took him so long? The president blamed the media:
Now, normally I would not comment on something like this, because obviously there’s a lot of stuff swirling in the press on…any given day and I’ve got other things to do. But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.
That was a gross overstatement, according to Julie Moos of the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization:
Numbers provided by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism—which tracks news coverage in its weekly index—contradict Obama’s claim.
For the week of April 11–17, the economy accounted for 39 percent of news coverage.
That same week, Donald Trump’s revival of citizenship questions accounted for “much of the attention directly on the Obama administration, at 4% of the newshole,” PEJ reports.
Back in July 2009, in my online Wall Street Journal column, I raised the question: “So why doesn’t Obama release the original certificate?” I answered as follows:
The real question is: Why should he? The demand has no basis in principle and would have no practical benefit.
Obama has already provided a legal birth certificate demonstrating that he was born in Hawaii.…The release of the obsolete birth certificate would not “resolve the issue” to those for whom it is not already resolved. They claim without basis that today’s birth certificate is a fake; there is nothing to stop them from claiming without basis that yesterday’s is as well.
The president would gain nothing politically for his trouble. By acknowledging the birthers’ demands, he would lend them a modicum of credibility. By ignoring them, he actually reaps political benefits from their efforts. His critics, even those who are not birthers, end up looking like cranks by association. His supporters use the birthers to paint Obama foes as racist—which is probably unfair even to the birthers…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?