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Apr 28th, 2011

Obama Had No Choice in ‘Birther’ Fight

For the president’s allies and even many of his critics, it was about time

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama laughs in the White House briefing room in Washington on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 as he speaks to reporters about the controversy over his birth certificate and true nationality. (Photo credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Analysis by Jim Kuhnhenn

April 28, 2011

WASHINGTON — Confronting doubters who harbor questions about his place of birth, President Barack Obama chose to defy one of his White House’s own rules: Don’t get dragged into the news skirmish of the day.

This time, he decided he had to. In an extraordinary step, the White House produced a copy of his detailed Hawaii birth certificate Wednesday after obtaining a special waiver from the state to make it public. …

Image: This handout image provided by the White House shows a copy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii.
See PDF copy of Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate

The debate over his birth was becoming a media preoccupation. Celebrity developer Donald Trump, who took the lead in sowing doubts about Obama’s birth, was gaining a following as he flirted with a Republican presidential bid. A recent poll showed two-thirds of all Republicans — and smaller percentages of independents and Democrats — believing Obama was born overseas or voicing uncertainty about his place of birth. …

“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshow and carnival barkers,” Obama said.

But the issue was not just a distraction. The rising public doubts about his birth, with their hints of xenophobic and even racist attitudes, threatened to feed broader suspicions and grievances among millions of Americans. Unchallenged, those sentiments would linger through his re-election campaign. …

There was no guarantee that the topic of Obama’s birth would simply go away. The Internet on Wednesday was already beginning to hum with questions about the authenticity of the newly produced document. …

Aides said Obama decided last week that he had had enough of the issue and asked his White House counsel, Bob Bauer, to look into getting a waiver from the state of Hawaii to release the document.

The copy of the documents arrived at the White House around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Aides released the copy Wednesday morning. Bauer, Pfeiffer and press secretary Jay Carney briefed reporters. Only then did Obama take the podium.

“Now, normally I would not comment on something like this,” he said. …

“But I’m speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press,” he said. “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do.”

Full story


Obama reveals long-form birth certificate (NBC “Today,” April 28, 2011) — In an effort to put questions of his eligibility for the White House to rest, President Obama releases his long-form birth certificate. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports. (02:11)


Related report

Video (19:58)

Trump ‘proud’ of himself, takes credit for birth-certificate release (Shawna Thomas, NBC “First Read,” April 27, 2011) — Donald Trump is “proud” of himself for, as he puts it, “getting the president to release his birth certificate.” … “Today I’m very proud of myself, because I’ve accomplished something that no one else has been able to accomplish,” Trump said, adding, “Our president has finally released a birth certificate.” … Full story


Video commentary

The racist roots of ‘birtherism’ (MSNBC “The Rachel Maddow Show,” April 27, 2011) — Goldie Taylor, contributing editor for, reviews her personal connection to the racist history of demanding identification from blacks in America. (04:18)


5/1/2011 Update

Obama mocks Trump and self at gala dinner

Image: Picture shows what U.S. President Barack Obama said Donald Trump would do to the White House if he became President in Washington

President Barack Obama exacted his revenge Saturday after weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, joking that the billionaire businessman could bring change to the White House, transforming it from a stately mansion into a tacky casino with a whirlpool in the garden. With Trump in attendance, Obama used the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner to mock the reality TV star’s presidential ambitions. … And then, as a coup de grace, Obama showed a screen with his vision of how Trump could bring change to the White House. “Trump” was prominently displayed in glittery letters and girls could be seen with cocktails on a Jacuzzi-augmented front lawn. … Full story


9/16/2016 Update

Trump Finally Admits It: ‘President Barack Obama Was Born in the United States’

By Stephen Collinson and Jeremy Diamond

September 16, 2016

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump finally admitted Friday that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States,” reversing himself on the issue that propelled him into national politics five years ago.

Trump sought to end his longstanding attempt to discredit the nation’s first African-American president with just a few sentences tacked on at the end as he unveiled his new hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. …

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump said, ignoring reporters’ questions despite earlier indications he would hold a press conference. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.” …

Read the full story at


Related reports on this site

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

Trump poster (July 2015)
Click on image for larger view

Excerpt: A psychological analysis of real estate developer and television celebrity Donald Trump — a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election — by Hannah Hoppe and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Trump’s predominant personality pattern is Ambitious / self-serving (a measure of narcissism) with secondary features of the Dominant / controlling and Outgoing / gregarious patterns. In summary, Trump’s personality composite can be characterized as a high-dominance charismatic.

Mike Huckabee: Obama Raised in Kenya (March 1, 2011)


Huckabee — a Birther? (MSNBC “The Ed Show,” March 1, 2011) — Takedown: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz sounds off on the former presidential candidate’s false comments regarding President Barack Obama’s childhood. (03:23)

The “Birther” Movement (Nov. 19, 2009; scroll down)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — April 28, 2010

Taking the Terror Threat Pulse

One year ago today, I reported that an increase in terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan triggered a sharp rise in the number of civilians killed or wounded there in 2009, pushing South Asia past the Middle East as the top terror region in the world, according to figures compiled by National Counterterrorism Center.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — April 28, 2009

Wetterling Friend Shares Story

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Aaron Larson poses with his fiancée Jackie Tentinger and 2-year-old son, Anikan, as he arrives home April 17, 2009 in Slayton, Minn. (Photo credit: Justine Wettschreck — Daily Globe / Associated Press)

Two years ago today, on April 28, 2009, I reported that Staff Sgt. Aaron Larson, who as an 11-year-old boy in St. Joseph was with his best friend Jacob Wetterling when Jacob was kidnapped by a masked gunman on Sunday, Oct. 22, 1989, had returned home to Minnesota after a year-long deployment in Iraq.

One Response to “Shame in America: Birther Trump”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Huckabee Exit Ups GOP ‘Nut’ Factor Says:

    […] With former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee bowing out of the 2012 presidential contest as a potential Republican contender, only two remotely viable candidates remain — former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachussetts governor Mitt Romney. Much of the rest of the field has been characterized as reminiscent of the “Star Wars” bar scene: “passionate-about-his-country-and-worked-so-hard-that-he-felt-compelled-to-seek-God’s-forgiveness” Newt Gingrich; birther Donald Trump; and conspiracy nut Michele Bachmann, to name a few. […]

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