Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Will Obama's birth certificate silence conspiracy theorists?


Billionaire Donald Trump claims credit for forcing president to speak out on birther controversy

Barack Obama with mother Ann Dunham
Obama's birth certificate, on which it says he was born to Ann Dunham (pictured) in Hawaii, may not appease birthers who continue to question his eligibility for the presidency. Photograph: AP
That's a relief. The 44th president of the United States, commander-in-chief of the world's mightiest fighting force and leader of its sole superpower is a natural-born American and not an alien interloper.
A previously unseen birth certificate produced to scotch a chorus of doubters revealed that Barack Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, not in Kenya – the claim at the heart of many of the wild conspiracy theories that have dogged him.
On a day when he had other pressing matters to deal with – three military conflicts, massive national debt and rising oil prices to name a few – Obama appeared in front of television cameras to explain why he had decided to confront the "birthers" who have questioned his eligibility for the most powerful office on Earth.
"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," he said. "We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers."
He didn't name names, but there can be little debate about who he meant.
Step forward Donald Trump, reality TV judge, self-publicist supreme and carnival barker-in-chief who has made birther doubts a central plank of his highly theatrical flirtations with a presidential run.
Obama launched his counteroffensive on the day Trump was making his first visit to the electorally sensitive state of New Hampshire. That was a taste of the tactics that will become familiar as the presidential race gathers pace, though Trump pretended to be unfazed and even claimed credit for the release of the birth certificate. "I am very proud of myself. I have accomplished something nobody else has accomplished," he said.
The billion dollar question is this: by coming forward now with his detailed birth documentation, will Obama have contained the birther tide?
The idea that he was not born on US soil, and therefore does not have the right awarded to any American citizen to be voted into the White House, began to pick up momentum in 2007 when Obama's presidential ambitions became clear. Continued

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