Citizen Obama

Score one for Barack Obama’s ability to legally reside in the White House — although Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court won’t end the wild speculation about his birth status by the black-helicopter, conspiracy crowd that has been burning up the Internet over this for months.

The Supreme Court refused to hear an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who claimed Obama shouldn’t have been on his state’s election ballot because he was not legally qualified to be president. Leo Donofrio alleges Obama is not a “natural born citizen” of the United States, as the Constitution requires. (The Constitution does not define what a “natural born citizen is, but federal law does.)

Monday’s decision means the New Jersey case is dead, but those who are convinced that Obama is really a foreigner sneaking his way into the White House still have two pending Supreme Court cases to hang their hopes on. And, if the high court should reject those cases also? Well, that will just be proof to the tinfoil-hat brigade that the justices are part of the conspiracy.

“Obama is unqualified” arguments rest on very sketchy evidence. Proponents of the case against him note that the Hawaiian birth certificate Obama’s campaign released is a copy, not the original. No matter that it is just the sort of copy anyone might receive if he lost his birth certificate and requested a new one. And no matter that it meets all the federal rules for establishing citizenship.

Furthermore, Hawaiian officials have confirmed that Obama was born in that state in 1961.

Those who believe Obama wasn’t born in the United States point to a poorly translated interview with one of Obama’s relatives who allegedly said she witnessed Obama’s birth in Kenya.

But that doesn’t jibe with an announcement published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Aug. 13, 1961. It said a son had been born to Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama of Honolulu on Aug. 4.

Does anyone really believe that Obama’s parents posted a false birth announcement in the local newspaper almost 50 years ago in the hopes that one day their newborn would grow up to run for president?

More to the point, who cares about all this?

Barack Obama won the election fairly. Those who can’t stomach the prospect of him being president should work to vote him out of office in four years, not seek to have him disqualified on a far-fetched technicality.


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