Although questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as President were initially raised by Jim Geraghty of National Review Online in June, 2008, it wasn’t until Donald Trump gave voice to what was by then being referred to by the mainstream media as the “birther movement” following an anonymous telephone poll last fall in New Hampshire, that the movement began to gain momentum.
As both Trump’s potential candidacy for President in 2012 and the “birther’ issue began to get significant serious national attention, Trump more and more frequently appeared on national TV shows as a guest. On March 30, Trump appeared on Fox News’ The Factor where he stated: “I will tell you this: if [Obama] wasn’t born in this country, it’s one of the great scams of all time.” Just one week later, Trump was interviewed by Meredith Vieira on NBC’s Today Show where he said: “Three weeks ago I thought he was born in this country–right now I have some real doubts. I have people that actually have been studying it, and they cannot believe what they’re finding.”
Despite Vieira’s failure to ask just what “his people” had found, his momentum and popularity continued to grow.
Then, on Wednesday, April 27, President Obama announced the release of his “long-form” birth certificate on the White House website by commenting that he had watched the birther movement grow with “bemusement…yet this thing just keeps going. 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, you know, I’ve got other things to do.”
When Trump was informed of the White House’s release of the President’s long-form birth certificate, he was delighted: “I’m proud of myself, because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else was able to do. I want to look at it, but I hope it’s true, so we can get on to much more important questions so the press can stop asking me questions….” [Emphasis added.]
At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday evening, Obama chided Trump (who, interestingly, was in attendance as a guest of the Washington Post) on the issue, saying:
I know that [Mr. Trump] has taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter—like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?
Many were surprised at the sudden action of the White House, including CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, who wrote: “The White House must have concluded that Donald Trump was getting some traction and finally decided they had to bring it to a halt.” Chip Reid, the White House correspondent for CBS News, said, “This wasn’t just defense on the part of the president; this was offense. The more Republicans harp on it, the more independent [voters] say, ‘I don’t care about that.’ They saw an opportunity to portray Trump and, by deflection, all Republicans as engaging in this silly gamesmanship when the president is engaged in talking about the serious issues.”
Joseph Farah, Editor-in-Chief of WorldNetDaily.com, says the White House was forced to release Obama’s birth certificate the day after Dr. Jerome Corsi’s latest book, Where’s the Birth Certificate, was featured on the Drudge Report and immediately rocketed to No. 1 on Amazon—two weeks before the book is to be released.
At the moment, the national media has nothing further to say about the matter, focusing on bin Laden’s death instead. Trump is putting distance between himself and the birther issue as noted above, suggesting that he was merely responding to their questions to him about the matter. Obama is happy to see the issue fade away, as he is hopeful that the last word on his eligibility has finally been issued. Whether the issue has finally and completely been put to rest remains to be seen.