Anne E. Kornblut (Washington Post): After his major address on the deficit two weeks ago, President Obama sat down for an interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos expecting a conversation about fiscal issues.
Instead, Obama faced repeated questions about the controversy surrounding his place of birth … the interview added to the growing sense within the White House that the mainstream media was perpetuating a dangerous myth.
Obama had grown incredulous at the overall debate. He had watched as even Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan had been sucked into the discussion of his birthplace, aides said … on April 19, in a meeting with White House counsel Bob Bauer, the president asked about the feasibility of getting his long-form birth certificate at last …..Last week, it was Obama who made the call to proceed. “He was the driving force,” the official said.
…the process began early in the week of April 18, after Obama raised the subject. White House counsel Bauer reviewed the legal steps necessary to obtain the long-form document, which is not routinely released by authorities in Hawaii …..When administration officials released the paperwork on Wednesday morning shortly after 9 a.m., it came as a shock to the political establishment….
….Aides acknowledged that there would have been a potential upside to keeping the obviously outrageous myth alive. “He did that despite the fact that it probably was…probably in his long-term political interests to allow this birther debate to dominate discussion in the Republican Party for months to come,” Pfeiffer said. “But he thought even though it might have been good politics, he thought it was bad for the country. And so he asked counsel to look into this.”
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