President Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate.
The President will speak at 9:45 ET on his birth certificate
WH: In 2008, in response to media inquiries, the President’s campaign requested his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. The state sent the campaign the President’s birth certificate, the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state, and the campaign immediately posted it on the internet. That birth certificate can be seen here.
When any citizen born in Hawaii requests their birth certificate, they receive exactly what the President received. In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the document recognized by the Federal Government and the courts for all legal purposes. That’s because it is the birth certificate. This is not and should not be an open question.
The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting.
It is just endlessly depressing that the President feels he has to do this.
Steve Benen: ……The borderline-racist conspiracy theory was ridiculous anyway, and this step was entirely unnecessary. It should, however, once again put any lingering doubts to rest.
But it won’t. If there’s one thing right-wing voices have made clear, it’s that reason and evidence are irrelevant. They didn’t come up with a birther garbage out of sincere concerns; they came up with this to cast doubts on the president’s legitimacy and make him out to be The Other in the eyes of the mainstream.
I don’t necessarily blame White House officials for wanting to end this nonsense once and for all, but if they’re expecting the hysterical right to move on, they’re likely to be disappointed.
Update: All of the cable networks are hanging on Donald Trump’s every word this morning, including his boast that he feels “very proud.” American politics is often painful, but I can scarcely believe how stupid it’s become.
Steve Benen: ….what struck me about the president’s comments was the intended audience – Obama wasn’t talking to the public so much as he was directing his concerns at the media.
Indeed, at the outset, a bemused president joked, “Now let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can’t get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions.” Reporters in the briefing room laughed, but Obama wasn’t necessarily kidding – his point was that the media’s priorities are badly flawed, and he’s right.
The president went on to say that he felt like this was necessary after seeing last week that, instead of talking about the budget fight and the radical qualities of the Republican agenda, major outlets were preoccupied with covering conspiracy theories.
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama said. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We got big problems to solve, and I’m confident we can solve them, but we’re going to have to focus on them, not on this.”
He wasn’t talking to the public, which has never much cared about this — he was talking to news organizations that need to know better and, for all of our sakes, must show better judgment.