It took three years, a host of speculation, and Donald Trump’s rise to the political national stage before the White House finally decided to release a copy of President Obama’s full “Certificate of Live Birth,” issued by the state of Hawaii in 1961. The president claimed that he released the document so the nation could concentrate on more important issues. But that line of reasoning doesn’t ring completely true. Indeed, have there not been numerous more important issues facing the nation over the last three years as this controversy has dragged on and on? The timing of the release, upon closer observation, suggests something quite different: as the White House gears up for the 2012 election, and as the birth certificate issue has gravitated into the mainstream, the Obama administration calculated that it had reaped most of the political benefits of fueling the conspiracy theory through inaction. In just one press conference, President Obama traded in an increasing appearance of deception on the birth certificate issue, which Donald Trump brought into the mainstream dialogue from out of the fringe, for a well-placed and far-reaching “gotcha” moment.
It was clearly Trump who forced the administration’s hand, which has led many to speculate that Obama and his team allowed this question to fester for so long precisely because they planned to answer the question only when the timing was right. That is, (a) to make the administration’s opponents look as witless as possible, and (b) to deflect any further potentially legitimate questions about the many concealed aspects of the president’s personal history. But one thing is certain: the “long form” birth certificate confirmed the baseline facts that were contained in the “short form” certification of live birth that the Obama campaign released in 2008. The administration has thus silenced those who questioned the president’s reluctance to release the full birth certificate and also discredited those who insisted that Obama was not born in the United States soil and is therefore ineligible to hold the office of president of the United States.
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