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Up Goes Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate on WhiteHouse.gov

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 27 2011


Woah. At just before 9am today, the Obama White House posted to WhiteHouse.gov a copy of Obama's "long form" birth certicificate, the Holy Grail amongst so-called birthers who have wondered loudly why Obama had only thus far made available the shorter certificate of live birth that was posted on a campaign site during the 2008 race.

Posting the doc is an attempt to shut down the question of whether Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States has, of course, a question that has gotten plenty of oxygen of late thanks to Donald Trump's bid to use it to draw attention to his supposed candidacy for president. Obama also held a short press conference this morning on the topic, and handed out to reporters paper copies of the document which, yep, list Obama's birthplace as Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu. It certainly is a sight to see the president of the United States using the White House website to prove his legitimacy for office, and part of the trick will be getting the SlideShare embedded document to spread. At the moment, it's not popping up at the top of Google searches for "Obama birth certificate," but that probably won't last long. The SlideShare embed reported 42,000 views in the first hour it was posted.

White House press secretary Dan Pfeiffer writes on the White House blog a synopsis of the controversy:

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. President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate can be seen here (PDF).

There's an effort to show their work here, too. Posted alongside with the birth certificate is a PDF copy of a letter from Judith Corley, Obama's attorney at Perkins Coie, dated April 22nd, to the director of the Hawaii Department of Health which asks for an exemption on the release of the longer documentation.

Whether the long form birth certificate will end rumors about whether Obama is a legitimate president remains to be seen, of course. Just last week were talking about the chance that the Fight the Smear's posting of the short-firm certificate might have backfired. Seems likely that this could push the 'birther' debate get out to the margins (again), but the bulk of those energies get poured into some other way to discredit Obama.