Wired: Obama's Birth Certificate; Tired: Whitey Video; Expired: Closet Muslim
In case you missed it, there's a new fascination among politicocryptozoologists and its the curious tale of Barack Obama's elusive birth certificate.
From Jim Geraghty at NRO:
Reporters have asked for it and been denied, and the state of Hawaii does not make such records public.
The campaign cited the birth certificate in their “Fact Check” on William Ayers, so presumably, someone in the campaign has access to it.
Geraghty lays out three of the potential dark secrets the document may threaten to betray. In short, the titillations are:
- Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, which would suggest he's not a natural born citizen, since his natural born mother had not resided in the U.S. for at least five years after the age of 16 (being 18 at the time of his birth).
- His middle name is Muhammad, not Hussein.
- His legal first name is Barry, not Barack.
Each of these seems pretty unlikely. Geraghty points out the gaping hole in #2.
It is theoretically possible, if not plausible, that Obama changed his name at some earlier point in his life, as he was sorting out his issues of culture and identity. But this would mean that Obama recognized how emotionally-charged the name “Muhammad” would become in American life long before the 9/11 attacks. And if you’re going to change your middle name from that of the central figure in Islam because you fear controversy, picking the last name of the highest-profile anti-American dictator in the Middle East (Saddam) doesn’t seem like a huge improvement.
You'd also think he'd go with another M name if he were trying to do it on the sly, such that his initials wouldn't change. Something presidential, maybe. Milhous, say.
By the same token (a similar token, anyway), if Obama's mother named her son Barry in order to avoid naming him after his father Barack (the thesis of speculation #3), why wouldn't she go with a completely different name, rather than the nickname his father went by?
As for the non-natural born citizenship proposition, the sheer scope and logistics of maintaining the deceit (and the consequences of being caught) tend to confine this one to the possible-but-extremely-unlikely pile.
That doesn't mean Obama doesn't have a good reason (and by "a good reason" I mean "a bad, less than forthright reason") for concealing his birth certificate. Assuming it shows him to have been born Barack Hussein Obama in the state of Hawaii, there are still a few data fields that could contain uncomfortable details - revelations less shocking than those posited above, but ones that would call Obama's honesty into question.
If you assume for sake of argument that Obama has a "good reason" for concealing the document and if the game is "Guess the most likely fib that the birth certificate might expose," I'd have to place my chip on the marital status of Obama's parents.
An uncontested part of Obama's family history is the fact that his father was not legally divorced from his first wife in Kenya when he married Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, from whom he later separated. If it turned out that this good faith confusion over Obama's parents' marital status was not so good faith after all, the birth certificate would likely bear that out. The U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth (pdf) in 1961 included a field labeled "Legitimate" (since replaced with the less pejorative "Mother married"). If this field were indeed the troublesome one (i.e. if his parents were never married and Obama knew it), it wouldn't be a particularly big deal in its own right, but it would suggest that Obama has lied about this element of his family history throughout his public life. Understandable, perhaps, but still a deliberate and repeated deceit to ask the American public to overlook, particularly for a candidate who has fashioned his unique biographical and genealogical background into a central theme of his public persona and thus his candidacy, ever since the publication of his first book.
Update: While he doesn't sound convinced of its likelihood, Ed Morrissey makes the point that asking Obama to eliminate
scenario "distraction" #1 (concerning his natural born citizenship, something easily affirmed with a redacted copy of the document) is probably not an unreasonable request, given how doggedly McCain's opponents attempted to disprove his Presidential eligibility on similar grounds.
Handcrafted by Flip on June 10, 2008 |
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