aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Politics 101

For the record, we've had two guys run for President I know of who were not born in the US. George Romney (ran in Republican primaries in 1968) was born in a Mormon colony in Mexico. At the time he ran, people questioned his standing as native-born and it was affirmed that his birth was registered with the US consul in Mexico and that there was no bar to his running for President. John McCain (remember him?) was born in the Canal Zone on a US Navy base, and no one ever questioned his status as a native-born citizen. If Barack Obama had been born somewhere other than Hawaii, his birth could have been regularized at the time, and this whole "alien Prez" meme would have been pointless.

But when the issue was raised back in the last Presidential election cycle, Obama was trading on his "otherness." He was saying things like, You've never had someone like me run before. I guess he thought it was cool. So, rather than doing the politically smart thing and producing the long-form birth certificate, he tried (like John Kerry with his Navy records) to bluff his way through. The birth certificate thus joined his missing academic records and what-all to form the basis for continued questioning. It may have been silly of the birthers to keep it up, but it was far sillier of BHO to wave it off.

He could have killed the issue stone dead two years ago and made his opponents look stupid. By waiting until now -- and then yielding under pressure from the gaseous Donald Trump! -- he merely looks weak. And petulant. So, he's messed up on the issue twice. Making this point, however, earns one the scorn of the Obamanauts. Their willful blindness to Obama's mishandling of this issue is as crazy as the birthers' conspiracy theories on it.

From a non-partisan point of view -- that is, from the position of someone just handicapping the race -- it was utterly dumb politics on Obama's part. This does not bode well for his re-election chances; after all, he won't be "new" next time. He has a record to run on (or away from). And his handling of the birther issue says more about his inability to handle criticism and to manage issues than it does about the people who doubt his citizenship.

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