April 27 2011
Natural Born or Not: Let's Talk Leadership
Today the White House released a long-overdue copy of President Obama's full birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. Well, there you have it: According to this document, he wasn't born in Kenya.
It's not surprising that the White House would release this document to the public. After all, the "birther" questions have been around since Obama's candidacy, and they've only been amplified by Donald Trump's recent foray into private investigating.
I've seen several clips of Trump on major network television shows, always encouraging his interviewer to focus on policy issues rather than his Hawaiian investigation.
According to his remarks this morning, President Obama is also anxious to put questions about his place of birth behind us, so that policy issues - specifically the budget debate - can take center stage.
Here's an excerpt from his remarks:
Now, normally I would not comment on something like this, because obviously there's a lot of stuff swirling in the press on at any given day and I've got other things to do. But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.
I have to agree with the President: We should be focusing on the great challenges that face our country.
But I have to wonder... How will that work out for him?
When Americans do turn their attention away from the "carnival barkers" in the birther debate, they will indeed see the "huge, monumental choices" ahead of us. In fact, many Americans are already well aware of the $14-trillion national debt. We are aware that the President has offered no reasonable solution to this problem, because his budget never brings us into primary balance. We are aware that during the first two and a half years of his presidency, the size, scope, and spending of our government has grown at an unprecedented rate.
A Hawaiian birth certificate is strong evidence that Obama is a natural-born American citizen. But the current state of affairs - in Washington and across the nation - is an even stronger testimony about the kind of leader he has been. Like many Americans, I'll be glad to focus on the bigger issues at hand. I'm just surprised that this is what President Obama wants. After all, distractions from the bigger issues would only benefit him at this point.