The Birther Business: A Bipartisan Bonanza

When President Obama released his long-form birth certificate last month, all but the most vehement of his critics agreed that the so-called "birther" controversy was finally resolved and he was, indeed, a U.S. citizen. But the echoes from his famous "sideshows and carnival barkers" press conference had barely faded before the battle flared up again.

Last week, WND books released Jerome Corsi's Where's the Birth Certificate, a book that, once again, questions the President's citizenship. Since its publication, Corsi's book has quickly climbed the bestseller lists, and is currently among the top selling books on Amazon.

Obama's camp was quick to respond. Barely had Where's the Birth Certificate hit shelves before Obama for America, the president's re-election committee, was notifying followers about its release -- and pushing some birther products of their own. Today, the question emerges: Who's really fueling the birther battle -- and who stands to profit?

A Three-Year Battle

Rumors about Obama's religion and heritage date back to his 2006 senate campaign, when opponents suggested that he practiced Islam, but the attacks heated up during his presidential run, when the patriotism of his pastor and his wife were called into question.

Finally, when all else failed to slow his momentum in the primaries, Politico reports, outspoken supporters of Hilary Clinton floated the notion that Obama was born outside of the U.S. Despite the release of his short-form birth certificate in 2008, the theory continued to grow in popularity. Ultimately, 51% of registered Republicans admitted to harboring questions about the president's place of birth, and the birther issue became a cornerstone of Donald Trump's short-lived presidential run.

Riding the birther controversy -- and a strong endorsement from The Drudge Report's Matt Drudge -- Where's the Birth Certificate was selling well long before its release. Although the book's publisher, Joseph Farah, credits Drudge and Trump with helping sales, he notes that the biggest support came from a surprise source: "President Obama's re-election committee helped us by targeting Corsi in two e-mails."

The Other Side of the Birther Business

Julianna Smoot, deputy campaign manager of Obama for America, sent out messages shortly after Where's the Birth Certificate hit shelves. Dismissing Corsi's book as a "greatest-hits reel of delusions," Smoot argued that "There's really no way to make this stuff completely go away. The only thing we can do is laugh at it -- and make sure as many other people as possible are in on the joke."

To that end, Obama for America announced that it was selling some birther merchandise of its own, including a $15 Barack Obama mug and a $25 Obama T-shirt. Both items feature a picture of Obama over the legend "Made in the USA." To underscore the point, they also display his long-form birth certificate.

Following the death of Osama bin Laden, it's hard to gauge the long-term effect that the birth certificate release had on President Obama's approval ratings. However, there is no question about the effect that it had on Donald Trump's presidential ambitions: In the month since Obama's long-form birth certificate was made public, the Donald's support among registered Republicans fell from 26% to 8%, effectively tanking his campaign.

In this context, it isn't hard to see why Obama's supporters are inclined to play up the birther controversy. For his part, Joseph Farah seems to think that there is a strong future for books that question Obama's American bona fides: "Jerry Corsi told me that he has enough material for two sequels," Farah laughs. "For now, though, we're just going to promote this book and see where it goes." With Obama's supporters promoting Corsi, the future looks bright for the birther business -- on both sides of the partisan divide.

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Obama's nose is 10' long.

May 29 2011 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wlouche's comment

The butts of other first ladies have been as flat as pancakes and narrow as bay inlets.

May 31 2011 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama has passed the smell test for several crimes.........................Watson needs to objectively observe the
FACTS.........................Corsi would be happy to update you Bruce !

Huff Post seems to thrive on sentiment, no matter what the scale or issue of events !

May 29 2011 at 12:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How long has Hawawii been a State ?

May 28 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Chester A Arthur

Natural Born Citizenship: Statutory versus Constitutional
August 16th, 2009

Obama Was A Natural Born Subject: the Founders’ Greatest Fear As To Commander In Chief.

May 27 2011 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The 1948 British Nationality Act extended consulate jurisdiction wherever a child was born to a British citizen, in territory under international treaty.

On June 6, 1951, in Washington DC, President Harry S. Truman signed the 1951 British Treaty, authorizing Britain consular jurisdiction over British citizens, in the USA, where consular officers could register births to British citizens, in the district of jurisdiction, and to issue passports to those children.

Barack Obama Sr, was a foreign born student, carrying a British passport, on a US non-immigrant student visa (8USC1101(a)(15)(F)(i)), under British consular jurisdiction, per 1951 British Treaty.

Since Barack H Obama II, was born in the Hawaii, then per (circa 1961 law) 8USC1401(a)(1), he would have been native born a US citizen; and under consular jurisdiction of the 1951 British Treaty and the under jurisdiction of British Nationality Act of 1948, Part II(5)(1)(a) he was born a British Citizen, thus a dual-citizen UK/US, and not a natural born citizen, and not constitutionally eligible for the 2008 or 2012 Presidential elections.

May 27 2011 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If a person was born in Hawaii or Alaska before they became states could the person become president of the United States?

May 27 2011 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rvjoynbob's comment

No. It the territory has not ratified the US Constitution and been admitted as a state, then persons born there are not US citizens, even though the territory is under US military jurisdiction.

May 27 2011 at 10:36 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The problem with this birth certificate issue and where he was or was not born is a waste of time. Even if he was born somewhere else the burden of proof would be on those making the charges. He would not have to prove anything. The only thing they may have a shot at him now would be trying to prove the new certificate of life birth if a fraud. Again it would be a tough case unless you were able to find the person the created the document and they were willing to testify. It would easier to attack his background which Mc Cain failed to do during the 2008 campaign. Mc Cain refused to run a mud slinging campaign. Some items are not really mud slinging but forcing him to come clean with explanations. 1. Why did he surrender his license to pratice law in 2008?
Fact is no lawyer will give up his license unless they are being investigated and have a chance of having it suspended which would show up in the State of Illinois bar assoc. records. Giving it up 1 hour before the suspension or before the hearing would only show up as surrendered with no explanation. Bill Clinton surrendered his law license right after he was found guilty of lying to the grand jury on the Monica. thing. Lawyers never give up a license even if they decide to stop practicing for a while. They do not want to have to take the bar exam again. Anyone running against him for 2012 has enough to discredit him without touching the birth certificate issue. Go back and investigate his campaign for Illinois state senate, investigate his Illinois campaign for US senate. you might surprise yourself. This man has more skeletons in his closet then most cemeteries.

May 27 2011 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Boy, you are one sick, stupid person.Obama was on the golf course the day osama was killed. His own men told him to give the ok, because he didn't want to. He knew where osama was for a long time. Get off that kool aide.

May 27 2011 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tigerlill20's comment

Are you saying the picture of him along with his staff watching Bin Laden's compound being raided, is false?

May 31 2011 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As usual, the Republicans and their right-wing HACKS are demonstrating clearly that the only plan is DISTRACTION and outright LIES, since they have no plan for the country, or the national election next year.
At least when the Democrats are looking to increase revenue via taxes to continue to fund programs, they come out and ask for it openly, after explaining why it is necessary.
The Republicans prefer to DISTRACT you with NON-ISSUES, their friendly hand on your shoulder, while they reach around behind you with their other hand, PICKING YOUR POCKET clean!
And just when you think you have some idea of what they are really all about, they continue to assault the average American, systematically DESTROYING the Middle Class, so they will eventually make it into the top 2% filthy rich and powerful, while the rest of us have nothing. Ronald Reagan (may his demented and elitist soul burn FOREVER in HELL) started it with his UNION-BUSTING movement(STILL GOING ON), to provide industry and service oriented corporations with a class of SLAVE LABOR, who HAVE to accept low wages with NO BENEFITS, because he knew his rich cronies and hacks could get richer, and have a totally SUBSERVIENT working class...AND EFFECTIVELY REINSTITUTE SLAVERY on the other 98% of the population of the nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 27 2011 at 3:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to JIM's comment

@Jim - you are making accusations that Republicans are destroying the Middle Class. What kind of idiot would make such a claim when your sitting President wants to raise taxes on EVERYBODY, putting the middle class that is struggling right now into MORE depression, unemployment ...and worse. The "Worse" I'm talking about is the "Total Destruction of our Country". Anybody with half a brain can SEE what Obama is doing to this country ... while blaming EVERYTHING on his predecessor ... while running up our National Debt to figures that we simply CANNOT PAY BACK!! And ruining our economy!! Do you not REALIZE, idiot, that the price of gas more than DOUBLING since he took office ... is ESCALATING TO RECORD LEVELS the price of EVERYTHING ELSE ... in particular FOOD, which has to be TRANSPORTED via TRUCKS!! He has virtually STOPPED all drilling, which could relieve us from dependence on Foreign OIl (which we DO NOT NEED!).

And for you IDIOTS who do not UNDERSTAND ECONOMICS .... the UNIONS (Obama's buddies) have DESTROYED our ability to be competitive in world markets. By raising the salaries of Auto workers and giving them UNREALISTIC BENEFITS (salary and health care for LIFE) ... the car industry in America has been DRIVEN into the dust ... and we can no longer make ANYTHING that is competitive. Even our CRANES that unload ships ... are made in China and shipped over here ... to unload THEIR cargo into our country. When is the last time you saw a product ... in ANY store ... that says "Made in USA" on the bottom?

Our country simply CANNOT AFFORD another four years of your Liberal Progressive Socialist BULL S___.

May 27 2011 at 8:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to DorkyDan's comment

Now try and convince yourself with those lies.

May 27 2011 at 8:48 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down

You are pretty much on point. This is 2010 with the www. This is not 1960 or 70's where government could tax the wealthy and big corporations to cover their out of control spending. In this day and age you have to be more careful due to the open world trade crap that has been passed. you also have internet banking. All this makes it way too easy for those you want to beat up to move off shore to hide it. They are no different then middle class. Employees work all year with taxes being taken out. Then once a year you file your return checking every corner for the most you can get back. Those that invest and have millions can hide income that could be taxable. Out tax laws are too screwed up for words. The government has the burden of proof that the income you declared is wrong you only have the burden to prove the deductions you declared. To get this country going again they have to reduce corporate taxes and offer tax breaks for investors to encourage starting or investing in a business. Use common sense. You had 20 million to invest you open a company, have to put up with stupid EPA regulations, local building codes and inspectors, hiring and training employees, benefits, insurances and then you are taxed at a 40% rate or better on your profits. You take that same money and invest in wall street. All profits made here are called capital gains which you only pay a 15% tax rate. Ask your self which way would you go. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Then you ask why a company would move off shore to seek lower taxes and labor costs. Corporations have to answer to stock holders for their actions not the federal government. without stockholders there would not be that corporation.

May 27 2011 at 11:14 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

Jim you are the one in left field. What you described is exactly what Obama is doing now. Instead of listening to your party . just stop and look around with an open mind. Does this country look like it is moving in the right direction? Does it look like the American citizens are happy? I do not follow either party ideas and I am 64 and have not seen this country in this bad of shape during my life time. It does not look like it is improving. In my opinion it looks like business are taking a sit back and watch approach. Yes they are adding new private sector jobs but people are also still losing jobs that is why we are stuck at 9%.
It looks like to me companies are laying off 30 people they pay 30.00 per and hiring 30 new people at 18.00 per hour.

May 27 2011 at 11:21 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

he has been in office for ho wlong now? and in the time he has been in office everything from paper to gas has over doubled in price can we even afford to have have him in for his full term let alone anothe round? i say impeach him

May 26 2011 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply