President Obama released his long-form birth certificate this morning, after the birther movement, which questions the president’s status as a natural-born citizen, became what he called too much of a distraction. The movement's profile had been raised recently by renewed attention from potential 2012 presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The White House press release said the president wanted to end the distraction, which he thinks is bad for the nation. “It may have been good politics and good TV,” the release said, “but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country.”
But will this be enough to end the birther movement? When questions about Obama’s birthplace surfaced during the 2008 campaign, his camp released a short-form birth certificate—the same document all Hawaiians get when they request a birth certificate, the White House said, and the same document Hawaiians use to apply for a driver’s license. But birthers denied that document proved the president was natural-born citizen.
"Birtherism was always a symptom, not the actual problem," writes U.S. News blogger Robert Schlesinger, suggesting the new certificate probably won't dissuade hard core birthers, who simply have a problem with the president. "That irrationality won’t go away, it will simply find a new outlet."
The newly public certificate includes all the details birthers have been asking for, and it is a certified copy with a stamp and signature from the state registrar, though the buzz in the blogosphere indicates not everyone is convinced the document is real. The White House had previously expressed concern that releasing the long-form certificate would not satisfy conspiracy theorists and may simply lead to further demands.
What do you think? Will Obama’s long-form birth certificate end the birther movement? Take the poll and post your thoughts below.
--Mallie Jane Kim
This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.