Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Obama releases birth certificate

On April 27, 2011, the White House released President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate.
On April 27, 2011, the White House released President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate.

Facing continued questions about whether he was born in Hawaii, President Barack Obama has released his original birth certificate showing he was born in a Honolulu hospital in August 1961.

The White House released the "Certificate of Live Birth" this morning.

"Now, this issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now," he told reporters at the White House. "I think it started during the campaign. And I have to say that over the last two and a half years I have watched with bemusement, I have been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going.

"We've had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii August 4th, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital. We've posted the certification that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they, in fact, have seen this birth certificate. And yet this thing just keeps on going.

"Normally I would not comment on something like this," he said, but he reached a turning point recently during the budget debate. "During that entire week, the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're gonna have to make as a nation, it was about my birth certificate."

He said there were many problems facing the United States but that, "We're not gonna be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. . . We do not have time for this kind of silliness."

The document says that Barack Hussein Obama II was born at Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961. It lists his father as Barack Hussein Obama, 25, lists his occupation as a university student and says he was born in Kenya, East Africa.

It lists the president's mother as Stanley Ann Dunham, 18, and lists "none" as her "type of occupation outside home during pregnancy."

It is signed by Ann Dunham Obama, with "Stanley" in parentheses above her name.

Some people had speculated that the original document had not been released because it listed religion. But the birth certificate released Wednesday did not have any mention of religion.

Possible presidential candidate Donald Trump and others had raised questions about the previous birth document released by Obama during the campaign, a computer-generated "Certification of Live Birth." They said it did not prove conclusively the Obama was born in Hawaii and was eligible to be president. 

"I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump said this morning.

"He should have done it a long time ago," Trump said. "I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully -- hopefully -- getting rid of this issue."

He said the document needs to be verified but that now the campaign can focus on more important issues like China and OPEC.

"I feel like I have accomplished something really, really important and I'm honored by it." 

But Trump continued to raise questions about Obama, calling on him to release records from his time at Occidental College. Trump said he'd heard that Obama was a "terrible student" but still "ended up getting into Columbia and Harvard."

Correspondence released by the White House shows that Obama wrote a letter on White House stationary on April 22, 2011, authorizing the release of the original birth certificate.

It said, "I am writing to request two certified copies of my original certificate of live birth. With this letter, I hereby authorize my personal counsel, Ms. Judith Corley of Perkins Coie in Washington, D.C. to act on my behalf in providing any additional information or paying any fees required by the Department of Health to fulfill my request. Ms. Corley is also authorized to make any necessary arrangements for delivery of the certified copies from your office."

That same day, Corley asked the state health director in Hawaii to waive its usual rules and release the original "long form" birth certificate.

"Waiver of the Department's policy in this instance would allow my client to make a certified copy of his original birth certificate publicly available and would also relieve the burden currently pbeing placed on the Department of Health by the numerous inquiries it receives from the media and others relating to my client's birth record," wrote Judith Corley, an attorney at the firm.

Corley, who is based in Washington, apparently traveled to Hawaii. She said in the letter that she would "be coming to your offices to pick up the copies of the certificates."

On April 25, Loretta Fuddy, the director of health in Hawaii, replied to Obama that she had the authority to approve the release of birth records. "Through that authority, in recognition of our status as President of the United States, I am making an exception to current departmental policy which is to issue a computer-generated certified copy.

"We hope that issuing you these copies of your original Certificate of Live Birth will end the numerous inquiries received by the Hawaii Department of Health to produce this documents. Such inquiries have been disruptive to staff operations and have strained State resources," Fuddy wrote.

She enclosed the copies Obama requested and said, "I have witnessed the copying of the certificate and attest to the authenticity of these copies."