Of all the nutty rumors, baseless conspiracy theories and sheer disinformation that we’ve dealt with at FactCheck.org during campaign 2008, perhaps the goofiest is the claim that Barack Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” and therefore not eligible to be president under the constitution.
This claim was first advanced by diehard Hillary Clinton supporters as her campaign for the party’s nomination faded, and has enjoyed a revival among John McCain’s partisans as he fell substantially behind Obama in public opinion polls. There has never been anything but rumor and speculation to support such a claim, and zero hard evidence. When Obama produced a “certificate of live birth” from the state of Hawaii, doubters simply claimed it was forged and continued to huff and puff. Lawsuits were filed (and dismissed). Blogs blogged on. Our own “Born in the U.S.A” article, showing close-up photos of the document complete with official signature and raised seal, got more page views than any other article this week, even though we posted it back in August. It is a document that would satisfy the State Department’s requirements for proof of citizenship for purposes of getting a passport. But not, of course, those who wish to believe otherwise, whatever the evidence.
Now, there is even less reason to doubt that Obama was born when and where he has always said. We posted this update to our Born in the U.S.A article:
Update, Nov. 1: The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu. . . . The Associated Press quoted Chiyome Fukino as saying that both she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.
Fukino also was quoted by several other news organizations. The Honolulu Advertiser quoted Fukino as saying the agency had been bombarded by requests, and that the registrar of statistics had even been called in at home in the middle of the night.
Honolulu Advertiser, Nov. 1 2008: “This has gotten ridiculous,” state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said yesterday. “There are plenty of other, important things to focus on, like the economy, taxes, energy.” . . . Will this be enough to quiet the doubters? “I hope so,” Fukino said. “We need to get some work done.”
We say, “amen” to that. You can take it from Hawaii’s officials: Obama was born in the U.S.A.