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Essay: Obama vs. 'Birther' Trump? Advantage, The Donald

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 11:11 AM

Today, President Barack Obama took a bold stand and released his long-form birth certificate. Or, as bold a stand as could be since he waited over three years to put an end to (the admittedly ridiculous) speculation over whether he was a natural-born American. What began as a Hillary Clinton campaign rumor spiraled into a full-fledged conspiracy theory and nobody enjoyed the show more than our president. As I recently wrote on this site:

Let's face it: Obama loves when people question his place of birth. Every minute we spend discussing if Obama was born in Kenya is a minute we don't spend saying that our weakling, perpetually golfing president has only made our economy worse and led us into a third war with nary a word of discussion. It's time spent not pointing out that Obama promised the most outrageous things in the world - oceans would lower!--and delivered on exactly zero of those promises. Trump dragging this issue back into the spotlight is only good for one person: the American-born Barack Obama.

So why has the president decided that now is the time to finally squelch the rumors? The president said:

"I just want to make a larger point. We've got some enormous challenges out there" and the nation won't be able to confront them if it gets distracted by "sideshows and carnival barkers."

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," the president added.

We've been facing enormous challenges for the entirety of the time Barack Obama has been in office. The only difference today is that one of the carnival barkers is a media darling who keeps pushing the issue. I still want Donald Trump off the national stage, and he's a ridiculous person to represent any conservative opinion, but anyone who doesn't agree that Trump won today is not paying attention.

Trump might be a bully and sure, the release of the certificate will be a good, temporary bump for Obama. He gets to seem above the silliness. But in the longer term Obama is at a disadvantage. Now perhaps people will focus on his misguided policies and wrongheaded politics instead of the place of his birth. Yes, Obama took a major distraction off the table. Unfortunately for the president, the distraction had been a big help to him.

As for Trump, he might have lost his calling card issue but he's still a sideshow and the media will still cover him. Does he have a chance at being our next president? Of course not. But his ability to get our president to cower and give in makes him a winner today.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 BabyShe can be followed on Twitter.

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Comments [8]

oldboy68 from East of the Hudson

Trump may have ended the birth certicicate issue maybe not. No one else could get the anointed one to do it! Why did Obama not show it in the first place? Who created this distraction? Who wasted 2 million of his supporters cash for nothing?! I hope now we can concentrate on what Obama has done! Let's see.... Started another war we can't afford! Spent two years on Obamacare we can't afoord while joblessness is rampant! Letting food, gas, and everything else kill the middleclass while he golfs, plays basketball and throws parties at the WH! Mr. Trump did us all a favor. So now he cant be President because he had a few girlfriends, was divorced and made some money ( the biggest sin to a socialist)! So tired of the "same ole same ole" Democrat politics of personal destruction. We need someone that is tough and a businessman to lead us. I've seen Trump knock the liberal press back on their heels evrrytime they tried to pull the hit and run crap the pulled with the other pols running against their manchild! Good for him!

Apr. 28 2011 09:47 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

A win for Trump? Are you serious?? The release of the long-form BC simply puts the rhetoric about Obama's legitimacy where it belongs...in the trash heap. If Rove, Koch and the RNC wanted to use the issue to raise money from the loonies, I guess that is their right but as of yesterday anybody who wants to stay on the 'birther' bus will need to admit they drink Mel Gibson's Kook-Aid.

It seems that Act II for The Donald is to call into question Obama's academic achievements. This should be a non-starter, too, as there are no affirmative action criteria for president of the Harvard Law Review. But you already know what types will be parroting everything The Donald says on this issue.

When will race-baiting to the ignoramuses become a losing game?

Apr. 28 2011 09:23 AM
Steffen Schmidt from Ames Iowa

Donald Trump was wiped out with the 'Birther" issue! Here in Iowa the GOP is blisteringly furious at him for: 1. Pushing the "birther" issue so hard because even the Republicans are now seeing ity as a no starter for winning elections in 2012 and 2. For triggering Obama's long form birth certificate move which has now undermined one of the most effective doubt-raising character destroying issue they have used against Obama. Trump had better think of running as a candidate of the "Me! ME!" party because here in Iowa he's dead meat inn the GOP.
Dr Politics, Steffen Schmidt

Apr. 27 2011 05:22 PM
Elaine Sugarman

Trump is a goon and a buffon.He's great for the Dems as soon as idiot American'sget overhis novelty.The man will do anything for Attention he's an exhibitonist and a narcissist.The sooner he's gone we can deal with real problems.

Apr. 27 2011 05:08 PM
Gerard from Staten Island, New York

"...backing down never seems to reduce his popularity."

But I think Karol is correct when she points out the fact that this leaves a gaping hole in Obama's re-election plan, i.e. deflecting criticism from his disastrous presidency by focusing on trivialities or non-issues. A huge part of the media narrative created to insulate him from scrutiny has been wiped away in one shot.

Apr. 27 2011 01:52 PM
Laura from Calif

The media is wrong, is not about Trump, is abouit all the people who don't trust Obama and his tactics and that we don't know anything about him; we don't trust him as I'm an ex-Democrat, now Independent who would vote for Trump in a heart beat, don't count him out! He's speaking for us, and nobody wants to recognize it!

Apr. 27 2011 12:09 PM
Karol from NYC

It's not the backing down that will hurt him this time: it's the lack of distraction from his terrible policies. He may actually have to explain why unemployment and gas prices are so high and getting higher. He may have to explain what we're doing in Libya.

Apr. 27 2011 11:59 AM
Gaetano Catelli from America

it was a tremendous win for Trump. he succeeded, where the MSM has conspicuously failed, in pushing this President into a corner and making him wave a (long-form) white flag.

but, it was not a lose for the Prez. backing down never seems to reduce his popularity.

Apr. 27 2011 11:51 AM

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