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Political scientist: views of Obama tied to “racial resentment”

Never ready to jump ahead of the evidence, I have resisted making the birther movement all about race. Now, political scientist Alan Abramowitz of Emory University reports that while racism is hard to measure in the polls, responses on how well Barack Obama is doing as President are closely tied to responses geared to measure “racial resentment” and, more importantly to me, that this stark correlation crosses party  and liberal/conservative lines.

Read more at Tampa Bay Online.

This article is from the Understanding the Birthers series.

62 Responses to Political scientist: views of Obama tied to “racial resentment”

  1. avatar
    Scientist May 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    i’m not sure I agree with Prof Abramowitz’s thesis. The fact is that Obama got pretty much the same percentage of the white vote as every Democrat since 1968. Now race is likely part of the reason that whites (especially in the South) abandoned the Democrats after the Civil rights bill, but there is no data to suggest that those whites feel any differently about Obama than they did about white Democrats.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2204251/sidebar/2204308/

    As far as the opposition to Obama, if we put aside the crazy birthers (who are really a tiny minority as evidenced by the fact that they can barely get a double digit turnout for any of their “events”). I think it’s actually amazing how high Obama’s personal approval is, consistently 10-15 points above the approval of his job performance. If race were that important, I’d expect the opposite.

    Finally, I look at actions rather than expressed sentiments. If there were really deep, widespread opposition to Obama, then candidates would be jumping into the race for 2012. In fact, quite the opposite is occurring-potential candidates are running away from the race.

  2. avatar
    charo May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I pretty much agree with Scientist’s comment. I find it, I can’t even peg the right word, disheartening (?) that one has to justify NOT being a racist. This is worse situation than the view I have often seen that some people will never be satisfied about Obama’s personal history no matter what evidence is presented.

    No matter what can be said about Trump (and there is quite a bit), he pulled out a birth certificate voluntarily, and when that was found to be wanting, he voluntarily got the one that others asked him of him. Jindal knows the whole eligibility issue and said “Here it is baby- come get me on it.” President Obama showed himself to be the old run of the mill politician: he milked something until it started to hurt him. IMO, if the internet were available from 1776 onward, the early campaigns would be even uglier than the present ones.

    I hope that Herman Cain catches on … and Alan West and Condi Rice are considered VP’s. With no one in the field, maybe Cain stands a chance. I first heard of him on Citizen Wells. That would be quite a Presidential race to follow. Cain v. Obama. Who would play the race card?

  3. avatar
    Majority Will May 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    charo: IMO, if the internet were available from 1776 onward, the early campaigns would be even uglier than the present ones.

    That’s a great premise for a science fiction/political drama.

  4. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    charo: I pretty much agree with Scientist’s comment. I find it, I can’t even peg the right word, disheartening (?) that one has to justify NOT being a racist. This is worse situation than the view I have often seen that some people will never be satisfied about Obama’s personal history no matter what evidence is presented. No matter what can be said about Trump (and there is quite a bit), he pulled out a birth certificate voluntarily, and when that was found to be wanting, he voluntarily got the one that others asked him of him. Jindal knows the whole eligibility issue and said “Here it is baby- come get me on it.” President Obama showed himself to be the old run of the mill politician: he milked something until it started to hurt him. IMO, if the internet were available from 1776 onward, the early campaigns would be even uglier than the present ones. I hope that Herman Cain catches on … and Alan West and Condi Rice are considered VP’s. With no one in the field, maybe Cain stands a chance. I first heard of him on Citizen Wells. That would be quite a Presidential race to follow. Cain v. Obama. Who would play the race card?

    Actually if you’ve studied some early campaign literature some of it was pretty ugly. Take for instance Taft Vs Roosevelt. I think Roosevelt actually called him a Fat head.

  5. avatar
    charo May 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Majority Will: That’s a great premise for a science fiction/political drama.

    Probably a lot of gore (not Al…)

  6. avatar
    Wile E. May 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    charo:
    President Obama showed himself to be the old run of the mill politician:he milked something until it started to hurt him.

    You seem to be discounting the fact that he had already shown a perfectly legitimate birth certificate many moons earlier. That the denialists refused to accept his COLB, and rather used it to build upon their fictional tales to the point that a gullible, embarrassingly misinformed, but high-profile character such as Trump would be willing to wrongfully take up their banner and run himself into a wall…..is not the fault of President Obama.

  7. avatar
    JD Reed May 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Regarding birthers and racism, I believe it logical to suspect that racists are more common in the birther movement than in the population at large. I think that the notion that one of THEM got into the White House illegitimately would be much more appealing to an anti-black racist than to a non,=-racist; confirmation bias,
    Consider these hypothetical figures:
    Say out of 200 million adult Americans, more or less, 20 million or 10 percent are true believer birthers. And than 5 million of the 200 million are out-and-out racists. The key would be the magnitude of the overlap. So suppose only a minority of the racists, 40 percent, or 2 million, are birthers. That would make 10 percent of the birthers racists, while only 1.67 percent of the rest of the adult population –180 million — are racists. (Remember, hypothetical — I don’t warrant these figures as anywhere near accurate; I simply don’t know)

    But if 10 percent of the birthers make up the are , or scores or hundreds, of fringe birther websites. Thus non-racist birthers could wind up being subtly influenced by people who cloak their racism as opposition to, say affirmative action — which gives them carte blanche to discount every achievement by every African-Americans outside sports and entertainment. (A few exceptions might also be made for black conservatives.)
    Thus the demand for Obama’s grades, even though he very likely entered Harvard Law School with a higher grade-point average than his predecessor brought to Harvard Business School.
    And Obama graduated magna cum laude — under Harvard Law’s blind grading system, yet.

  8. avatar
    G May 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    We’ve debated this ground many times before. There are definitely some clear racist statements and undertones amongst both the Birthers and the Tea Party – at levels that are sufficient to draw attention to the problem.

    Not ALL Birthers or Tea Party folks are racist, but it is also tellingly disturbing that such bigotry rarely seems to be condemned by the other members and instead all we hear is the immediate cry of victimhood and denial for simply pointing out those examples of racism and bigotry that do exist and that quite frequently come up.

    I found these statements from the study posted here the most interesting for reflection:

    He found that among white respondents, those with a low level of racial resentment gave Obama an average approval rating of 7.4 out of 10.
    Those with a high level of resentment averaged 3.2 ratings of Obama.
    Regardless whether people called themselves Republicans, Democrats, liberals or conservatives, the higher the racial resentment, the lower they rated Obama.
    “It’s not necessarily definitive, but it’s at least a first step with some actual data,” he said.

    To critics including those in the birther movement, “Obama is someone that’s not one of us,” she said. “I don’t think everyone who doesn’t like Obama is a racist, but it’s an underlying factor for some.”

  9. avatar
    JD Reed May 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Sorry, one of my sentences was butchered by that gremlin that relishes wiping out copy that I didn’t mean to delete.
    It should read something like this:

    But if 10 percent of the birthers in the birther echo chamber — which consists of scores or hundreds of fringe websites — are racists, they could exert a major and dispropotionate influence on the birther community as a whole,

    Also, very well said, Wile E.

    And Charo, being touted by Citizen Wells should be a huge red flag to reality-based Americans.

  10. avatar
    Scientist May 16, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    charo: I pretty much agree with Scientist’s comment.

    Did I read that riight?

    charo: President Obama showed himself to be the old run of the mill politician: he milked something until it started to hurt him.

    I don’t think he “milked” birtherism. He ignored it and asked to be treated as all previous candidtes had, that is that when he says where he was born and shows a valid document, to prove it that that should suffice. I am still not convinced that pulling strings to get the long form was the right thing to do.

  11. avatar
    Expelliarmus May 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    charo: . Jindal knows the whole eligibility issue and said “Here it is baby- come get me on it.”

    This simply is a false characterization of what happened. Jindal released his birth certificate because he was ticked off about an op ed that referred to him as having the middle name “Amrit” — see http://www.indiawest.com/readmore.aspx?id=3303&sid=1 Jindal doesn’t seem to be running for President — and the birth certificate was simply his way of proving his real name at birth — which of course is not “Bobby” but Piyush.

  12. avatar
    Patrick McKinnion May 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    I’ve always been careful not to say that “all birthers are racist”. Because it’s simply not true.

    Some are disgruntled PUMAs that are upset that Obama took a place they saw as being “dear Hillary’s” by right.

    Some are far-right cases that wouldn’t accept anyone to the left of Tom Tancredo.

    And some are simply those who believe the White House is the rightful home of a Republican and wouldn’t accept anyone – male, female, white, black, chia pet, whatever – that didn’t have an “-R” after their name.

    There is a streak of racism in birtherstan – and it’s become louder and more pronounced of late. But that doesn’t mean all birthers are racist.

  13. avatar
    G May 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Patrick McKinnion: I’ve always been careful not to say that “all birthers are racist”. Because it’s simply not true.Some are disgruntled PUMAs that are upset that Obama took a place they saw as being “dear Hillary’s” by right.Some are far-right cases that wouldn’t accept anyone to the left of Tom Tancredo.And some are simply those who believe the White House is the rightful home of a Republican and wouldn’t accept anyone – male, female, white, black, chia pet, whatever – that didn’t have an “-R” after their name.There is a streak of racism in birtherstan – and it’s become louder and more pronounced of late. But that doesn’t mean all birthers are racist.

    Agreed.

  14. avatar
    Checker May 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Nothing says more about ‘racism’ then the FACT that President Obama will go down in history as THE most scrutinized, maligned, lied about, questioned about every minute aspect of his life……President!

    WHY? The answer is crystal clear to me, without the benefit of a scientific study.

  15. avatar
    Retired Intelligence Officer May 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Patrick McKinnion: I’ve always been careful not to say that “all birthers are racist”. Because it’s simply not true.Some are disgruntled PUMAs that are upset that Obama took a place they saw as being “dear Hillary’s” by right.Some are far-right cases that wouldn’t accept anyone to the left of Tom Tancredo.And some are simply those who believe the White House is the rightful home of a Republican and wouldn’t accept anyone – male, female, white, black, chia pet, whatever – that didn’t have an “-R” after their name.There is a streak of racism in birtherstan – and it’s become louder and more pronounced of late. But that doesn’t mean all birthers are racist.

    And there are some that bring up the fact that his father was a British Subject and that status was passed to baby Barack when he was born. After the grandfather clause ended, all presidents were born to ‘two’ U.S. citizen parents. Buchanan’s father became naturalized before he was born and, Wilson and Hoover’s mothers also became naturalized before they were born too. They were natural born citizens, a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S or a national security safety net intended by the [Founders] to prevent a usurpation of the government.

  16. avatar
    Retired Intelligence Officer May 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Excuse the mispell. It should be ‘founders’. I don’t think it’s racial at all. I believe there are millions who don’t want Article 2 Section 1 to be violated at the behest of political of today’s times. We should stick to strict tradition of what the founders intent what they wanted in a president and not break from it.

  17. avatar
    Retired Intelligence Officer May 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: Excuse the mispell. It should be founders’. I don’t think it’s racial at all. I believe there are millions who don’t want Article 2 Section 1 to be violated at the behest of political of today’s times. We should stick to strict tradition of what the founders intent what they wanted in a president and not break from it.

    Excuse me again. That’s ‘political correctness’.

  18. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: And there are some that bring up the fact that his father was a British Subject and that status was passed to baby Barack when he was born. After the grandfather clause ended, all presidents were born to two’ U.S. citizen parents. Buchanan’s father became naturalized before he was born and, Wilson and Hoover’s mothers also became naturalized before they were born too. They were natural born citizens, a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S or a national security safety net intended by the foinders to prevent a usurpation of the government.

    And that Status mattered not Chester A Arthur’s father wasn’t naturalized until after his birth. Same with Spiro Agnew.

  19. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer:
    Excuse the mispell. It should be founders’. I don’t think it’s racial at all. I believe there are millions who don’t want Article 2 Section 1 to be violated at the behest of political of today’s times. We should stick to strict tradition of what the founders intent what they wanted in a president and not break from it.

    Article 2 Section 1 hasn’t been violated

  20. avatar
    Suranis May 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: And there are some that bring up the fact that his father was a British Subject and that status was passed to baby Barack when he was born.

    Thomas jefferson, Eisenhower, presidented while being dual citizens.

    Retired Intelligence Officer: After the grandfather clause ended, all presidents were born to two’ U.S. citizen parents.

    Chester Arthur didn’t burn his dads naturalization papers. Here’s the proof http://www.scribd.com/doc/11067180/William-Arthur-father-of-President-Chester-Arthur-Naturalization-certificate-1843-Congress

    He donated this proof his dad naturalized when he was 14 to the library of congress. Didn’t care who knew it and 2 books since have commented on this without a huge shock to the American psyche

    Spiro Agnew was VP his dad had not naturalized. Proof in 1920 census. VP has same `restrictions as POTUS as 12th amendment

    Said this 200 times to birthers.

  21. avatar
    sfjeff May 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: Excuse the mispell. It should be founders’. I don’t think it’s racial at all. I believe there are millions who don’t want Article 2 Section 1 to be violated at the behest of political of today’s times. We should stick to strict tradition of what the founders intent what they wanted in a president and not break from it.

    You mean excluding African Americans from the Presidency?

    Because I think we can all agree that the Founding Fathers never intended that African Americans could be President. Or women.

    I mean if we are trying to guess what the ‘intent of the founding fathers was’

  22. avatar
    gorefan May 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: We should stick to strict tradition of what the founders intent what they wanted in a president and not break from it.

    Can you provide us with a quite from the founders that they want a “natural born” citizen to have two citizen parents?

    Because for hundreds of years before 1776, the definition of “natural born” was anyone born in the country no matter what the citizenship of their parents.

  23. avatar
    gorefan May 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S

    Yes or no, do you agree with James Madison when he said,

    “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States”

  24. avatar
    BatGuano May 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): And that Status mattered notChester A Arthur’s father wasn’t naturalized until after his birth.Same with Spiro Agnew.

    ……or presidential candidates ralph nader and michael dukakis.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer:
    They were natural born citizens, a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S or a national security safety net intended by the [Founders] to prevent a usurpation of the government.

    Would you not agree that requiring the President to be born a citizen is a higher standard than that of a naturalized citizen (the qualification for Congress)? Or are you saying that the Founders wanted a “super duper” citizen, which they designated using a term which in colonial law and common law never meant that? I do not think your suggestion holds together.

  26. avatar
    Suranis May 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    BatGuano: ……or presidential candidates ralph nader and michael dukakis.

    Were Nader and Dukakis’s parents non naturalized? I didn’t know that. Got any sources?

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: I believe there are millions who don’t want Article 2 Section 1 to be violated at the behest of political of today’s times. We should stick to strict tradition of what the founders intent what they wanted in a president and not break from it.

    I agree, we should not give in to the birther’s novel and crank interpretations of Article 2, nor should we allow them to use the courts to try cases which the Constitution does not empower the courts to hear, nor should we allow (as one suggested) Obama to be impeached as a referendum on his job performance. The only founder who spoke specifically on Article 2 said simply that it was the Framer’s intent to insure an “attachment to the country.”

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/03/framer-speaks-on-natural-born-citizenship/

  28. avatar
    brygenon May 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    I’d say many more birthers are racist than realize themselves to be. Just a few weeks ago on Andrea Shea King’s Blogtalk show, birther attorney Garry Kreep, founder of the United States Justice Foundation, said:

    “I’ve been called a racist many times, because of this litigation, despite the fact that I’m representing an African-American man who is more African than Obama. Mr. Obama is, according to his heritage he’s 50% white, 43% Arab, and 7% black. And yet he’s the first, well he’s not really the first black president — Bill Clinton was the first black president, according to his supporters — but so Mr. Obama is the second. I guess Mr. Obama is the first Arab president, and the second black president, or something like that.”
    [Gary Kreep on The Andrea Shea King Show, Blog Talk Radio, 26 April 2011, ~34 minutes in. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/askshow/2011/04/26/the-andrea-shea-king-show ]

    Tracing the source of Kreep’s false facts takes about two minutes of Googling: Kenneth E. Lamb made them up. Moreover, even if it were all true, what’s the argument? Attorney Kreep is not racist because he believed an Internet rumor that Obama is Arab and not black?

    Andrea Shea King, host of the show and a writer for World Net Daily, did not challenge Kreep on any of it. She had a good laugh at Obama being the first Arab president.

  29. avatar
    JD Reed May 16, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    I’d be interested to hear as much of Retired Intelligence Officer’s resume as he can disclose without blowing whatever cover he must still retain even in retirement, for security reasons. But is it possible he’s just a former local lawman who was at some point designated a departmental intelligence officer? Not to downgrade the valuable work done by such professionals, but assuming the title of “retired intelligence officer” on a blog such as this suggests inside knowledge of national and itnternational events that the public will never be privy to.

  30. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    brygenon:
    I’d say many more birthers are racist than realize themselves to be. Just a few weeks ago on Andrea Shea King’s Blogtalk show, birther attorney Garry Kreep, founder of the United States Justice Foundation, said:

    “I’ve been called a racist many times, because of this litigation, despite the fact that I’m representing an African-American man who is more African than Obama. Mr. Obama is, according to his heritage he’s 50% white, 43% Arab, and 7% black. And yet he’s the first, well he’s not really the first black president — Bill Clinton was the first black president, according to his supporters — but so Mr. Obama is the second. I guess Mr. Obama is the first Arab president, and the second black president, or something like that.”
    [Gary Kreep on The Andrea Shea King Show, Blog Talk Radio, 26 April 2011, ~34 minutes in. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/askshow/2011/04/26/the-andrea-shea-king-show ]

    Tracing the source of Kreep’s false facts takes about two minutes of Googling: Kenneth E. Lamb made them up. Moreover, even if it were all true, what’s the argument? Attorney Kreep is not racist because he believed an Internet rumor that Obama is Arab and not black?

    Andrea Shea King, host of the show and a writer for World Net Daily, did not challenge Kreep on any of it. She had a good laugh at Obama being the first Arab president.

    Only a racist speaks of race in terms of percentages. That’s like claiming one isn’t racist but then turn around and call him a malatto or half-breed. In the south they used to determine how black someone was by drops of blood.

  31. avatar
    JD Reed May 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    Anybody who claims to be well-educated and intelligent, and yet still subscirbes to the “Obama is more than 43 percent Arab and less than 7 percent black,” deserves not to be taken seriously. At this late date anyone with a keen interest in the topic only needs to look at pictures of the president’s closest Kenyan kinfolks — his father and half-siblings, widely available on the Internet.

    Their skin tones are all a deep ebony, indicating that they’re pretty much 100 percent black African. That makes the president himself about 50 percent black.
    Or can Mr. Kreep or any of his devotees explain away the pictures? If not, his crediblity is shot to he double sticks, if it wasn’t already.

  32. avatar
    Retired Intelligence Officer May 17, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): And that Status mattered not Chester A Arthur’s father wasn’t naturalized until after his birth. Same with Spiro Agnew.

    Not true. Theodore Agnew was naturalized in 1903 as a American citizen long before Spiro was born in 1918. See 1930 census, Line 65. Son Spiro was a NBC.

    See here:
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/attachments/politics-other-controversies/62106d1272625631-eligibility-thread-agnew1.jpg

    Author was ineligible.

    [Note: The actual 1930 Census form shows that Agnew Sr. was NOT a naturalized citizen in 1930 and that 1903 is the year of his immigration to the US. Doc.]

  33. avatar
    JoZeppy May 17, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: And there are some that bring up the fact that his father was a British Subject and that status was passed to baby Barack when he was born. After the grandfather clause ended, all presidents were born to two’ U.S. citizen parents. Buchanan’s father became naturalized before he was born and, Wilson and Hoover’s mothers also became naturalized before they were born too. They were natural born citizens, a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S or a national security safety net intended by the [Founders] to prevent a usurpation of the government.

    And all Presidents were white and male. Perhaps you should throw that in too? Just because it may or may not have been true, does not mean it is a requirement. Truth is, the two parent argument is a crank theory of a very small minority and has no acceptance in the legal or scholarly community. Before President Obama, no one had argued that a person born on US soil irrespective of parentage was not a citizen for over 100 years (and even then they lost).

  34. avatar
    nbc May 17, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: Theodore Agnew was naturalized in 1903

    See this entry which shows in 1920 that the father is still an alien. See line 72-73…

    Oops

  35. avatar
    nbc May 17, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    Uh and 1903 and 1930 may be easily confused… But 1920 is clear, his parents were still aliens…

    What now my friend?

  36. avatar
    Patrick McKinnion May 17, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: And there are some that bring up the fact that his father was a British Subject and that status was passed to baby Barack when he was born. After the grandfather clause ended, all presidents were born to two’ U.S. citizen parents. Buchanan’s father became naturalized before he was born and, Wilson and Hoover’s mothers also became naturalized before they were born too. They were natural born citizens, a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S or a national security safety net intended by the [Founders] to prevent a usurpation of the government.

    Except for the slight little fact that the US Constitution doesn’t define “Natural Born Citizen” as “two citizen parents”. Nor does US law. For that matter, there’s been a very consistent strain of judicial decisions within United States law and court history that define “Natural Born Citizen” as a citizen at birth, though having been born in the US or outside the US to a US citizen parent or parents.

    Nor does US law or the US Constitution define dual citizens as having a lower or ‘non-Natural’ status. If you’re born with US citizenship, then under US law you’re a Natural-Born citizen.

    So there’s been no violation of the Constitution, since Barack Obama, Jr. was born in the State of Hawaii and is therefore though jus soli a Natural Born US citizen.

  37. avatar
    obsolete May 17, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    I have found it to be depressingly easy to push birthers buttons enough for the “N” word to be uttered and their true thoughts exposed.
    Certainly not in 100% of cases, but I would say about 50% of in person “discussions”. Who knows how many forum filters have prevented me from seeing this online as well?…
    (Although it has happened before- several from The Fogbow had some real good exchanges with birthers who achieved racist meltdowns)

  38. avatar
    Retired Intelligence Officer May 17, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    nbc: Uh and 1903 and 1930 may be easily confused… But 1920 is clear, his parents were still aliens…What now my friend?

    Read the link again. It says he was specifically naturalized in 1903. It is clear.

  39. avatar
    Suranis May 17, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    Retired Intelligence Officer: Not true. Theodore Agnew was naturalized in 1903 as a Americancitizen long before Spiro was born in 1918. See 1930 census, Line 65. Son Spiro was a NBC.

    See here:
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/attachments/politics-other-controversies/62106d1272625631-eligibility-thread-agnew1.jpg

    Retired Intelligence Officer: Read the link again. It says he was specifically naturalized in 1903. It is clear.

    .

    Dude, you read it again. The 1903 date is listed under the column “year of Immigration to the United states”

    Thanks for the link though.

  40. avatar
    Hawaiiborn May 17, 2011 at 4:10 am #

    No, it doesn’t.

  41. avatar
    Hawaiiborn May 17, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/attachments/politics-other-controversies/62106d1272625631-eligibility-thread-agnew1.jpg

    No it doesn’t. the column that has the 1903 notation is “Year of Immigration to the United States” under the Citizenship heading.

    However it conflicts with the Census 10 years earlier, where it noted that it was 1887 instead (and under Naturalized or Alien column, it has AL).

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_p5Ru9m0c4Ho/S05BipCq5GI/AAAAAAAAAJ0/6cNj7fCT_Sc/s1600-h/imageCAFPWLM0.jpg

  42. avatar
    Hawaiiborn May 17, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/tEnumForm.shtml

    1920 Census Questions under Citizenship:
    13. Year of immigration to the United States.
    14. Naturalized or alien.
    15. If naturalized, year of naturalization.

    To which: Theodore Agnew answered : 1887 / AL / blank

    1930 Census Questions under Citizenship:
    22. Year of immigration to the United States.
    23. Naturalization.
    24. Whether able to speak English.

    to which Theodore Agnew answered : 1903 / No / Yes

    In 1930, Theodore Agnew wasn’t naturalized.

  43. avatar
    The Magic M May 17, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    > They were natural born citizens, a higher standard of citizen with sole allegiance to the U.S or a national security safety net intended by the [Founders] to prevent a usurpation of the government.

    There it is again, the “birth fallacy”, aptly proffered by a birther.

    Let me tell you what the problem with this “higher standard” is:

    It only cares about the baby’s status at birth. It does not care the least if the baby becomes a dual citizen later.

    So, according to the birth fallacy, the Founders

    (1) thought that a baby whose parents naturalized one day after its birth was not qualified to be president (while one whose parents naturalized one day before its birth was qualified), yet

    (2) thought it was no problem if the baby acquired dual citizenship one day after its birth and kept it until and after being elected President (because they did not write “no dual citizens” in the Constitution, only “natural *born*”).

    So far, no birther has been able to riddle me why the Founders only cared about the status at birth (which effectively is irrelevant both legally and regarding motivation) but not if the person holds allegiance to a foreign country *during his presidency*.

    In fact, a recent comment asking the same question over at the Pest and eFail vanished in Sharon’s Stalinist moderation.

  44. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 17, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Suranis: Thomas jefferson, Eisenhower, presidented while being dual citizens.

    Granted, Thomas Jefferson (like many US politicians) was offered French citizenship by the French Revolutionary parliament, unlike others (George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, it seems) he did not refuse the offer and there are indications that while travelling in France, he used French papers. Someone posted a picture on the internetof a laissez-passer document that Jefferson is known to have used – it was unclear whether the poster wanted to prove Jefferson’s French citizenship or disprove it (a laissez-passer actually implies you doe NOT have local citizenship). However, that laissez-passer was issued by the King of Frence, and definitely does not prove or disprove anything. The case for Thomas Jefferson presidenting while French, not potentially but actually, is very strong because a number of 19th century historians used it to argue that … US jurisdiction over those on US territory is total.

    You are wrong however on Eisenhower. The same Prussian law that entitled Eisenhower to German citizenship (straight descent through the male line) took his citizenship away when he became a civil servant of the United Stes government. So LIKE OBAMA, Eisenhower lost the right to German citizenship around his 23rd birthday.

    The same Prussian law also provided for foreigners who were able to join the Prussian civil service and swear allegiance to the King/Government of Prussia, to be granted German citizenship. One famous beneficiary of that rule was Adolf Hitler, who only got German citizenship when he was already on the way to power. (he had joined the German army as a volunteer foreign resident in 1914, but only the minor decoration for valour, which he was famously granted by a Jewish officer helped at his nationalization trial)

    Since the acquisition of Deutchtum depended on blood, I guess Ike’s children and the children of his sons were still entitled to German citizenship until 2000, when German citizenship law was changed to give children born in Germany German citizenship under certain circumstances, and a right to German citizenship at adulthood otherwise.

    Of course, being born a dual citizen and losing the other nationality at adulthood were not the only things which Obama and Eisenhower had in common. There non-existent travel ban to Pakistan is mirrored by Ike’s trip to Europe just before the first world war, when crossing the German-French border on a US passport with a German name in it, may have been suspicious. Indonesian nationality through adoption? During World War II, Ike at one time planned to divorce his wife and marry his British chauffeur (a recently substantiated rumor). If performed in Britain, the marriage would have given him the right to British citizenship. Recently, Ike was found to have got his first SSN from California, while he applied for it from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

  45. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 17, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    Paul Pieniezny: So LIKE OBAMA, Eisenhower lost the right to German citizenship around his 23rd birthday.

    Just wait for birfers to write that some Obot once claimed Obama had German citizenship at birth. The logical fallacy here is best solved by thinking that I meant “lost the right to the non-US citizenship around his 23th birthday”.

  46. avatar
    The Magic M May 17, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    > Just wait for birfers to write that some Obot once claimed Obama had German citizenship at birth.

    Actually, I would be waiting for birfers to write *Obama* claimed to have (had) German citizenship at birth.

    After all, they’re trying to make every false statement about Obama (birth at Queens, Dr Rodney West as the delivering doctor, …) appear as if it had been made *by* Obama and since been “proven a lie”.

  47. avatar
    dch May 17, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    “43 percent Arab and less than 7 percent…”

    Simple question: Percent of what specifically?

    Why are racists always completely ignorant of science and critical thinking?….oh, wait…

  48. avatar
    Bovril May 17, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    H’mm “Arab”….that’s a cultural /geographical law….much like…I don’t know…someone self reporting race as “African” on a birth certificate….now where have I seen that before…?

  49. avatar
    The Magic M May 17, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Somehow racist birthers think if they can argue away Obama’s “black part” into small numbers, their arguments wouldn’t sound as racist anymore.

    That’s just as typical for a racist as claiming to have “many black friends” or know “black people who think the same”.

    Let me spell it out for the racists once more: if saying X is racist, it does not matter if a white man or a black man or a “7% Asian and 16,7% half-Black” man says it.

    It also does not matter if you would vote for another black candidate, have married a black woman or donate $50,000 a year to affirmative action programs. A racist statement remains a racist statement and a racist motivation remains a racist motivation.

    Many of the things Manning says are racist. Him being black does not take away from that.

    Still it’s interesting how many white racists love to find black people they can paint as racist, as if that somehow would take away from their own racism. That’s the motivation behind idiocies like “Obama’s ancestors were slave traders” or “Colin Powell is a racist”.

  50. avatar
    nemocapn May 17, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I’m going to have to disagree with all of you about Spiro Agnew. I think RIO is wrong that Spiro Agnew’s father was naturalized in 1903, but I also think that nbc is wrong that Spiro’s parents weren’t naturalized by 1920. For one thing, his mother was born in Virginia. I don’t think she needed to be naturalized. I believe that the census records are unreliable on this point, and that it’s impossible to tell when Spiro’s father was naturalized without the Certificate of Naturalization. I’ve looked for it online and been unable to find it. It could appear under any number of names: Theofrastas Spiro Anagnostopoulos, Theodore S. Anagnost, Theodore Agnew, etc.

    I found a Google snippet of a book by Theo Lippman which says, “Four years later his declaration of intent to become a citizen listed his family name as ‘Anagnost’ and included the middle name ‘Spiro.’ He now said he was a barber. In 1907, when he petititioned for naturalization, he described himself as a merchant, having graduated to…”

    That suggests to me that the author has actually seen the naturalization petitions. Theodore Agnew couldn’t have been a citizen in 1903 if he was petitioning for naturalization in 1907. The book also mentioned that Theodore had relatives in Schenectady, New York. I found a Theodore S. Anagnost, fruit merchant, in the 1910 census in Schenectady that indicates that he was naturalized and arrived in 1902. Again this census is unreliable, because his year of birth is around 1878, while his year of birth in other records is around 1885.

  51. avatar
    nemocapn May 17, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Only a racist speaks of race in terms of percentages

    I’m going to have to disagree with you there. Genealogists speak in percentages. I grant, though, that it’s usually nationalities and not race.

    According to genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner, Obama is (I rounded):
    50% Luo
    35.05% English
    4.69% Scottish
    3.91% Irish
    3.71% German
    1.56% Welsh
    0.977% Swiss
    0.097% French

    Note there’s no Arab percentage whatsoever, because no Arab ancestors of Obama have been found. The Luo are a black Nilotic (i.e., from the Nile region) people.

  52. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 17, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    nemocapn: I’m going to have to disagree with you there. Genealogists speak in percentages. I grant, though, that it’s usually nationalities and not race.According to genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner, Obama is (I rounded):50% Luo35.05% English4.69% Scottish3.91% Irish3.71% German1.56% Welsh0.977% Swiss0.097% FrenchNote there’s no Arab percentage whatsoever, because no Arab ancestors of Obama have been found. The Luo are a black Nilotic (i.e., from the Nile region) people.

    Birther’s aren’t genealogists. Please point me to which birther geneologist has spoke in terms of percentages. Did Williams Addams Reitwiesner also preface his remarks with “Such and such isn’t really black he’s:”

  53. avatar
    nemocapn May 17, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    dch: “43 percent Arab and less than 7 percent…”

    Simple question: Percent of what specifically?

    Most likely, they’re referring to his great-great-grandparents. Each great-great-grandparent accounts for 6.25% of your ancestry. It’s another way to say that only one of his great-great-grandparents was black and 7 were Arab. That’s obviously incorrect. On his father’s side the name of only 1 great-great-grandparent is known (Opiyo or Obiyo).

  54. avatar
    nemocapn May 17, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Birther’s aren’t genealogists. Please point me to which birther geneologist has spoke in terms of percentages.

    Brygenon mentioned his name above: Kenneth E. Lamb. He describes himself as a writer, publisher, and tv host. He’s the one that came up with the percentages of Arab blood which is blatantly false. He claims that the Kenyan government classified Obama’s father as an Arab. He claims only Obama’s great-grandmother (I presume Nyaoke) was black.

    The following link debunks the genealogy:
    http://newscorpwatch.org/research/200806260002

    Obviously, Lamb is an amateur genealogist and a poor one at that.

  55. avatar
    nemocapn May 17, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Did Williams Addams Reitwiesner also preface his remarks with “Such and such isn’t really black he’s:”

    No, he prefaced it with “The ethnic/national ancestry of Mr. Obama, as far as is currently known, can be shown as follows:”

    Reitwiesner also critiqued Lamb, “In the blog entry, Mr. Lamb states that only one of Sen. Obama’s great-great-grandparents on his father’s side was an ‘ethnically African Negro’, while the other great-great-grandparents on his father’s side were ‘ethnically Arabic’….
    How Mr. Lamb was able to ascertain this is a mystery…..In any case, Mr. Lamb has not published his evidence, either in his blog entry or anywhere else, so it has been impossible to evaluate the basis for Mr. Lamb’s claim. For this reason, the description of Sen. Obama as 50% Luo (on his father’s side) has been retained.”

    I’m simply pointing out that using percentages isn’t an indication of racism unless someone is talking about quadroons and octoroons. I agree with you that saying Obama isn’t really black is likely an indication of racism.

  56. avatar
    ellid May 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    sfjeff: You mean excluding African Americans from the Presidency?

    Because I think we can all agree that the Founding Fathers never intended that African Americans could be President. Or women.

    I mean if we are trying to guess what the intent of the founding fathers was’

    The Founders didn’t want women to vote, own property in their own names, or be full citizens, let alone be President.

  57. avatar
    The Magic M May 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    > 3.71% German

    At least we beat the French. 😉

    > 0.977% Swiss

    Hm, does that mean Vattel does not apply to him since he is less than 1% Swiss?

    Paraphrasing a quote from “Buffy the Vampyre Slayer: Once more with feeling”, I can only say: “Work with me, Swiss man! Give me numbers and show me where to point them!”

  58. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    nemocapn: Agnew

    I am sorry, but I am sceptic, and would stick to the census. Greek is not written in the Roman alphabet, and in my experience, the necessary transliteration of the family name often landed brothers and cousins who also emigrated with different names as registered by US authorities.

    Just blindly checking on naturalization papers from people who share the same name that Spiro’s father used at one time may lead you to a brother or even worse a cousin. And cousins may also have the same Christian name – many families used a limited number of Christian names.

    With a census you should at least be sure that you are talking about the same household from era to era.

  59. avatar
    nemocapn May 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Paul Pieniezny: I am sorry, but I am sceptic, and would stick to the census

    Which census record are you going to trust? 1910, 1920, or 1930? They all contradict each other. I think the Certificate of Naturalization would trump the census, just as a Certificate of Birth trumps the birth information on the census. It’s primary sources vs. secondary sources.

    Biographies suggest that Spiro’s father was born Theofrastes or Theophrastus Spiro Anagnostopoulos in Gargalianoi, Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Date of arrival in U.S. given as 1897, 1902, or 1903, so I looked for someone that met that criteria.

    I found Theofrastos S. Anagnostopoulos, age 25 (b. abt. 1877), on the passengers list of the Friesland, Sept. 30, 1902. His last residence was Platamoudos (probably Platamonas, Greece). Destination–Schenectady, NY, joining cousin A. Kansas (or Kausas), no. 431.

    Thedore Agnew’s tombstone gives year of birth 1878 and date of death 1963.

    WW II draft registration card:
    Theodore Spiro Agnew
    b. Sept. 25, 1878 in Gargaliani, Greece

    Census Records
    1910 Theodore S. Anagnost, age 32 (b. abt. 1878), arrived 1902, naturalized, living Schenectady, NY
    brother George S. Anagnost, age 25 (b. abt. 1885), arrived 1903, alien, living Schenectady, NY
    1920 Theodore S. Agnew, age 40 (b. abt. 1880), arrived 1887, alien, living Baltimore, MD, son listed as Spiro T. Pollard, not Spiro T. Agnew.
    George S. Agnew, age 34 (b. abt. 1886), arrived 1887, alien, living Baltimore, MD
    1930 Theodore Agnew, age 45 (b. abt. 1885), arrived 1903, naturalized crossed out and replaced with alien, living Baltimore, MD
    George S. Agnew, 46 (b, abt. 1886), arrived 1903, naturalized, living in Baltimore, MD

    The census information on Spiro’s uncle George Agnew is more consistent than the information on Spiro’s father. I found Giorgio Anagnostopoulos on the passenger list for the Cambroman, arriving Oct. 31, 1903 in Boston, MA. He was age 20 (b. abt. 1883), last residence Gargaliani, destination–Schenectady, NY, joining cousin Adelphi Kansas (or Kausus), 431 State St. Georgeos Spero Anagnostopoulos, born March 17, 1884 in Gargaliane, Greece, filed his Declaration of Intention in January 1915. He petitioned for naturalization in Maryland in January 1918. He also petitioned to change his name to George Spero Agnew. If you have an Ancestry account, you can view George Agnew’s naturalization petition here:
    http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=1554&iid=31320_129965-00193&fn=George+Spero&ln=Anagnostopoulos&st=r&ssrc=&pid=2605282

    George Agnew became a citizen on May 13, 1918, and yet the 1920 census says he was an alien. I was unable to find the same documentation for his brother Theodore Agnew.

  60. avatar
    Scientist May 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    nemocapn: Which census record are you going to trust? 1910, 1920, or 1930? They all contradict each other.

    All right, so let’s say that that we don’t know with certainty whether Agnew’s dad naturalized before he was born. Here’s is what we do know with certainty-the issue was not`raised in either 1968 or 1972. Nor was Chester Arthur’s father’s citizenship ever raise in 1880 (though his birthplace was). And a well-regarded lawyer was hired to investigate and certainly could have easily ascertained what Arthur Sr. citizenship was.

    Why did the issue never come up? Because no one considered it relevant.

  61. avatar
    Scientist May 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    nemocapn: Which census record are you going to trust? 1910, 1920, or 1930? They all contradict each other.

    All right, so let’s say that that we don’t know with certainty whether Agnew’s dad naturalized before he was born. Here’s is what we do know with certainty-the issue was not`raised in either 1968 or 1972. Nor was Chester Arthur’s father’s citizenship ever raise in 1880 (though his birthplace was). And a well-regarded lawyer was hired to investigate and certainly could have easily ascertained what Arthur Sr. citizenship was.

    Why did the issue never come up? Because no one considered it relevant.

  62. avatar
    nemocapn May 18, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Scientist: Why did the issue never come up? Because no one considered it relevant.

    I agree 100% with that. While I’ve found numerous articles mentioning that Spiro Agnew was the son of a “Greek immigrant,” none of them mentioned when Theodore was naturalized. If it had a bearing on whether native born Spiro was a natural born citizen, it would’ve been mentioned.

    Regardless, I’m leaning toward believing that Theodore Agnew was naturalized before Spiro’s birth. I found his WW I draft registration–

    http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=6482&iid=MD-1665877-1563&fn=Theodore+Spero&ln=Agnew&st=r&ssrc=&pid=270284

    It was signed Sept. 12, 1918, and says he was naturalized. He also showed up as a witness on 4 naturalization declarations from 1926-1929, so he was definitely a citizen before 1930.

    The card used for Theodore Agnew classified citizenship like this:
    http://c.ancestry.com/pdf/trees/charts/DraftCardC.pdf

    U.S. Citizen:
    10 Native Born
    11 Naturalized
    12 Citizen by Father’s Naturalization before Registrant’s Majority

    Alien:
    13 Declarant
    14 Non-declarant

    A previous version of the card asked: “Are you (1) a natural-born citizen, (2) a naturalized citizen, (3) an alien, (4) or have you declared your intention (specify which)?”
    http://c.ancestry.com/pdf/trees/charts/DraftCardA.pdf

    The next version of the card said, “I am”
    1. Native of the United States
    2. Naturalized Citizen
    3. Alien
    4. Declared Intention
    5. Noncitizen or citizen Indian
    http://c.ancestry.com/pdf/trees/charts/DraftCardB.pdf

    This is yet another example that the government used the terms “natural-born citizen” and “native born” interchangeably.