One of the dumbest questions asked by birthers is “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” Amid unfounded rumors that candidate Obama’s middle name was “Mohammed,” his campaign released his birth certificate in June of 2008. Perhaps you’ve seen it?
Birthers have tried to deny this simple document ever since. First, they denied that the document even existed in paper form, and that it didn’t have the seal of the State of Hawaii. Staff from FactCheck.org actually took photos of the original paper document, but those were denied too.
The State of Hawaii, peppered with questions, spurious claims of sealed records and allegations of forgery, found it necessary to make an official statement supporting their document. By law birth records are private in Hawaii, but the Director of the Department of Health is authorized to release “index data” (basic fact of birth information) to the public from which, for example, newspapers get birth announcements, such as this one:
Effort shifted from denying the birth certificate to finding secret messages in the preceding statement. The State of Hawaii decided to say it again, more emphatically, and created an Obama FAQ web page. The birthers literally went wild when they saw those words “natural-born American citizen.”
In addition, index data for Hawaii births is available for public inspection at the State Health Department office in Honolulu. The following photo is from the Associated Press and reported by USA Today:
Then the Internet tabloid WorldNetDaily came up with a brilliant advertising scheme; they got their own readers to pay for billboards that said “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” and advertised WorldNetDaily’s web site (WND.COM). Of course everybody already knew where the birth certificate was, in a bound volume at the Hawaii State Department of Health, but that didn’t seem to matter. (I reported on one of the first of these billboards in Ball, Louisiana in May of 2009.)
And with this, a new phase of asking an already-answered question began, with signs, bumper stickers and a book of the same title by Jerome Corsi.
Probably if not for the national media attention given to Donald Trump, this is where the story would have ended; however, Trump got so much airtime asking open-ended questions and making ludicrous accusations, that the Obama campaign once again felt compelled to obtain the 1961 birth registration called the Certificate of Live Birth, and to put it on the White House web site after an April 2011 press conference, where Obama called the birthers “carnival barkers” (with much offense taken by legitimate carnival barkers). So here is the Birth Certificate (AGAIN!) proving that Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital, attended by a physician, and not in Africa with a birth certificate somehow derived from a report from his grandmother of a home birth.
Of course the birthers went back to their 2009 playbook, denying that this document exists in paper form, despite a photograph of it taken by NBC News White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie.
Birthers, who are programmatic deniers of anything from Barack Obama, continued to shout forgery and raise bogus objections to the document, creating so much furor that Secretaries of State in two states made an end run around the White House and contacted the Hawaii Department of Health directly to get verification of the documents. First Ken Bennett in Arizona:
Then Kris Kobach in Kansas. This one that actually references the White House document:
And a verification even showed up in federal lawsuit in Mississippi and here the Department of Health made darned sure that the State Seal was visible (I can imagine the effort that went into applying it).
So if anybody asks “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” you can tell them where to go.