Memo to Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii: many of the folks who would like Obama to produce his Hawaiian long form birth certificate don’t actually think he was born abroad. They just would like him to properly document the fact that he was born here, since his father was a foreign non-citizen and there are rumors that the baby was born elsewhere, and the most official and complete document—the long form—has never been released.
They also believe that proper proof of Hawaiian birth does not consist of the assertion by Governor Abercrombie that he knew Obama’s parents personally and saw them take the baby to social events in Hawaii.
Many (perhaps even most?) of so-called “birthers” are more like “proofers.” They would merely like the long form certificate to be released and the whole controversy put to rest. Abercrombie may believe he’s foiling them by offering to release it, but he would actually be fulfilling their request.
Plenty of people critical of the birthers/proofers contend that they’re racist, demanding of Obama what they would never demand of someone who isn’t black. But there’s nothing particularly unique here. Similar issues were raised regarding John McCain in 2008, and not many people raised a fuss about it. The issue for McCain was slightly different, since both his parents were indisputably American citizens; the question was whether his birth while his father was serving in the military in the Panama Canal Zone qualified him as a “natural-born citizen.”
What’s more, there were quite a few predecessors in controversy, all of them white:
The last Arizona Republican to be a presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, faced the issue. He was born in the Arizona territory in 1909, three years before it became a state…[The question] also surfaced in the 1968 candidacy of George Romney, who was born in Mexico, but again was not tested. The former Connecticut politician Lowell P. Weicker Jr., born in Paris, sought a legal analysis when considering the presidency, an aide said, and was assured he was eligible. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. was once viewed as a potential successor to his father, but was seen by some as ineligible since he had been born on Campobello Island in Canada. The 21st president, Chester A. Arthur, whose birthplace is Vermont, was rumored to have actually been born in Canada, prompting some to question his eligibility.
[NOTE: Is Abercrombie claiming to have been Stanley Dunham Obama's labor coach here?:
Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, 'I was here when that baby was born.' "
I would guess what he really means is that he was in Hawaii when the baby was born, rather than the delivery room.]