Punahou Circle apartments where Barack Obama lived from 1971 to 1979
Hawaii lawmakers have voted to advance a resolution to make the apartment building where Barack Obama grew up a national landmark, yet there is still no move to recognize any island hospital as his birthplace.
The move this week is the first step in designating the 1960s-era, 12-story Punahou apartment building on the National Register of Historical Places.
“It’s very unique that the president of the United States grew up in a modest high-rise apartment building in Honolulu,” Renton Nip, chairman of the board of the Emma Kwock Chun Corp., which owns the Punahou Circle apartments, told the Associated Press. “With his modest upbringing, he has achieved so much. It’s terrific.”
Obama claims to have been born in Honolulu and lived in the two-bedroom 10th-floor apartment from 1971 to 1979, when he graduated from nearby Punahou School. His grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, rented a unit in the building for 41 years until she died just before Obama was elected president last year.
“By placing this on the register, we get to talk about how Hawaii and its places shaped the character and the philosophy of this unique resident,” said Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of the Historic Hawai’i Foundation.
Placing a site on the National Register of Historic Places is mostly a recognition of its significance without many obligations. The listing comes with investment tax credits and does not limit property rights.
Tourists are not allowed inside to see the apartment itself. They will have to look at the building from tour buses roaming Honolulu’s streets.
“With all due respect, there’s a level of pride we can have in having a native son being the president, but I think even the president would say there are more pressing things we have to focus on,” said Adam DeGuire, executive director of the Hawaii Republican Party.
Properties applying for listing in the National Register are considered by a professional review board and judged based on their age and significance. The program is administered by the National Park Service.
Even before being elected president, Obama was plagued with questions about his birthplace, which he claims is Honolulu. Because the campaign and the administration have refused to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate, which would put such questions to rest, dozens of lawsuits have been filed challenging his eligibility to serve as president under the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause.
While many of those lawsuits have been dismissed, most have not been heard for reasons of jurisdiction and standing, rather than on the evidence and merit of the challenges.
The one subject that has been avoided to date has been whether or not the president is, in fact, eligible.
So far, there have been two definitive statements on the issue that have been made public, including one from an Obama campaign spokeswoman talking about the challenges who told WND, “All I can tell you is that it is just pure garbage.”
The other is from Chiyome Fukino, the director of the Hawaiian Department of Health, who issued a statement, “I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
As with the court opinions, what is not said is significant. While the certificate on file is “in accordance with state policies and procedures,” there’s no affirmation that the document reflects a Hawaiian birth.
Nor is there any explanation for the image of the Hawaii state “certification of live birth” that has been posted by Obama on the Internet, purporting to document his Hawaiian birth, even though Hawaiian procedures at the time allowed that document to be issued to parents of children not born in the state.
For example, why would an individual with a verified birth certificate also have a “certification of live birth?”
The questions raised over Obama’s eligibility are all very simple: The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
But getting the issue discussed has been a huge obstacle, and what courts have done several times, including once in a California case, is to schedule hearings on the issue on a date far beyond any reasonable expectation of having applicability, lawyers have said. For example, a challenge to the Electoral College vote for Obama, raised early in November, still hasn’t had a court hearing.
Obama reported in his autobiography that he was born in Honolulu, and the online “Certification of Live Birth” states that.
But when WND senior staff writer Jerome Corsi went there, he was told any Obama records were sealed, and although they would be released if the person made the request, Obama simply has refused to do that.
Corsi also traveled to Kenya where he was also told records pertaining to Obama in Kenya were sealed.
There also have been no confirmed hospital records uncovered that would document his birth, and an investigator even cast doubt on whether the Obama family lived at the address listed in the newspaper announcements.
A woman who reportedly “remembered” Obama’s birth and was quoted widely in support of his Hawaiian birth later explained to WND she had been told of the birth of a baby boy by an acquaintance who was a doctor who noted the mother’s unusual name of Stanley, but she had no knowledge of the details.
According to much legal research, at the time of Obama’s birth he could be a natural born citizen by being born in the United States, by being born to two U.S. citizen parents (not possible because of his father), or, if only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.
The problem is, Obama’s mother was only 18 when she gave birth, so his only apparent route to “natural born” citizenship status would have been to be born in Hawaii.