It’s the question that – apparently – just won’t go away. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has poked fun at those who ask it – “It’s on the Internet” – and President Obama has told people they should not question his “citizenship.”
But a recent CBS-New York Times poll revealed that only 58 percent of Americans even “think” that Obama was born in this country.
And a large part of the public awareness of the issues that remain unresolved about Obama’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office probably can be attributed to a billboard campaign to post the question in as many locations as possible.
The newest posting is on a billboard near Bethel, Pa., where passersby are being asked, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?”
Billboard near Bethel, Pa.
It is part of an ongoing campaign launched a little over a year ago by WND Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah.
The campaign raised the debate about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office to new levels with the appearance of billboards that showed up across the nation asking, “Where’s the birth certificate?”
Farah confirms it certainly has changed his own life.
“A year ago I was still getting regular invitations to be on cable TV shows and talk about the issues of the day,” Farah explained. “The minute I was labeled a ‘birther,’ I became radioactive – just like Lou Dobbs.”
Route 78 billboard in Pennsylvania
But state legislatures now are considering laws that would require documentation of eligibility, the state of Hawaii is working on a way to avoid – legally – answering public requests for information about the president, Congress has pending a proposal to demand documentation of eligibility from presidential candidates, and those lawsuits alleging Obama simply isn’t eligible remain active in the court systems.
The level of awareness is growing dramatically even though, Farah said, “the establishment media” are in lockstep on the issue.
“There’s no denying it,” says Farah. “No matter how hard my colleagues try to make the public forget about this issue, no matter how hard they attempt to ridicule anyone who wants to see the proof, no matter how much they demean even decorated military officers who take their own oaths seriously, this issue will not go away. It’s going to be around in 2012. It may even be the defining issue in 2012.”
It was just weeks after a new billboard appeared in Atlanta that Rep. Mark O. Hatfield of the Georgia Legislature introduced a bill to require state officials to ensure only constitutionally eligible presidential candidates can get on ballots in the state beginning in 2012.
The Arizona House adopted that proposal before the plan was shut down – for this year – by a political maneuver in the state Senate. Other similar legislation is being considered in a number of other states, too.
“Can you imagine the impact of several states adopting this kind of legislation before the next presidential election?” Farah said. “It’s almost an inevitability at this point. Obama is going to have to reveal the documents he has stubbornly refused to reveal to the American people, in spite of the polls. If he doesn’t, he will be forfeiting electoral votes in those states. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama decided not to run for re-election. I honestly don’t think he will ever produce a long-form birth certificate. I think he has something serious to hide.”
‘Where’s the Birth Certificate?’ billboard, in Atlanta
Farah said he could not have pulled off the campaign without the support of WND’s visitors. The cost of the billboards has been offset by donations – and Farah says he wants to step up the campaign because it’s winning.
“I’m quite sure based on our own polls that if people were asked whether they would like to see Obama release his birth certificate, more than half the country would say ‘yes’ – and all the other personal papers he has refused to disclose,” Farah said.
Farah said the billboards have had a lot to do with changing popular opinion – even if the media don’t get it.
“People simply shouldn’t have to conjecture about where they think their president was born,” he says. “It ought to be a matter of public record – and it clearly is not.”
Aside from the billboard campaign, WND has devoted more investigative reporting to the issue of eligibility than “all other media outlets combined,” said Farah.
In addition, the billboard campaign was rejected by three major billboard companies all owned by major media outlets – CBS, Clear Channel and Lamar.
“What I need Americans to understand is that this billboard campaign is working,” said Farah. “There is no shortage of billboards available to us. The only thing there’s a shortage of is the money to erect them. We need to raise tens of thousands of dollars a month just to keep them in place.”
“The impact of the billboards is magnified by local television and talk-radio shows in every market they enter,” said Farah. “It’s not just the billboard. It’s the earned media that comes along with it. It’s astounding. We have turned millions of people around on this issue with the billboards. It’s just that simple.”
“Where’s the Birth Certificate?” billboard near the Santa Ana Freeway in Los Angeles
Farah also has:
- produced a video documentary primer on the issue called “A Question of Eligibility”;
- produced a 40-page special report on the subject;
- manufactured yard and rally signs to bring attention to the topic;
- pledged to donate at least $15,000 to any hospital in Hawaii or anywhere else that provides proof Obama was born there and given you an opportunity to raise the amount;
- created a line of T-shirts you can wear to appearances by the president to raise visibility of the issue;
- created a fund to which you can donate to further the kind of investigative reporting into this matter only this company has performed over the last two years;
- launched a line of postcards you can use to keep the issue alive;
- distributed thousands of bumper stickers asking, “Where’s the birth certificate?”;
- and, perhaps most notably, gathered more than 500,000 names on a petition demanding any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter take appropriate action to see the requirements of the Constitution of the United States are followed.
“There are all kinds of things we need to do right now to get our country back on track, but I can think of nothing more important than for us to see that our Constitution is observed, followed, adhered to and honored, especially when it comes to such simple, straightforward matters as the eligibility of the president of the United States,” said Farah. “Please help me bring this matter to a head right now.”