I want to tip my hat to my friends Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge for helping immensely in raising the visibility of a story WND has been championing for more than two years.

That story, of course, is one the entire country – in fact, the entire world – now knows about.

It is the question of Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the presidency.

Last week, both of these men, in their own way, made it respectable to talk about and write about the absolute, established fact that Obama is hiding something in his steadfast refusal to release his long-form birth certificate to the public.

Rush has long joked about the missing birth certificate, for which I have been grateful. But last Friday he opened his show with an extensive monologue on the controversy, crediting WND with breaking the story. (In fact, WND has written hundreds of stories about the issue since 2008. More meaningful coverage, I believe, than all the rest of the media combined.)

“The story originated at WorldNetDaily … and, of course, if it originates anywhere outside the mainstream press, the mainstream press will not acknowledge it,” explained Limbaugh.

Rush’s attention to the absurdity of Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s quixotic quest for the elusive birth certificate was spot on. It is probably what provoked Abercrombie’s office, later the same day, to issue a statement saying he was giving up the search because it is not within his power to release the document he has been unable to find even if he were able to find it.

Stand up for truth and transparency — and the Constitution! Magnetic bumper sticker declares: “Birther on Board”

Of course, we know who has the power to release it – with just one phone call. That would be Barack Obama. But we’re supposed to believe it’s not important enough for him to worry about, even though 58 percent of Americans don’t believe his story.

Drudge, meanwhile, earlier last week linked to WND’s story about the Abercrombie absurdity – and millions read it as a result. Suddenly, news media around the world became interested in a story WND alone has been pursuing aggressively for nearly three years.

With the help of these two powerful media entrepreneurs, I am now more confident than ever that this mystery is going to be solved – sooner rather than later.

Rest assured, WND has some more big news coming on this front in coming days, weeks and months.

In May, WND Books will release the first book on this subject, “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President” by two-time No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Jerome Corsi. (Autographed copies are available for pre-order now.)

In the meantime, legislators in several states are introducing bills to require presidential candidates to establish eligibility for office before they get on the ballot in 2012. I have long predicted passage of even one such bill will keep Obama from seeking re-election in two years. Hillary Clinton, take note.

As some of you know, I have paid a price for keeping this story alive. I have faced ridicule, vicious name-calling, been blacked out of TV media appearances going on two years, had 30 years of journalistic experience questioned and have lost more than a few “friends” along the way.

I’ve been told this was not a “winning issue” by conservative activists who have seen it become a dominating issue with the American people.

I’ve even heard conservative activists say all the questions have been answered and that my persistence on the issue was motivated not by the pursuit of truth but by sensationalistic greed.

But I never approached this issue with anything more than good journalistic instincts and a commitment to see the Constitution observed. I learned a long time ago that when you see a politician hiding something (in Obama’s case, hiding lots of stuff), there’s a reason.

I still don’t know for sure what he’s hiding. I’ve never drawn a conclusion about that, despite fantastic assertions to the contrary by Obama’s collaborators in the Big Media and the left side of the blogosphere.

But one thing is clear: Obama is still accountable to the Constitution. He still has an obligation to prove he is eligible, whether he likes it or not. Future presidents do, too. And I’m going to see this story through to its finish.

It’s time for every American to decide where he or she stands: Is Obama above the Constitution, or is the Constitution above Obama? Do you accept the word of politicians at face value, or do you require them to prove what they claim about themselves? Can Obama continue to be entrusted with the highest office in the land when he so clearly is hiding some deep, dark secrets about himself?

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