Obama on the campaign trail
MSNBC's "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who earlier announced he is the "enemy of birthers" but said even so he thinks Barack Obama should release his birth certificate, now has suggested that the online, computer-generated image of a Certification of Live Birth from Hawaii is the only document Obama has.
It also was Matthews who famously stated about listening to Obama, "I felt this thrill running up my leg. I don't have that too often."
Matthews was poking fun at a new move by state legislatures across the country to adopt state laws that would require presidential candidates to document their constitutional eligibility in order to be on the state's ballot:
"The beard keeps growing on this thing," he jested. "They believe they've got something there that could embarrass the president."
He pointed out that the "old school" birth certificates have all sorts of signatures and writing on them.
"Now you have the new kind which is a digital thing, printed out," he said. "The president has produced this new kind. It's been fine for him … He doesn't have the other kind apparently," Matthews said.
Earlier, he was addressing Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie's statement that he was going to chase down Obama's original state birth certificate to prove his eligibility.
At the time, Matthews said, "I don't understand why doesn't the president just say send me a copy right now … let's get this crappy story dead."
Abercrombie later said, according to his friend radio personality Mike Evans, that the document doesn't exist and expressed concern that the controversy will be a major issue for Obama during his planned 2012 presidential re-election campaign.
Evans related how Abercrombie had taken over the governor's office assuming he'd be able to clear things up, but then couldn't find the records he was seeking.
"Abercrombie was probably more shocked than anybody," Evans said.
Arizona and at least nine other states are developing plans that would plug the hole in federal election procedures that in 2008 allowed Barack Obama to be nominated, elected and inaugurated without providing proof of his qualifications under the U.S. Constitution.
And they aren't all the simple legislation such as that adopted in New Hampshire a year ago that requires an affidavit from a candidate stating that the qualifications – age, residency and being a "natural born citizen" – have been met.
In Georgia, for example, HB37 by Rep. Bobby Franklin not only demands original birth-certificate documentation, it provides a procedure for and declares that citizens have "standing" to challenge the documentation.
Franklin told WND the least that leaders of the United States, on a state or federal level, can do is to follow the requirements of the law of the land.
His plan, he said, is needed because he saw "requirements in the Constitution that you don't have a code provision to ensure that it happens."
"If we as an entity of civil government don't follow the laws, then what makes us think that our citizens are going to obey anything we enact?" he said. "We need to lead by example."
According to officials with the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states already have some sort of eligibility-proof requirement plan.
There is Arizona's HB2544, Connecticut's SB391, Georgia's HB37, Indiana's SB114, Maine's LD34, Missouri's HB283, Montana's HB205, Nebraska's LB654, Oklahoma's SB91, SB384 and SB540, and Texas; HB295 and HB529.
Led by Texas with 34, the states control 107 Electoral College votes.
There have been dozens of lawsuits and challenges over the fact that Obama's "natural born citizen" status never has been documented. The "certification of live birth" his campaign posted online is a document that Hawaii has made available to those not born in the state.
The controversy stems from the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which 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."
The challenges to Obama's eligibility allege he does not qualify because he was not born in Hawaii in 1961 as he claims, or that he fails to qualify because he was a dual citizen, through his father, of the U.S. and the United Kingdom's Kenyan terroritory when he was born and the framers of the Constitution specifically excluded dual citizens from eligibility.
There are several cases still pending before the courts over Obama's eligibility. Those cases, however, almost all have been facing hurdles created by the courts' interpretation of "standing," meaning someone who is being or could be harmed by the situation. The courts have decided almost unanimously that an individual taxpayer faces no damages different from other taxpayers, therefore doesn't have standing. Judges even have ruled that other presidential candidates are in that position.
The result is that none of the court cases to date has reached the level of discovery, through which Obama's birth documentation could be brought into court.
Obama even continued to withhold the information during a court-martial of a military officer, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who challenged his deployment orders on the grounds Obama may not be a legitimate president. Lakin was convicted and sent to prison.
A year ago, polls indicated that roughly half of American voters were aware of a dispute over Obama's eligibility. Recent polls, however, by organizations including CNN, show that roughly six in 10 American voters hold serious doubts that Obama is eligible under the Constitution's demands.