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The will-they-or-won’t-they saga over the release of Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate has thrown the so-called “birther” movement back into the national spotlight.¬†A thriving group of conspiracy theorists, lawyers and conservative politicians, the “birthers” believe the President is not a U.S. citizen, despite some pretty strong evidence to the contrary.
“Birthers” vary in their arguments, but all reject Obama’s presidency as illegitimate.
rumours about Obama's birth certificate start circulating towards the end of the 2008 Democratic primaries, helped along by PUMA, a small but vocal group of Hillary supporters who refuse to accept Obama's primary victory. Among the rumours: Obama was born in Kenya and his middle name is really Muhammad.
Ms. Taitz, a Southern California dentist with an online law degree, becomes the public face of the 'birther' movement. Taitz files a federal lawsuit questioning Obama's presidential eligibility on behalf of conservative Alan Keyes, who lost the Illinois U.S. Senate race to Obama in 2004. The case is still winding its way through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
DECEMBER 2010: Hawaii Governor vows to prove Obama's citizenship but can't find the birth certificate.
Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii's newly elected governor, brings the 'birther' movement back into the national media spotlight by promising to produce Obama's original birth certificate. Abercrombie, a Democrat who knew Obama's parents, says the President's birth is recorded in the state's archives but no birth certificate materialises.
State Attorney General David Louie tells Abercrombie that Hawaii's privacy laws prohibit the disclosure of an individual's birth records with consent. The state health department confirms that Obama's name is on its list of people born in Hawaii.
After months of silence on the 'birther' conspiracy, press secretary Robert Gibbs takes another swing at the 'birthers,' saying that 'rational people' have long since concluded that Obama is a U.S. citizen.
The 'birthers' have redoubled efforts to prove Obama is ineligible for the office, fuelled by claims that Abercrombie cannot find the birth certificate. On his talk radio show last week, Rush Limbaugh lent credibility to the movement with a segment that pondered whether or not the President is actually a foreigner.
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