Earlier this week, President Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate to the public. Various media outlets had widely differing views on why it was released after millions of dollars were spent to keep it hidden, in the same way that they differed before its release on whether it should be released, or if it even existed. Aside from a few fringe outlets questioning this line or that line, the general consensus is even among “Birthers” that President Obama has finally proven his Constitutional eligibility to be President over two years after taking office.
One person who gives himself the most credit for getting the birth certificate released is Presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who has been touting himself as a potential Republican challenger to Obama in 2012. Mind you, this is less than a year after he donated to the Mayoral campaign of Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama cabinet member, and Senator Chuck Shumer, et al…but people can change their minds, right? And it’s not good to upset your potential donors…although there are much bigger donors to Democratic campaigns, such as George Soros, who could easily make up any shortfall from Trump stopping any of his donations.
Obama has given himself credit for finally releasing the birth certificate, claiming he wanted to take the focus off that issue and onto the important things. But vacation after vacation while we suffer with deficits exceeding $1 trillion, runaway bureaucratic abuse, wide open borders, ballooning energy and food prices courtesy of ethanol, cap and trade and drilling bans, and a tax code that makes War and Peace look like a pamphlet, it is hard to find any real focus on the major issues the Federal government ought to be handling.
Some point to poll numbers, showing an increasing number of people either not believing or at least not sure that Obama was born in the U.S. But poll numbers against ObamaCare, the stimulus and TARP did not sway Obama or his precessor, George W. Bush, from their positions, so it is hard to take that seriously as a factor.
While not an official Tenth Amendment Center issue, as many as ten States took up the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate within their own State Legislatures. Arizona and Montana were among the first, but they have both voted Republican consistently in the last several Presidential elections, so being off the ballot in those States would have done nothing to Obama’s re-election odds. However, when Pennsylvania, an Electoral Vote heavy Blue State since the 1992 elections, began debating the issue, something like that would have been hard to ignore. There is no doubt Obama will need 270 electoral votes to be re-elected, but theoretically, a Republican would not have to with Pennsylvania out of play.
Pennsylvania will be worth 20 electoral votes in 2012. If a Republican challenger won back enough swing States just to push Obama below 270 without Pennsylvania, but did not get 270 him/herself (a spoiler candidate could possibly take PA that year), the President would then be decided by the House, and the Vice President by the Senate, which would likely leave us with a Republican President and Democratic Vice President.
No major media outlet is reporting this, but with unemployment still near 9%, the deficit far exceeding the highest of the Bush years, and America involved in another war in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama will need every solid Blue State he can get for re-election. The Electoral College, hated as it is by the “51 percenters” who advocate for popular vote only, has not been abolished yet, so Obama will have to work within that system to win. There are at least five double digit Electoral Vote swing States (Indiana, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia) that could go back to the Republicans next year. What would be more of a threat to one’s re-election hopes? An eccentric corporate bigwig who has declared bankruptcy multiple times talking about fiscal responsibility, or not being on the ballot?
While it is unlikely that the next President, whether taking office in 2013 or 2017, will be on the side of States’ Rights and proper separation of State and Federal power, it is possible that the birth certificate battle was a victory, not for Obama or for Trump, but a quiet victory for the States.
cross-posted from the New Jersey Tenth Amendment Center