WASHINGTON, September 16, 2016 — With less than two months left in the presidency of Barack Obama, does anyone except Hillary Clinton care about the “birther” issue? Clinton and the Washington Post, in search of a diversion from Clinton’s sinking poll numbers, have resurrected the dead controversy, hoping to rattle Donald Trump and his followers.
It did not. Everyone, including Trump his supporters, has moved on.
Clinton is losing political altitude at a rate that horrifies her supporters. It turns out that “there is no there, there.”
The real issue that Clinton and her New York political machine cannot fathom is how Trump turned his upside down, national poll numbers in August to a statistical tie today. Many political pundits had all but written off the billionaire candidate, and the broadcast network anchors were getting comfortable with the idea of being the first to call the presidential election for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
But as political strategists warn, “Don’t get ahead of yourself or your poll numbers.”
Clinton’s presidential polling heights in August have tumbled with a post-Labor Day swoon. What a difference 30 days can make in a presidential campaign.
As Labor Day approached, Trump showed signs of pulling even or ahead in national polls when a CNN/ORC poll had Trump ahead of Clinton 45 to 43. A week later the poll numbers worsened for team Clinton when the Reuters poll had then tied 39-39 and the Rasmussen Reports had Trump ahead 42 to 40.
The news only became worse for Clinton in must-win state of Ohio. Bloomberg has Trump ahead of Clinton 48 to 43, while CNN/ORC has Trump breaking the 50 percent mark in Ohio leading Clinton 50 to 46, according to Real Clear Politics.
The numbers do not lie, and that news is probably enough to make a candidate succumb to coughing fits of panic. Clinton’s medical dilemma could not have come at a worse time. With Clinton at home convalescing from pneumonia, her campaign was furiously tweeting out every possible issue that could divert attention away from her handlers’ multiple explanations of her knees buckling, near fainting episode.
When reporters questioned campaign officials that day about her lack of transparency, they suggested that her near collapse was due to the stifling, breezy, 77-degree heat.
Bill Clinton insisted that it was the flu that caused Hillary to nearly tumble into her awaiting car.
Unfortunately for her, nothing stuck to the political wall. Even many of Clinton’s supporters eventually admitted that the candidate had suffered once again from her all-too-familiar infectious and reoccurring non-transparency bug.
California Senator Barbara Boxer absolutely refused to be blinded by the apparent truth. She defended Clinton’s campaign officials’ indefensible behavior and instead attacked Trump. In a press conference, the senator suggested that Trump may be “hiding something.” She postulated that the republican candidate could be squirreling money away in offshore bank accounts, according to Real Clear Politics.
That sounds familiar. In 2012, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, no stranger to spreading unadulterated lies about candidates, said from the Senate floor that Republican nominee Mitt Romney had paid no taxes. His allegations were evidence-free, but that did not prevent him from spreading the lie in order to damage the Romney candidacy.
Little known fact: Reid was able to make those defaming remarks because “a Member of Congress was (is) entitled to immunity for statements made “in his seat,” i.e., on the floor or in committee proceedings.” Hutchinson v. Proxmire, 442 U.S. 111 (1979),
With Clinton’s once enviable lead melting away, she and her media partner, the Washington Post, reached into her handbag of deplorables to resurrect the birther issue, hoping that it would reignite her polling numbers.
Clinton needs to get a clue: There is no there, there. She is a day or four late and several tens of millions of voters short. Her Basket of Deplorables is the issue, not the forgotten birther issue.
The birther issue is not one that black voters will get excited about on election day. Obama is not running for re-election, and with black-on-black crime robbing them of their safety and educational failure robbing their kids of their future, birthers are the last thing on black voters’ minds.
But even a dead issue is useful if it can help a campaign that is beginning to show signs of being in free-fall.
The birther movement ended when Obama, after persistent calls from Trump, produced a birth certificate that indicated that he was born in August 4, 1961 at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.
The form was signed by Obama’s mother, the delivery doctor and the local registrar.
Trump took credit for forcing the president to produce proof of his American birth and the controversy subsided until the Washington Post and the Clinton campaign tagged and resurrected it.
On Friday, at a Washington D.C. press conference Trump announced that Obama was born in the United States, “period.” He ended it.