The Politics of Obama's Birthday

Not that we have any proof it's today

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Today is President Barack Obama's 49th birthday, something that probably got very little international attention before 2008. But now that he's the most powerful person in the world, even his birthday seems to be a major political and diplomatic event. Here are the surprisingly intense politics surrounding Obama's big day.

  • No Family, Lots of Fundraising  CBS News' Stephanie Condon reports, "President Obama turned 49 without his family today, his wife and daughter traveling abroad and his other daughter at summer camp. But while the president will celebrate his big day without Michelle, Sasha and Malia, he's got plenty of Americans wishing him well (and both parties using the moment to score political points). Democrats are rallying their supporters across the country by hosting hundreds of birthday parties in the president's honor. Democrats are also hosting more traditional, big-ticket fundraisers pegged to the president's birthday."
  • 'GOP Sends Mocking Regards'  The Washington Post's Michael Shear reviews the new Republican website, where visitors can create a not-so-congratulatory card. "Web surfers who sign onto the new page will be presented with more than a dozen cards to choose from, including ones featuring Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. 'Congrats on your big day!' reads the e-card from the indicted former governor. 'In honor of your birthday, I decided not to testify'" Republican Governor Charlie Crist is also skewered by one of the cards.
  • Fox News: 'Obama Spends His Birthday With His Favorite Person -- Himself'  Fair and balanced Fox News writer Dan Gainor exclaims, "Today is Barack Obama’s 49th birthday and an ideal time to mark a little more than a year and a half causing havoc in the White House. What could be more appropriate to celebrate his 18 months of self interest and self involvement than a day honoring him? ... Forget the news of the day – economy, race, pro football or Lindsay Lohan. To the Narcissist-in-Chief, all days might end in a 'y,' but every day starts with an 'I.'"
  • Why He Won't Repeat Last Year's Fête  Vanity Fair's Juli Weiner writes, "Michelle Obama will not be joining her husband on his birthday: she’s in Spain with Sasha. Malia is at summer camp, and Bo—Bo! Remember Bo?—is likely in Washington, outside somewhere. Last year, the president rang in his 48 years with a rollicking double-party with Helen Thomas, with whom he shares a birthdate, if not, necessarily, birth century. He brought her a stack of cupcakes adorned with a candle. Suffice it to say, that will likely not be the case this year."
  • Rush Limbaugh: Prove It  Radio host Rush sighed, "Tomorrow is Obama’s birthday, not that we’ve seen any proof of that … What? We haven’t seen any proof of that! They tell us August 4th is the birthday; we haven’t seen any proof of that! Sorry. It is what it is."
  • Huffington Post Imagines Birther Response  The Huffington Post's Andy Borowitz satirizes a press conference by Orly Taitz in Kenya, while Sean Kelly annotates a birth birthday card: "Receiving a birthday card isn't proof you were actually born."
  • Actual Birthers Still Constitute 27 Percent of U.S.  CNN got Obama a bitter birthday present: A poll on whether Americans believe he was really born in the U.S. 42 percent say definitely, 29 percent say probably, 16 percent say probably not and 11 percent say definitely not. That suggests that less than three quarters of Americans believe that their president is "definitely" or "probably" American. And you'll never guess how the poll numbers break down by party.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.