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Speaking on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show on Wednesday night, the always-fun Sarah Palin referred to President Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" while expressing concern that the press had failed to uncover key details about Obama's early life. Some are wondering whether this brief appearance is an appeal to birtherism, a fringe theory suggesting that Obama is not a U.S.-born citizen. Here's the video, a transcript of Palin's statement, and the reaction.

I think [Republican Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell] absolutely can win. She needs to stay on message, talking about reining in the federal government, and really connecting with her Delaware voters, and ignoring what the lamestream media is trying to do her with all the distractions. Funny, Greta, though, that we are learning more about Christine O'Donnell and her college years and her teenage years and her financial dealings than anybody ever even bothered to ask about Barack Hussein Obama as a candidate and now as our president.
  • 'Birther Talking Points'  Conservative blogger Pajama Pundit sighs, "Look, the way that I see it, she is clearly pandering to the Orly Taitz crowd on this one folks. Palin uses the President’s middle name — as many did during the 2008 campaign — to remind the Fox viewers that he is 'not one of us'. Then, as I watched with my mouth agape, she continues by pointing out that Christine O’Donnell is going through a much tougher vetting process (i.e. learning about her background, schooling, upbringing, etc.) than the President did. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a Birther talking point?"
  • What Palin Means With Hussein  Outside the Beltway's James Joyner writes of using Obama's middle name, "Whether it’s to pander to the birthers or just to suggest ever-so-subtly that the President is not a 'real American,' the motivation is just as sinister. And, no, I don’t believe the 'it’s just his middle name' defense works here. You didn’t hear people referring to 'Ronald Wilson Reagan' on a regular basis, or 'George Walker Bush,' or, for that matter 'Sarah Louise Palin.' No, there’s a reason that people like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and now Sarah Palin, use the President’s middle name, and it isn’t over a concern with correct nomenclature."
  • Palin Crosses a New Line  Talking Points Memo's Christina Bellantoni writes, "It's certainly not the first time Palin has cracked about Obama's past, but we couldn't find any references to her using his middle name. Who can forget that Palin was the candidate to insist that Obama doesn't see America in the same way as she and Sen. John McCain."
  • The 'Media Never Vetted Obama' Dogwhistle  Slate's David Weigel wrote earlier this month about "the popular narrative that the media 'never vetted' Obama and thus never discovered the Marxism right below the surface. ... The demands to know more about Obama focus on the release of his college thesis at Columbia and, sometimes, on knowing whether he's ever had a foreign passport. This is more than previous presidents were asked for; this is about grinding in that 'Obama's hiding something about his origins or religion' narrative without actually bothering to read or report on those origins."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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