So, Did Obama's Birth Certificate Change the Minds of Birthers?

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The pixels are barely dry on the White House's post of an earlier version of Barack Obama's birth certificate, and already the birthers are crying "foul", "finally", and everything in between. Some have questioned whether the document provided is actually real. Others say, "what took so long," and still more say he's wasting time dealing with the issue at all. A lot of people are thanking Donald Trump for putting pressure on the president. In the couple of hours since the post went up, reactions seem to be progressing through a few different stages. 

One of the reasons the White House resisted answering birther claims was that their level of skepticism has no stopping point. And that was certainly proven today. World Net Daily, a proud purveyor of Obama conspiracy theories seemed ready to accept this birth certificate as proving he was born in the U.S. (and thus a citizen) but they still have plenty of other theories of why he cannot be president: "If the document proves valid, it could answer the questions raised by those who have alleged he was not actually born in Hawaii. But it also could prove his ineligibility because of its references to his father (who is listed as born in Kenya)." Others seem to be picking up that charge. Kitty, a commenter on Legal Insurrection says, "It states his father was not a natural born citizen. Doesn't that make 0 ineligible to be president?"

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And there are bubbling doubts about the authenticity. On Twitter, Allahpundit crowed, "Just got an e-mail, subject heading: "IT IS NOT NOTARIZED." The Blaze has a skeptical headline -- "White House Releases What it Says is Obama's Long-form Birth Certificate" -- but stops short of calling it a fake in the article. Here is one early reaction from FreeRepublic:

Somebody named "Alvin" is promising that is is a "true copy".

It has signatures but the paper, allegedly signed in 1961, is the same, funny computer print-out paper that the State of Hawaii uses in the 21st Century. Hmmm.... and all the letters seem to have a white halo around them.

I'm not Buckhead and I don't play him on the Internet but this seems to be some sort of Photoshop joke.

I am not a "Birther". I am an "Asker" and I have two simple questions:

1.) Why won't President Obama simply end this circus by releasing the long-form document?

2.) "What is President Obama hiding and why is he hiding it?"

As Wire commenter Kelli K nicely put it on our original post, "The 'birther' controversy is a metaphor." And as such, there are signs that while the President's opponents may feel that his place of birth is settled, it doesn't alter his view. A commenter on the Fox News story said, "The liberals must be proud..this is Obama's biggest accomplishment to date..producing his own birth certificate..and it only took him 2 years...ya'll must be proud :)" On Freerepublic, McKayopectate says, "About flipping time if he did produce it. Geez, how much does a guy need to be banged on the head to get a clue?" Scared Monkeys says, "The President has finally buckled to the pressure," and Sister Toldjah is already distancing herself from the fray: "The issue fascinated me only from the standpoint of an armchair investigator who loves to dig for overlooked details and missed clues/facts."

Update 1: Wired's Jonah Lehrer says this morning's reveal probably won't change many minds one way or another. Citing a few studies on the way people hold onto their beliefs in the face of evidence, he writes: "It doesn’t matter if we’re holding forth on birth certificates or tax policy – we can’t help but discount and disregard facts that contract what we’d like to believe." Which means the deniers are probably right, and this conversation is probably not over.

Update 2: The Smoking gun has a point-by-point breakdown on details of the certificate that seem fishy. It's at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek, based on this item: "David A. Sinclair, the M.D. who purportedly signed the document, died nearly eight years ago at age 81. So he is conveniently unavailable to answer questions about Obama’s reported birth." But that hasn't stopped Matt Druge from tweeting about it as a possibly legitimate takedown of the document.

Also, alpha-birther Orly Taitz has weighed in on the issue in a Talking Points Memo story:

[S]he still has her suspicions. Specifically, Taitz thinks that the birth certificate should peg Obama's race as "Negro" and not "African."

"In those years ... when they wrote race, they were writing 'Negro' not 'African'," Taitz says. "In those days nobody wrote African as a race, it just wasn't one of the options. It sounds like it would be written today, in the age of political correctness, and not in 1961 when they wrote white or Asian or 'Negro'."

Update 3: Twitter spoofs are getting funny. Film critic James Rocchi gets in a zinger with this Logan's Run reference: "Related news: Francis-7 Demands Obama show his Lifejewel or report to Carousel."

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