Remember the kerfuffle over John McCain being born in the Panama Canal Zone? Never mind that McCain’s parents were native-born Americans. Or, that he entered this world in an American military hospital in the Canal Zone, which was U.S. territory at the time. According to a few legal experts (dutifully interviewed by the MSM), McCain’s overseas birth raised questions about his ability to meet constitutional requirements for the presidency, which limits eligibility to “natural-born” Americans.
The “controversy” struck us as an exercise in legal silliness, but the U.S. Senate actually passed a non-binding resolution in April, declaring that Mr. McCain qualifies as a “natural born citizen." Before that, the issue had been fodder for the blogosphere and pundits for almost two months, after The New York Times broached the subject in a February article.
Not surprisingly, the Times and other MSM outlets have been noticeably absent in questioning Barack Obama’s “birth” qualifications for the White House. As Jim Geraghty of NRO reminds us, there’s been a persistent internet buzz about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, which has never been released by his campaign. Reporters have asked for it (and been denied); the state of Hawaii, where Obama was born, does make those records public:
Mr. Geraghty notes there are several (unlikely) rumors about the birth certificate, and why it’s never been released. Obviously, the Obama campaign could clear those up rather quickly, by simply releasing the document and redacting any information that could be targeted by identity thieves.
But Senator Obama and his advisers show no inclination to release the birth document, and there’s been virtually no pressure from the MSM. Of course, this is the same press corps that has speculated (at length) about John McCain’s ability to handle the presidency, based on his age and past health problems. That prompted the Senator and his doctors to release more than 1,000 pages of medical records, affirming that Mr. McCain is in good health, despite the injuries he suffered as a POW in North Vietnam, and past bouts with skin cancer.
When it came to Obama, his doctor issued a one page letter, testifying that the Senator is medically fit. There was no demand for more information, or stories highlighting the difference between McCain’s voluminous disclosure, and Obama's one-page health statement. Little wonder the mainstream press has no interest in what might be found in the senator’s birth certificate.