The White House released the long form of President Obama’s birth certificate Wednesday morning, a move it says was necessary to combat the growing number of Americans who believe Obama was born outside of the United States and is therefore ineligible to be president.
As promised, the certificate says that Obama was in fact born in Hawaii—not Kenya or another foreign country, as the so-called birthers have claimed he was. According to a digital copy of the certificate posted online, the birth occurred at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, at the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.
The president had previously released a standard short form of his certificate but requested copies of the original certificate from Hawaii officials this week in hopes of quieting what the White House was calling a “sideshow” that was stunting political debate inside the Beltway and outside of it.
UPDATE: The president briefly spoke with reporters Wednesday morning to address the issue, saying that he hoped the release would allow the political conversation to return to the budget. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama said, according to Politico. "I've got better stuff to do."
Slate's own David Weigel, meanwhile, has an early look at whether this will end Birtherism once and for all.
UPDATE #2: Politico appears to have won the informal headline writing contest: "President Obama plays his Trump card"
The full White House statement that accompanied the release:
In 2008, in response to media inquiries, the President’s campaign requested his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. The state sent the campaign the President’s birth certificate, the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state, and the campaign immediately posted it on the internet.
When any citizen born in Hawaii requests their birth certificate, they receive exactly what the President received. In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the document recognized by the Federal Government and the courts for all legal purposes. That’s because it is the birth certificate. This is not and should not be an open question.
The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting.