Right now, there are some Internet rumors swirling that Michelle Obama has admitted to her husband’s dual citizenship. I first became aware of it because of a post at the TexasDarlin blog, a resource that has done some decent work on Philip Berg’s lawsuit against Barack Obama.
According to an article at African Press International, Michelle Obama called them to clear the air about any questions regarding her husband’s citizenship and eligibility to be president of the United States.
When I first read the entry on the TexasDarlin site, I was well aware of Michelle Obama’s propensity for sticking her foot in her mouth, and the official-sounding nature of “African Press International,”–which kind of sounds like “Agence France-Presse” or “United Press International”–admittedly had be intrigued.
Once I followed the link to the source, however, I had no doubt that something just wasn’t right. When I finished reading the piece, my feelings became clear:
I think we need to tread very, very carefully here.
It just didn’t smell right to me. The timing was all wrong, the statements too convenient, the article in question poorly written. While I am the first one–for obvious reasons–to argue for more credence and for the benefit of the doubt to be given to Internet news and opinion bloggers, this rubbed me the wrong way for a number of reasons.
- First, the article claims that Michelle Obama called them. Now, I know NOTHING about the credentials or reputation of the African Press International Web site, but I can read the somewhat disjointed writing style and DO know that with just three weeks to go in the election, Michelle Obama is on an extremely tight leash. Every single second of her interaction with the media–any sort of media–is under the most strict of scrutiny by her husband’s handlers. Somehow, I doubt she’d take it upon herself to call Katie Couric, nonetheless African Press International.
- Second, the style of the quotes attributed to Mrs. Obama seems identical to the writing style of the surrounding prose. Michelle Obama is, despite all of her faults, a very intelligent woman who can certainly turn a phrase and, while she may not be able to spit out the soaring rhetoric that her husband can, she is certainly better spoken than what is written on the African Press International Web site.
- Finally, the content of the quotes attributed to Mrs. Obama seemed a little much at this point in the election, even for the woman who has a history of keeping her mouth open for a little too long. I cannot for the life of me imagine that she would say the words “American white racists” to anybody who could possibly publish such words with her husband so close to taking the presidency. Furthermore, she is law-trained, and should be well aware of the consequences should her husband be proven to lack U.S. citizenship.
Listen, this Berg v. Obama suit is extremely interesting and, should Berg prevail, the consequences would be absolutely incomprehensible. I understand the enthusiasm. This whole thing, however, just doesn’t sit right with me — and we need to be careful to not jump blindly into believing something that just doesn’t add up. Perpetuating this sort of nonsense, provided that’s what it turns out to be, only hurts the credibility of those like Jerome Corsi and Philip Berg.
I know I risk a lot by coming out on a limb and expressing my skepticism toward this latest claim, but I just cannot believe that it is authentic. If I am wrong on this–and I most certainly believe that I am not–I will gladly own up to it, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.
Feel free to agree, disagree, or whatever. At this point I’m going by gut feeling, and while my gut is ample, it’s been known to be wrong on occasion.
A little after midnight, I had an extensive conversation with Philip Berg about the African Press International piece, most of which was off-the-record. While he did not downplay the article, he said that its contents were under “cautious consideration” and planned to take steps to independently verify the statements from Michelle Obama purported to have been made to the organization. If the statements were indeed truly said and can be verified as such by audiotape or the like, Berg said that they were devastating for the Illinois senator’s cause in the lawsuit currently pending in federal court in Philadelphia.
“If she did say these things, and listen, I can’t say whether or not these statements were made up, then it solidifies the arguments I’ve been making for months now,” Berg said, acknowledging that the African Press International article was suspect. “If these statements turn out to be valid, then she admitted that he truly was adopted by his stepfather in Indonesia and therefore cannot be eligible for the presidency.”
Personally, I still don’t buy it. It just doesn’t add up. If Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter wanted to vent to someone in the media, would she call the people at The Daily Kos?
Think about it. The media is about as friendly to Barack Obama and his candidacy as they could be toward a presidential candidate and campaign without the need for a prophylactic, and still Michelle Obama is being physically prevented from even talking with Katie Couric, the friendliest of the friendlies. Why in the world would she call a fly-by-night Web site like African Press International, which has been very unfriendly toward her husband, and expect any sort of journalistic integrity? Why would she say the things she purportedly said?
It just doesn’t add up, people. It just doesn’t add up.