President Barack Obama may have appeased most yesterday by releasing the official long-form of his birth certificate, but experts said this is just the beginning of what promises to be a volatile 2012 re-election bid.
"The Democrats are going to say, ‘Let’s take this issue off of the table now.’ But there’s going to be a lot of shenanigans between now [and the election] that Obama will have to deal with,” said Christina Greer, a political science professor at Fordham University.
Other questions about Obama, including his relationships with “radical” government reformers, could also influence voters who are ambivalent about his background.
“Does he represent our values?” said Republican strategist Jim McLaughlin.
Political analyst Basil Smikle said that critics may try to twist the “birther” issue into some other canard.
“Americans can’t afford to pay attention to these issues. Gas prices are high. People are unemployed. There are real issues that we have to deal with,” Smikle said.
An obviously exasperated Obama held a White House news conference yesterday to squelch the long standing brouhaha, which recently was ramped up by billionaire Donald Trump. The birth certificate states that Obama was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961.
“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” said Obama, who also visited Manhattan yesterday for a fundraiser.
Trump, meanwhile, who’s considering running against Obama as a Republican, bragged yesterday that he’s “honored” he got the president to produce his birth certificate.
“Now we can get onto issues,” Trump told reporters, adding, “I hope we can start talking about gasoline prices, about OPEC and about China taking our jobs.”
But Greer said that depending on who wins the GOP nomination, secondary matters that don’t necessarily resonate with voters would live on.
“If you get someone like a Trump ... who doesn’t really understand policies, then you’re going to have these random issues,” she added.