A month after taking over leadership of the country, questions are still swirling among conservatives about Barack Obama’s citizenship. The latest to try to revive the issue, which was thoroughly investigated and debunked, is Alan Keyes – the man Obama defeated in 2004 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
This isn’t the first time Keyes has raised the issue of his former rival’s birthplace. After the 2008 elections, he filed a lawsuit against Obama, Joe Biden, the California Secretary of State, and the state’s 55 electors.
Keyes has not been a mainstream conservative for some time. He wasn’t even getting 1 percent in Republican primary polls in 2008, and defected to the Constitution Party, and promptly lost their nominating contest as well.
Most Republicans don’t believe this conspiracy theory. But it won’t stop an extreme minority from continuing to raise the subject and keep it alive. I have a feeling it will come up again when Obama runs for re-election in 2012, in a similar way that George W. Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard did in 2004.
Update: Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama caused a bit of a stir over the weekend in discussing the issue. The quote, attributed to him and if accurately reported by a local Alabama newspaper, leaves the citizenship issue unanswered.
Another local resident asked [Alabama Senator Richard] Shelby if there was any truth to a rumor that appeared during the presidential campaign concerning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, or lack thereof.
“Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate,” Shelby said. “You have to be born in America to be president.”
Shelby’s spokesman is saying the senator was misquoted. The paper’s editor and his reporter say they stand by their reporting and that the senator was quoted accurately.
Politico’s Ben Smith warns there may be video of this.