After winning laughs joking about the birth certificate controversy at the White House correspondents’ dinner earlier this month, President Obama has found a new way to profit from birtherism: comedic T-shirts. The shirts, which will be sent to those who donate more than $30 to Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, read “Made in the USA” and include images of Obama and his long-form birth certificate. Although polls suggest that more Americans have moved past the belief that Obama was born outside the U.S., more than a third of those polled last week remain skeptical. Commercialism at its finest, folks, though certainly a clever (if risky) approach to this fiasco. —KDG
Part of the reason for the shirts, a campaign official told ABC News, is that despite the president’s release last month of his long-form birth certificate, conservative fact-challenged author Jerome Corsi’s book “Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President” was published this week.
A Gallup poll released last week indicate that 65% of those polled say the president “definitely” or “probably” was born in the U.S. Thirteen percent of Americans say the president “definitely” or “probably” was born in another country. Twenty percent say they don’t know enough to form an opinion. These numbers are trending towards the correct belief that the president was born in the U.S.
Selling products featuring the long-form birth certificate might be a risk for the campaign, given how seriously the president and many of his top aides have objected to the birther lie, some suggesting that it is in no small part a racist way to make the president seem “other.” Merchandise featuring the birth certificate could be seen as trivializing those concerns, or even crassly exploiting them to raise campaign cash.