Jerome Corsi's Hard(er) Sell

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 16 2011 10:02 AM

Jerome Corsi's Hard(er) Sell

Jerome Corsi spent quite a long time traveling the hemispheres to find the truth -- or at least kick up some dust -- about the citizenship of Barack Obama.* His findings appeared in articles for WorldNetDaily and in the manuscript for a book titled Where's the Birth Certificate? And then, last month, the White House released additional proof of Obama's citizenship and the birther population collapsed like a McMansion in a hurricane. And the book's text has not been changed since the announcement.

So: How does Corsi promote the book in a world where Obama has released both his short form certificate of live birth and his long-form birth certificate? This morning, his publicist let us know:

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Obama's release, after years of stonewalling, of what is purported to be his long-form birth certificate, was a preemptive strike against this book. As the Washington Post has documented, it was April 21 that Obama had his team of lawyers contact Hawaii about releasing the document. That would be exactly one day after "The Drudge Report" featured Corsi's book, propelling it to top bestseller status. Obama's preemptive move was understandable: Presidents and presidential candidates have been afraid of Corsi ever since "Unfit for Command," coauthored with John O'Neill, thwarted John Kerry's presidential ambitions in 2004.

Purported! The publicist also promises that readers will "learn" that "Obama was born a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States, a circumstance the Constitution's framers considered an iron-clad roadblock to the presidency." This is actually a 2008 vintage trope that's based not on anything the founders said but on the existence of Emerich de Vattel's 1758 tome The Law of Nations , which defined natural-born citizens as those "born in the country, of parents who are citizens."

*Answer: American.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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