FROM Ben Smith
Obama, the 'Birthers' and the Anatomy of a False Accusation Barack Obama's birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Local newspapers carried announcements at the time. Recent investigations by mainstream media have confirmed that he meets the Constitutional requirement that the president must be a "natural born citizen." Today, CNN aired the conclusion of Dr. Chlyome Fukino, a Republican and former Director of Hawaii's Department of Public Health, who described the so-called " long form " birth certificate stored in a vault in Honolulu. Such "birther" claims may appeal to the right-wing base of the Republican Party, but the repetition of a demonstrable untruth could do more harm to Republicans than Democrats.
The Birthers and the Anatomy of a False Accusation Donald Trump is among those currently making the claim that Barack Obama is not a "natural born citizen," as the Constitution requires a President to be. Despite all evidence to the contrary, polls show that some percentage of Americans believe Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in another country. It turns out the contention was first made in 2004 by Illinois Democrats. But it's Republicans and some of their leaders who are repeating it today. We look at the history of a false report, why some people cling to it and its possible impact on next year's presidential campaign.
Obama Calls on Netanyahu, Abbas to Restart Peace Negotiations In New York today, President Obama sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Even before the meeting began, he sounded a note of frustration , calling on both leaders to "summon the will to break the deadlock that has trapped generations of Israelis and Palestinians in an endless cycle of conflict and suffering" He said that success "depends on all sides acting with a sense of urgency." Ben Smith is senior political writer at Politico .
Asia Trip Puts Hillary Clinton Back on the World Stage When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits down for an hour-long conversation on Meet the Press this weekend, she'll have a lot to talk about. She's just returned from a high-profile week-long trip to Asia that made several headlines: a spat with North Korea, a surprise promise to protect the region if Iran gets nuclear weapons, and a series of agreements with India. What does Clinton's trip signify about her agenda for developing US relationships in the region? What does the trip say about her influence in Washington?
Clinton Campaigns with Obama in Unity It was handshakes and kisses today when Hillary Clinton boarded Barack Obama 's plane for the flight to New Hampshire. They were heading for Unity, a town of 1700 people that gave each of them 107 votes in January's Democratic primary. Clinton took the podium for here first joint public appearance with Obama since this year's down-to-the-wire primary battle came to an end. Ben Smith is senior political correspondent for Politico.com .
Rev. Jeremiah Wright Speaks Out After days of silence, except for sound bites from past sermons, Barack Obama 's pastor has been going public. Friday, he appeared on Bill Moyers' public television show. Last night, he addressed the NAACP . And today, he got some tough questionsafter a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Ben Smith is senior political writer at Politico.com .
Lots of Votes but No Decisions Forget about those "decisive results" predicted for both parties just a few weeks ago. Super Tuesday leaves the two remaining Democrats virtually tied and Republicans sharply divided over their leading candidate. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may have to battle until May in Pennsylvania or even beyond. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney 's in trouble and Mike Huckabee 's come on strong. Although John McCain is the leader, he has a fight on his hands for his party's conservative base. We survey the wreckage from the first, real "national primary" and look at an uncertain political future.
Will the Race for President Turn into a Generational Showdown? During last night's Republican debate in Florida, the only Democrats mentioned were Bill and Hillary Clinton. But the Democratic nomination has yet to be decided. In advance of tomorrow's primary in South Carolina, Clinton and Obama have engaged in a series of nasty exchanges, in what's become the kind of campaign that Obama had hoped to avoid. In his book, The Audacity of Hope , he describes the politics of the baby-boom generation as "rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched out long ago," by which he means the 1960's. Obama, who offers a style of leadership designed for younger voters, says he's running against that status quo--Republican and Democratic. Hillary Clinton's campaign says former President Bill will stay on the campaign trail, evoking reminders of eight baby-boom years in the White House. Will post-boom voters be turned off by the politics of divide and conquer? Will boomers themselves be attracted to the Clintons' "experience?" On the Republican side, why does John McCain , the oldest candidate in the race, appeal to young people?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.