The White House  robbed the billionaire reality television host of the fodder for his publicity stunt,  witch hunt or presidential campaign — you decide which — on Wednesday when it released President Barack Obama’s "long form" birth certificate.


Dear Boonville,

You’re fired Donald Trump, before you even start.

Please drop this charade of considering a run for president and return to "The Apprentice" boardroom, where you in all likelihood are the smartest guy among faux-celebrities like Jose Canseco.

The White House robbed the billionaire reality television host of the fodder for his publicity stunt,  witch hunt or presidential campaign — you decide which — on Wednesday when it released President Barack Obama’s "long form" birth certificate.

Obama, the son of a white American mother and black Kenyan father, first released proof of his eligibility with a different birth certificate during his presidential campaign three years ago, but because of far-right pundits like Rush Limbaugh the "birther question" persisted. A CNN poll released earlier this month showed that 25 percent of Americans and 40 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States.

“I’ve been puzzled by the degree to which this thing just kept on going," Obama said on Wednesday.

Not sure what was puzzling about it, sir. Since becoming a legitimate presidential candidate, Obama has battled a segment of zany political figures who rely on fear-mongering rather than constructive political discussion. The birther question was racism disguised as patriotic scrutiny.

The White House administration treated the birther movement like a parent providing guidance on the nagging bully:  Just ignore him, he’ll go away soon. But when he didn’t,  the administration relented and released the document in the hopes of moving on to meaningful worries like a sluggish economy and a Middle East that becomes less certain each day.

It appears, though, Trump has some product left in his comb-over. In an Associated Press interview prior to the release of the document, Trump questioned Obama’s academic credentials.

"I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?" Trump said. "I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records."

Funny, I thought stopping people on the street and asking for their documents was a practice better suited for a totalitarian state than a democracy. My mistake.

And while we’re on the subject of qualifications, if you preach about fiscal responsibility in the government, make sure your own shack is in order. Trump resigned as chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009 when the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for a third time. (He later reaquired the company.)

Stick to reality television, Don, where people think you providing business advice is pretty good entertainment.

Contact news and online editor Eric Berger by calling 660-882-5335 or e-mailing eric@Boonvilledailynews.com