"Fake birth certificate:" Could debate even after document release get Barack Obama re-elected?

"Birth Certificate May Be Fake (Poll):" This headline, on a Colorado Springs Gazette editorial that followed President Barack Obama's release of a so-called long-form birth certificate meant to prove once and for all that he was born in the United States, certainly implies that the paper's editorial board questions the document's authenticity. But does it really?

In fact, the piece takes no position on the certificate's legitimacy, and instead ridicules birther "nut jobs," exemplified by KHOW talk-show host Peter Boyles.

Editorial author Wayne Laugesen is hardly a fan of Obama, who he accuses of "hurting this country as a failing president" by "compounding the progressive economic catastrophes of George W. Bush." However, he's even more critical of birthers -- "conspiracy nuts" every bit as loony as those who believe 9-11 was an inside job.

After referencing a Gazette editorial from February predicting that Obama had his birth certificate in hand and would release it at the most politically advantageous time, Laugesen recaps White House statements referencing "sideshows and carnival barkers" distracting from the nation's most important challenges. He then seques into Boyles' reaction this morning to the appearance of the certificate -- not an apology and immediate retirement, but the declaration that "this isn't over." For instance, he wondered why Obama's race appears as "African" -- the sort of teensy error that probably wouldn't have been left in place if the document had been forged.

Or would it? As of an hour ago or so, the aforementioned Gazette poll showed respondents about evenly split between believing the birth certificate was the genuine item and those thinking Obama put it together at a nearby FedEx Office shop. See the screen capture at left.

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Whatever the case, Laugesen sees the timing of the release as a way of keeping the spotlight on Donald Trump, whose flirtation with a presidential run appears to be siphoning off attention from legitimate hopefuls. He also predicts that "Boyles and other conspiracy nuts will instantly expand the conspiracy to include bureaucracies and people at the highest level of government" -- a sideshow that "may help keep Obama as ringmaster for another four years."

This conclusion will likely disappoint those who click on the Gazette piece hoping to confirm that the newspaper has declared the birth certificate bogus. But don't expect this sting to last for long. Birthers are clearly a resilient lot.

More from our News archive: "Barack Obama's selective service records accessed by CO Springs birther Greg Hollister?"

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