Neil Abercrombie is not an American household name.
But he sure did grab some “name-making” headlines recently, when he spoke to the New York Times.
In what is theoretically a “slow” period for news (the last couple of weeks of the year), Hawaii’s newly inaugurated Governor sat down with Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times. In the interview, the Governor addressed some serious issues – like the fact that the tiny state of Hawaii is facing an enormous $71 million deficit, and that Hawaii’s public education system has been so mismanaged that teachers are being furloughed so as to avoid layoffs and class time reductions.
But, not surprisingly, the issue that captured hearts and minds was Governor Abercrombie’s personal and passionate rebuke of the so-called “birthers” - that’s the derogatory nick name given to those who question whether or not President Obama was born in Hawaii, as he claims he was, and therefore question Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the presidency.
I suspect that Governor Abercrombie’s remarks about “birthers” will end up making matters worse, and not better (a point that I’ll get to in a moment). And I think that the Governor’s remarks on the topic illustrate some of the things that Americans find most disgusting about politicians (I’ll explain that in a moment, as well). But before I go further, let me make it clear where I stand on the issue.
Barack Obama is not the only President who has had his “eligibility” questioned. Some credible historians believe to this day that our 21st President Chester Arthur was actually born in Canada, and not Vermont as he claimed, and thus never should have been elected (a subject I detailed in my book “White House: Confidential”).
When I first heard rumblings that instead of being born in Hawaii, Barack Obama may have been born in Kenya, I did some research. If the rumors were true, then there must have been convenient air transportation between Honolulu and Kenya, to secretly carry baby Barack in to the good ol’ U.S.A. – right?
Well, at the time of Obama’s birth in 1961, Hawaii had been a state for less than two full years. And I have found no evidence that there was any air transportation available between the 1 year and 11 month old state of Hawaii, and the East African nation of Kenya. Even today there are relatively few airlines flying between Honolulu and Mombasa, and ticket prices start at a staggering (and prohibitive) $2,800+.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.