August 9th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
8 years ago

Why Obama is not first 'imposter' president and won't be the last


 Theories about illegitimate presidents resurfaced again in the early 1960s with John F. Kennedy, the first Irish-Catholic president. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

(CNN) - One American president's legitimacy was questioned because he was accused of wearing women's underwear.

Another's qualifications were questioned because he got drunk at an inaugural ball.

A third president didn't belong in office because critics said his rich daddy stole the election.

A recent CNN poll revealed that one out of four Americans doubt that President Obama is a citizen. Many are "birthers" who believe he is an illegitimate president because he wasn't born in this country.

But historians say Americans have long accused their presidents of being illegitimate officeholders for all sorts of dark, and bizarre, reasons.

Full story

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. harold

    And what about GW Bush... and his year 2000 so called election by the Supreme Court... Like GW Bush told us.. "Its like money in the Bank you can count on it."..... regarding the Spreme Court decision in his favor..And look at his 8 years... ending with the Greastest Recession...

    August 9, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. jim

    If Obama was doing a good job as president than this issue would fade away into oblivian and would matter.However,this individual couldn't manage a small retail shop for profit so i know he's encapable of managing a country the size of ours.

    August 9, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Bill

    If he is not legitimate you can solve the problem in 2012. Spend all the energy you are putting forth now to send a message to him. VOTE this fall and in 2012. If you want to open the eyes of our politicians then get more than 20% out to vote.... get 100% open their eyes... stop sitting on the couch... take your destiny into your own hands and do something.

    August 9, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. chill

    Nothing speaks so eloquently to the failure of our educational system than 25% of the population believing this fairy tale.

    August 9, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    I am sure Obama is legitimate. He's not even unlikable or a fathead. He's just ineffective at getting anything to work. We can't confuse getting legislation passed with the results of that legislation, especially when American voters gave the Democrats 2 years to pass pretty much everything they wanted. The problem is, none of what they did was able to solve our national problems. In fact, you can argue that because of the huge increase in national debt our nations problems are worse.

    August 9, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. The Smart One

    Americans are stupid – and the problem is getting worse. There, I said it!

    August 9, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    There are always those who will resort to any criticism, no matter how bazaar, and when they have nothing logical or with merit they will dig into their imagination to create things and thus avoid having to be rational and objective. Their goal is to refuse to recognize or give credit for anything that may be contrary to their biases, prejudices and/or emotional leanings – theirs is the really crazy and discredited position.

    August 9, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. doug

    Nothing tops BDS, you can turn a Democrat into a crazy person that is more insane than anyone in a mental ward just by saying BUSH.

    watch them...arrrrrrrr lib lib lib....just stand back, they spit up a storm when they unleash their silly lib rage.

    August 9, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. vegas01

    Don't know (or care) if Obama wears woman's underwear, may not have gotten drunk at inaugural ball, but he does like "beer summits." He did have record funds for his campaign, bu none of that is relevant to the fact he has only offered a document Hawaiian law calls a "verification in lieu of certified copy." The Constitution says nothing of barring rich kids, drunks or cross dressers from the Presidency, but it does bar non-US native born persons. All it takes to silence the 25%, who bothered to know the facts of how an Hawaiian law was enacted in 2001 creating a "similitude" document instead of a "certified" copy, is to present a certified copy of his birth certificate. If he is legit, no fears to revealing a certified copy, But if his certificate was edited or replaced (terms of Hawaiian law) he has much to fear as the original and all certified copies will bear marks to that affect. Don't blame the "birthers" blame the one withholding the evidence.

    August 9, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Molly Weasley

    Shouldn't your story say "because THEY MISTAKENLY BELIEVE he wasn't born in this country, despite the online publication of Obama's birth certificate"?

    August 9, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Don

    What will it matter when the House of Representative vote to have this miscreant impeeched by the Senate; and, with joy the Senate does just that!

    August 9, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Thinking one thing and it not being true is another. matter. The birthers harrassment of President Obama goes beyond anything I have even experienced. As the story states, this could be extremely dangerous for our President.
    I thought the bought election was #43 the shrub's. Ooops!
    My bad 😦

    August 9, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    And I suppose that pictSeeing as how this article attempts to excuse the birthers for their societal poison based on others having done similarly poisonous and idiotic things in the past, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the choice to put JFK's picture up there is a big fat hint that other "things" might be considered excusable on the basis of "well, other people did it in the past, so it's not that bad."

    August 9, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Augsbee

    Obama's mother's Passport is the answer to this on going discussion, did she leave the U.S. before the birth and returned to the U.S. before the birth?????? or did she return after the birth?????
    This it is a typical love story of an 18 year old bride, 3 months pregnant marrying a foreign student who had already been a married man and most went back to his country and the young bride would went with him, especially since the man was black and interracial marriages were not welcomed. It was easier for a white woman to have a black man's child in Kenya than in the U.S. and he probably wanted his child born in Kenya.

    August 9, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Sniffit


    Seeing as how this article attempts to excuse the birthers for their societal poison based on others having done similarly poisonous and idiotic things in the past, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the choice to put JFK's picture up there is a big fat hint that other "things" might be considered excusable on the basis of "well, other people did it in the past, so it's not that bad."

    August 9, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. rich

    I think there is a big difference between wearing womens' underwear and not being a citizen of the country. Do not trivalize the issue!!

    August 9, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. FM

    Nice to be informed on this. Earlier I thought the stupidity started recently!

    August 9, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. vegas01

    Excerpt from

    Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):

    Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
    Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
    check box Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
    Naturalization Certificate
    Certificate of Citizenship

    *A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar's signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

    NOTE: If you do not have primary evidence of U.S. citizenship or your U.S. birth certificate does not meet the requirements, please see Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship.

    Please note how the 2001 birth document Obama has offered does not satisfy the above requirement, as it was not issued within 1 year of his birth. A "certified copy" would be just that, a copy certified to be a valid copy of the original, which would bear the original date of issue in the text of the document along with the seal and date the certified copy was made. This information for passport applicants also clearly states some birth certificates do not meet requirements for satisfying proof of citizenship. I guess the State Dept. is full of 'birthers' huh? The question is legitimate, the response from Obama is alarmingly absent of honest proof.

    August 9, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Marry

    So 25% of Americans are "birthers"? A lot of people with too much empty space in their brains to be thinking about such nonsense! So sad! One sure thing: That will not bring the country forward.

    August 9, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. stevegee

    "Hope and Change" fooled millions of Americans into voting for Obama. But now, their eyes have been opened because of the Socialist agenda being shoved down their throats. In November, Obama and the Democrats will be repudiated by the largest conservative victory in history!

    Wake up people! Vote American, vote Republican.

    August 9, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The people who make these accusations are nothing but fascists and racists. If the President isn't purely white, they think he's not an American. This is the kind of nonsense that solely comes from the right wing of the republican party.

    August 9, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Can't we all just get along?

    Well, we know for a fact that Bush was an illegitimate president becuase he wasn't actually elected to office. He was "selected."

    Too bad we can't get those 8 years back.

    August 9, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Chipster

    The volume of false information being spread on the Internet in blogs and chain email is as insane as some of the claims. People actually take the time to fabricate claims of living next door to Obama as a child in Kenya, knowing someone (nameless) who witnessed things that are proved never to have happened, and one email even fabricates a group "Americans for Freedom of Information" that didn't exist to cite a foreign student scholarship that Obama never got. Yet, there are still people foolish enough to believe that McCain, Palin, the GOP, the Supreme Court, and Congress would allow someone to take the oath of office who wasn't a U.S. citizen. Astonishing!

    How desperate are people to cling to such nonsense and why? I fear for our country when we have so many unstable people. Is it global warming? Water pollution? Too much television syndrome? Overuse of antibiotics or alcohol? It's bizarre, that's for certain.

    August 9, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. water bearer

    What would be helpfull is if the Media would stop reporting on this nonsense and giving these people and their ignorant views credence!

    August 9, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. HD 100% ETH

    What and Who is good for America?

    August 9, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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