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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Rick Perry’s Birtherism

On a day when he should be focused on his 20/20 plan, the press wants Rick Perry to focus on Barack Obama’s ‘birth certificate.” Why? Because a Parade interviewer asked Perry about it and Perry did not flat out say “Obama is an American citizen.”So now the press is after him. John Harwood of the New York Times asked Perry three times about the subject in one interview.It is clear from the interviews that (A) Perry does not much care; (B) Perry thinks it is fun to tease Barack Obama about it and (C) the press wants a definitive answer.Because Perry admits it is a distraction and it is clear the press will not let go of it, Rick Perry just needs to get it over with and say the man is an American. But I suspect he won’t do that even though he should, though in South Carolina late yesterday he pretty adamantly moved on telling a local reporter the question was “a distraction” and he was talking about jobs.Rick Perry likes picking on Barack Obama. Watching the video below, it seems to me that Perry is not a birther, but sure isn’t afraid to use the issue to needle the President, whether I or anyone else likes it or not.

While it is aggravating to those of us who will now have to spend a week on television talking about Rick Perry and birtherism instead of talking about Barack Obama and the economy, I think those of us (including me) who are rolling our eyes at this and aggravated may be missing out on something Perry is tapped in to — Americans have had enough of Barack Obama.

They are perfectly willing to let someone tease Obama about his birth certificate. Heck, a pretty significant portion of Americans have had their doubts about it and a majority doubt Obama’s faith. Given their dissatisfaction with his job approval, I don’t think most Americans are going to object to Rick Perry picking on the President.Likewise, I really do think the American people are damn tired of the media telling them what they must believe on all sorts of subjects. From gay rights to global warming to Barack Obama, the New York – Washington corridor of pundits, analysts, and reporters on both the left and right have decided some positions are unacceptable even if a majority of Americans feel otherwise. And like it or not, Perry is just the type of person to tap into that anti-establishmentarian resentment.I wish he wouldn’t on this issue. Birtherism is a dangerous topic to handle because it inflames the passions nuts. They’re already going after Marco Rubio now. Perry should be cautious. I hope his campaign will get him on message.But for those of us thinking this is going to blow up in his face, I don’t think it actually will.

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