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    It Was His Ego

    It Was His Ego

    Why did he wait so long, almost three years after Clinton supporters first claimed Obama was born abroad, for Obama to release the original documentation?

    There certainly were political strategies involved.  But that cannot explain it all.

    It was Obama’s enormous ego.  Challenged, he sought to control the dialogue and the flow of information, and the harder people pushed, the more he dug in.

    It was only when his reelection was threatened — which would be an even bigger blow to his ego — that he took the easy step of sending a letter requesting a certified copy of the original document.

    And when he finally was forced to release it, he laughed that is was all so silly.

    Digging in, obstinacy, control of the message, and an arrogant dismissive attitude, it’s the hallmark of this administration.  And it’s all about him.

    But you knew that.

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    @LukeHandCool, I was just going to ask for opinions from someone who knows more than I do about image manipulation about this article:

    I would have no idea what to look for or how to spot tampering with such an item, but apparently several commenters here do.

    Here's a posting that does a great job of showing the different layers. Note that I've confirmed they exist by opening the file in a programmer's text editor, but I don't have any graphics program that will separate out the layers when it imports a PDF file so I haven't personally been able to confirm what they look like.

    Once again I'll emphasize that while this is "tampering" of a sort there's no evidence that I can see that this is anything more than a ham-handed effort to make the document more legible. This really could be "Fake but Accurate", akin to Andrew Breitbart's honest editing of long videos to skip the boring parts or to drag out an exposé.

    Only one person is allowed to see the original. What a country!

    Working from a comment by "cartan" on National Review's The Corner, automatic compression using the mixed raster content approach would seem to be the most likely explanation for what we're seeing. It sure doesn't "smell" like something done by hand, no human would fail to pick up a leading or trailing character like the various examples we can see. Whereas it's easy to see how a computer program could make that "mistake".

    Since two different planes, e.g. in the upper right the certificate number "61 1064" in the main foreground plane and the trailing "1" in the background plane, are then compressed differently, I'm not surprised they come out with different compression artifacts, e.g. the big differences between the trailing '1" and the preceding "1"s.

    This would appear to be technology that was fielded after I left the document imaging field in mid-'96 (which through that time couldn't afford to do more than pure black and white images) so I'm not surprised I hadn't heard about it previously. That said, it speaks of the usual sloppiness we've come to expect from this Administration that they'd not work with an expert before releasing something that they should have known would be examined with a microscope.

    In politics, as in humor, timing is everything. I agree with you about his ego getting in the way.

    His big ego had convinced BO that his sense of timing (for the eventual release) was impeccable. But his timing was off and this quick release proved to be a case of premature enfeoffment of the issue to Trump.

    And Trump is not even a serious contender!

    Obama had every intention of eventually going public with the "long form," but he really did not want to do so quite yet. He would have much preferred to release it at a time when it would either distract from some damaging issue during the campaign, or ideally serve as a response to what the public saw as an overreaching assertion made by one of the serious Republican contenders, or perhaps even a recognized spokesman for Republicans – maybe even a statement during the Republican convention raising the issue. In other words, I think he was trying to taunt Republicans with it and wanted to use it at some point to try and grab the microphone away from them.

    But Donald Trump played the issue like he was in a one-on-one poker game with Obama, and was seen as having called BO "with a big pair." Obama felt forced to either show his hand now, or risk being perceived as having folded.

    I think that explains Obama’s obvious testy reaction to the issue yesterday by dismissively calling the whole "silly." The obvious question someone should have asked him at that point was, "If it is so silly, was your campaign being silly by releasing it?"

    Obama and his team viewed it as a potential weapon in his campaign arsenal. As long as large numbers of Americans (on both sides of the aisle) continued to believe that he was indeed born in the United States, and that the issue was a non-starter, entertained only by a fringe element, he could ignore it and hold the form in reserve. He wanted to time the release in a way to tar as many Republicans as possible with that "fringe" brush, and hopefully thereby win back some of the independents that have been slipping away.

    But my sense is his campaign was forced to act now because real skepticism about him was beginning to metastasize.

    When Pat Buchanan can freely mock Chris Matthews on MSNBC by reminding him that he is supposed to be a journalist, they had to know that they were in a little trouble!

    "What are you hiding?" remains (as it should)one of the most powerful questions in politics.

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