WASHINGTON -- All this talk of President Obama's birth certificate is starting to worry me, especially today, the president's 48th birthday. For that matter, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Helen Thomas probably ought to watch out, too.
That's because as it happens, Obama was born 15 years to the day before I was -- him, on Aug. 4, 1961, either in Mombasa, Kenya, or Honolulu, Hawaii, depending on whether you believe the Birthers or the sane people; me, on Aug. 4, 1976, in Washington. Thomas, the legendary reporter for UPI, and now columnist for Hearst, was born on Aug. 4, 1920, in Winchester, Ky., and Obama made a surprise appearance to deliver cupcakes to her during press secretary Robert Gibbs's briefing at the White House today. And Strickland, a Democrat, was born Aug. 4, 1941, in Lucasville, Ohio.
Of course, I can't speak for Strickland or Thomas, but personally, I'm starting to think anyone who shares a birthday with Obama should be a little worried by the close, crazed attention being devoted to the circumstances of his birth. If the events of one year's Aug. 4 can be litigated this heavily, am I the next target for some disgruntled lawyer/dentist/Realtor with an ax to grind? By the logic of the Birthers, there's plenty to be suspicious of:
- I wasn't born in a U.S. state. In fact, D.C. residents had only gotten the right to vote for president in 1961 -- the very year Obama was born. Coincidence? Or nefarious conspiracy? We report, you decide.
- I have absolutely no idea where my birth certificate is, short-form or long-form. I'm not even sure if D.C. issued long-form birth certificates in 1976, or how closely they resembled those used in Australia. I suspect a careful search of my parents' house in the Maryland suburbs might turn something up -- but they're out of town this week, so I couldn't produce any documents on demand if Orly Taitz and Phil Berg showed up on my doorstep tomorrow looking for them. Very, very sketchy.
- Though my byline is "Mike Madden," I was actually born under a different name: "Michael Madden." How do we know that Mike Madden, Salon.com Washington correspondent, is really the same Michael Madden born at George Washington University Hospital back in 1976? Someone could have easily planted birth announcements in D.C. papers after I was born somewhere else, somewhere... foreign. My dad had just left a job at a shady agency of the U.S. government a few months before I was born (well, okay, he had been a junior staffer at the Federal Communications Commission -- not that shady -- but the facts aren't really what matters here), and the conspiracy could have easily been concealed by the powers-that-be. Years later, I use my "natural-born U.S. citizenship" to get the Secret Service to grant me a White House press pass, and destroy the country from within -- just like Obama.
Don't even get me started on Thomas, of course, who was born to Lebanese immigrants. Or for that matter, the late Queen Mum, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, born Aug. 4, 1900 to a family of Scottish nobility -- good thing for her there were no computers or Photoshop when her husband King George VI ascended to the throne in 1936, or Britain would probably still be trying to figure out if she was really eligible to be queen.
Fortunately for just about everybody who shares our common birthday, it looks like Obama is drawing enough attention to keep the lunatic fringe busy. At least for now. But Gov. Strickland, and Helen -- keep those birth certificates handy, and don't say I didn't warn you.