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Who was Obama's birth doctor? (David Sinclair, Rodney West, ...; Snopes)

Who was Obama's birth doctor? Was it Dr. David Sinclair, Dr. Rodney West, Dr. Spock, Mr. Spock, Dr. "Bones" McCoy, or someone else? When it comes to the Obama citizenship issue things are never clear (but it's probably not the last three).

And, there's always the newtruth, which supersedes one or more versions of the oldtruth: what was the truth yesterday is no longer the truth today as the story changes and a new version of the truth is determined.

So, for instance, the newtruth is that the person who delivered Obama was Dr. David Sinclair; that's enshrined on the "long-form birth certificate" Obama released today.

Contrast that with the oldtruth, as enshrined in the main Snopes article about the "Birther" issue (snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp, screengrab here because Snopes has silently changed entries before). According to the oldtruth, the doctor who delivered Obama was Dr. Rodney T. West. Snopes' oldtruth is apparently via a 1/20/09 article that appeared in the Buffalo News by Paula Voell entitled "Teacher from Kenmore recalls Obama was a focused student":

When Barack Hussein Obama places his hand on the Bible today to take the oath of office as 44th president of the United States, Barbara Nelson of Kenmore will undoubtedly think back to the day he was born. It was Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu.

“I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone,” said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T. West, who died in February at the age of 98. Here’s the story: Nelson was having dinner at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach with Dr. West, the father of her college friend, Jo-Anne. Making conversation, Nelson turned to Dr. West and said: “‘So, tell me something interesting that happened this week,’” she recalls.

His response: “Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that’s something to write home about.”

The new mother was Stanley (later referred to by her middle name of Ann) Dunham, and the baby was Barack Hussein Obama.

“I penned the name on a napkin, and I did write home about it,” said Nelson, knowing that her father, Stanley A. Czurles, director of the Art Education Department at Buffalo State College, would be interested in the “Stanley” connection.

She also remembers Dr. West mentioning that the baby’s father was the first black student at the University of Hawaii and how taken he was by the baby’s name.

“I remember Dr. West saying ‘Barack Hussein Obama, now that’s a musical name,’” said Nelson, who grew up in Kenmore and went to Hawaii in 1959 to be in Jo-Anne’s wedding party. When Nelson was offered a job as a newspaper reporter and photographer at her friend’s wedding reception, it led to her living in Hawaii for 47 years. She returned to Kenmore in 2006.

Ten years after that memorable birth announcement, Nelson would hear the Obama name again. This time, the father, now a Kenyan government official, was coming to speak at the Punahou School in Honolulu where Nelson was teaching and where his 10-year-old son was a newly enrolled fifth-grader.

Now, there are probably innocent explanations: Barbara Nelson just made it all up to get her name in the paper, there could have been two doctors, or West could have changed his name, or some sort of explanation involving alternative universes and wizards. Or something.

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 19:32 · Importance: 4