I've never been a big fan of the "birthers", who had spent quite a bit of effort calling for President Obama to release his official Birth Certificate, but have been more quiet recently, after a copy of what is claimed to be his Birth Cerificate was released. In demanding that Obama release his Birth Certificate, in order to prove birth on American soil, the "birthers" have eschewed a long-standing American tradition of putting the burden of proof on the accuser. If, on the other hand, they had come up with an airline ticket between Hawaii and Kenya, bearing the name of Ann Dunham Obama, they might have been a bit more credible.
By making a controversy over the location of Obama's birth, the "birthers" have interpreted the Constitutional requirement that the president is a "natural-born citizen" to mean that the president must be born on American soil. Another school of thought, based on a section of The Law Of Nations by Emmerich de Vattel, is that a "natural born citizen" of a given country is a someone born to parents who are both citizens of that country at the time of the birth. This version of the requirement would not only disqualify Barack Obama from the office he now holds, since his father, Barack Obama Sr., was never an American citizen, but would also disqualify Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), since each was born before his respective parents naturalized. Uncertainty about the meaning of "natural born citizen" has also plagued Obama's 2008 rival John McCain (R-AZ), as well another Senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater (R), who was born in Arizona when it was still a terrority. Apparently, some people back in 1964 thought that a "natural born citizen" of the United States would be someone born in an actual state, as opposed to a territory.
The above scenario in which the president's mother travels to Kenya to give birth is one I consider to be rather unlikely. Flying to Kenya from any part of the United States would have been very expensive, especially for an 18-year-old college student and her husband, who was living on a foreign student's scholarship. I don't know of anyone in their lives at that time who would have been able to pay the airfare to send this young woman halfway around the world. Therefore, my default position is that the president, Barack Hussein Obama II, was born on August 4th, 1961, in the state of Hawaii.
Although Hawaii remains the most likely place of Obama's birth, the idea that he was born in Kenya did not first appear with the "birthers" during the 2008 presidential campaign. Instead, as discovered by Breitbart News, Obama was indicated as being "born in Kenya" in a booklet published in 1991 by his literary agent at the time, Acton & Dystel. While the late Andrew Breitbart believed that Obama was born in Hawaii, as do the senior management at the organization he left behind, this would show that Obama was not above manipulating his own biography when it suited him. Below is Obama's biography as presented by Acton & Dysel. Click on the Breitbart News link for more.