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Obama's birth certificate came via a 'special dispensation' from Hawaii, he tells Oprah

April 27, 2011 |  6:59 pm

Oprah with Barack and Michelle Obama

President Obama flew to Chicago on Wednesday to tape an interview with Oprah Winfrey to explain the details of his now-unearthed long-form birth certificate.

Sitting next to his wife, Michelle, Obama told Winfrey that he asked a favor, in a way, from the Aloha State.

"I said to my team, look, even though this is not usually what the state of Hawaii does. Even though the Republican governor of Hawaii, the Democratic governors of Hawaii, all the various officials had confirmed that I was born here, let's ask them for a special dispensation where they will go ahead and provide us with the original to see if we can put this to rest," Obama told the talk-show host.

Winfrey is a longtime supporter of Obama. The media mogul endorsed the then-senator while she was a guest on Larry King's television show in 2007. She attended the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, appeared in key primary states throughout the campaign, hosted a fundraiser at her Montecito mansion, celebrated in Chicago's Grant Park on....

...election night 2008 and attended the inauguration in Washington. Today's show appearance was not a surprise. Two weeks ago it was announced that the Obamas would be guests today for one of the final episodes of the 25-year-old chat show, likely May 2.

Winfrey asked the president whether he ever doubted where he was born. Obama used the question as an opportunity to deliver a joke.

"When it first came up, were you thinking, 'I hope I was born here?' " Winfrey asked.

"Can I just say I was there, so I knew," Obama replied. "I knew I had been born. I remembered it."

"Of course you did," Winfrey said.


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-- Tony Pierce

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Oprah Winfrey during a taping of her show Wednesday in Chicago. Credit: Larry Downing / Reuters