Birther Queen Invited to Obama Fundraiser

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Democratic fundraising appeals have never been especially discriminating, as the Clinton administration clearly demonstrated. So perhaps it’s not all that surprising to discover that this week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has officially invited “birther queen” Orly Taitz to dine with President Obama.

Taitz, as regular Mother Jones readers will know, has filed numerous lawsuits against Obama challenging his eligibility to serve as president based on the claim that he isn’t an American citizen (because she thinks he was born in Kenya). That’s not the only reason she seems like an odd choice for the DSCC to invite to a fundraiser. Taitz just lost her bid to become the next California secretary of state in the Republican primary. These things make her a rather unsuitable dining companion for the president. Nonetheless, the DSCC has invited Taitz to join not just Obama but Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a reception and dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on September 22.

Naturally, as soon as she got the invite, Taitz posted it on her website. WorldNetDaily, the source of all birther-related news, republished the invite soon after. Taitz told WND that she welcomed the opportunity to confront Obama on camera about his citizenship. “I have no fear of anything. I will ask him [about eligibility] on camera,” Taitz told WND.

Fearless or not, Taitz did have a few reservations about accepting the offer. She was skeptical of some ulterior motive, writing, “Why am I getting this invitation from Harry Reid? Is it a mistake or Harry Reid is trying to push eligibility to the forefront and get rid of Obama in order to save his own skin?” And as much as she’d like to attend the event, Taitz says on her website that she’s not likely to go because she can’t afford the ticket price, which is $15,200 for the VIP treatment. Her finances have been battered by a $20,000 contempt of court fine issued against her by a judge in one of her eligibility lawsuits. So she is appealing to supporters to help pick up the tab. She writes:

I would’ve flown to NY to this dinner and I would’ve asked eligibility question on camera, however it might be costly and after I spent $20,000 on this Judicial extortion to keep me silent, it would be hard for me to spend on this trip and cost of the ticket as well. If there is a donor out there, who can cover the ticket and the trip, I will go and will do maximum I can to get an answer on camera from Obama, from Reid, from Pelosi, from Menendez. I will ask, where is this new era of transparency, that he promised. I will ask … why isn’t Obama unsealing his long form Birth Certificate and his Social Security application, allegedly filled out in Connecticut, when he lived in HI.

Even if Taitz does manage to come up with the cash before Wednesday, her hopes of confronting the president may still be dashed. That’s because, given her history, she’s unlikely to clear White House security to get in the door. She has long suspected that the Secret Service has been keeping tabs on her, and unlike Michaele Salahi, Taitz–with her big fake eyelashes and platinum bouf–is hard to miss. Unless the White House is really asleep at the wheel, Taitz will have to continue her fight in the courtroom, not the dining room.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend