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Obama agenda: Birth certificate day

The Washington Post says, "After refusing for more than two years to indulge the most corrosive of conspiracy theories questioning his legitimacy, President Obama finally decided that he’d had enough... The 'birther' question had become a distraction, one that was getting in Obama’s way as he tried to sell the country on his approach to long-term deficit reduction."

The New York Times: “Mr. Obama’s comments risked elevating the discredited questions about where he was born, but also allowed him to cast his political opponents as focused on the trivial at a time when the nation is facing more important issues.”

Over a photo of Obama’s birth certificate and the president looking stern, the cover of the New York Daily News’ headline: “Now shut up.”

Obama to Oprah on the birth certificate, per the New York Daily News: "Why did you wait so long?" Oprah asked. "Two weeks ago a huge debate was initiated about where our budget needs to go," he told Winfrey. "During the course of this major debate where I gave a big speech and the Republicans voted on their proposal, the biggest news was this birth certificate thing. 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," he said.

"We are living in a very serious time. And America has huge potential and opportunity to seize the 21st century. We're only gonna get there, though, if we have a serious conversation about the things that matter to people," Obama said. "We can't be distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers going around, trying to get attention."

“The question of whether President Barack Obama was born on U.S. soil will have zero impact on the 2012 campaign but could significantly damage Republicans’ prospects for retaking the White House if it lingers. That was the consensus analysis of more than a dozen experienced GOP political strategists, consultants and operatives who were interviewed Wednesday within an hour of Obama going on national television to publicly release the long-form version of his birth certificate,” Roll Call writes.

The Hill says Leon Panetta’s appointment to Defense could signal deeper cuts to the department.

The New York Times on what Petraeus to the CIA means for President Obama: "The choice of General Petraeus, with his broad bipartisan support, will provide Mr. Obama the opportunity to avoid what could have been a protracted congressional battle over who will lead the C.I.A. for the balance of his term. It also keeps the general working for the administration, effectively delaying any potential political ambition the he might have until well after Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign."