Is Barack Obama Rushing the Vote?

President Obama released his long-form birth certificate as Donald Trump was beginning a proto-campaign swing through New Hampshire. Trump is claiming credit for the release, which will enhance his popularity in certain quarters. 

Whether by design or accident, the president may be starting his own version of Operation Chaos.

Three years ago, Rush Limbaugh urged listeners to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, hoping that a prolonged nomination battle would weaken the Democrats. A Trump candidacy could have a similar effect. He has little chance of winning the nomination, but if he put a lot of resources into his campaign, he could prevent anyone else from clinching the race until very late in the season. The eventual nominee would be bloodied and (unless it were Romney) broke. 

— John J. Pitney Jr. is the Roy P. Crocker professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. 

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