Asked Saturday about real estate developer-cum- GOP presidential aspirant Donald Trump’s embrace of birtherism, former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that while she thinks President Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, “more power to” the Donald, because golly, the president must be hiding something.
Palin, appearing on Fox News’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, said of Trump’s recent birther push, which apparently includes sending private investigators to Hawaii and seems to have vaulted him to the top tier of the GOP 2012 field ( h/t Mediaite):
Well I appreciate that the Donald wants to spend his resources in getting to the bottom of something that so interests him and many Americans. You know more power to him. He’s not just throwin’ stones from the sidelines. … So, you know, more power to him.
Given that Palin and her family have been subject to malicious birth-related rumors, one would think that she would have a higher standard than ‘interesting many Americans’ for an issue to be a subject of legitimate inquiry. [ See photos of Palin and her family.]
Asked what she makes of birtherism in general, Palin went on:
I think that he was born in Hawaii because there was the birth announcement put in the newspaper but obviously if there’s something there that the president doesn’t want people to see on that birth certificate, that he’s going to great lengths to make sure that it isn’t shown and that’s kind of perplexing for a lot of people. But you know again, Donald Trump--he may get to the bottom of it because he’s spending the resources that will probably be necessary to do some investigation.
I wonder if this formulation will become a new mainstream take on birtherism. Some GOP leaders have danced around the issue by treating Obama’s place of birth as a matter of legitimate debate or opinion, saying that while they ‘take him at his word,’ far be it from them to impose their opinion on the matter on the frothing base who suggest the president is illegitimate. Now Palin has put forth a somewhat more forward-leaning take: Yes, Obama was born in Hawaii, but he must be covering something up. [ See editorial cartoons about the GOP.]
It’s a dizzying form of self-legitimization for birtherism: OK, he was born in Hawaii, but we’ve yelled fire enough that there must be smoke.
- See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
- Check out political cartoons about the 2012 Republican field.
- See who has been visiting the White House.