Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birth of a Nation

So now I see that Mitt Romney has released his birth certificate, as if that’s some way of goading President Obama about his.

Finally, there is definitive proof: The presidential candidate was born in the United States, and his father was not.

Yes, Republican Mitt Romney appears eligible to be president, according to a copy of Romney’s birth certificate released to Reuters by his campaign. Willard Mitt Romney, the certificate says, was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947.

His mother, Lenore, was born in Utah and his father, former Michigan governor and one-time Republican presidential candidate George Romney, was born in Mexico.

So on a day when real estate and media mogul Donald Trump was trying to help Mitt Romney by stirring up a new round of questions about whether Democratic President Barack Obama was born in the United States, Romney’s own birth record became a reminder that in the 1968 presidential campaign, his father had faced his own “birther” controversy.

This is what a presidential campaign would look like if it was run by twelve-year-olds.

After having finally sewn up the nomination — a foregone conclusion since the very beginning — Mitt Romney climbed aboard the crazy train with Donald Trump in Vegas. This is a win-win for both men; Donald Trump is never at a loss for words that can get the cameras pointed at him, and Mitt Romney needs to have him on his side because, as Josh Marshall notes, it’s better to have Mr. Trump inside the tent pissing out rather than outside the tent pissing in.

My best guess is that they didn’t figure Trump would continue to be so nuts when they scheduled the mega-blowout fundraiser. And now that they’re here, they’re just figuring, whatever, let’s just get through tonight and it’ll be behind us.

The alternative is some high profile rebuke of Trump which is probably too frightening a prospect for the campaign.

It was a little over a year ago that Mr. Trump first waxed onto the floor with his birther dance and then folded up when President Obama whipped out the birth certificate and later killed Osama bin Laden. That is hard to top even for a huckster like Mr. Trump, so he found something else to do until he could horn his way back into the GOP race with his promise of an endorsement, which seemed more like a threat. After all, he still waved around the idea of following in the footsteps of Ross Perot and running a self-financed third-party run. (The only thing holding him back was re-doing his hair to go for Mr. Perot’s patented wet-otter look.) So the thinking must be something along the line of “Every campaign has to have a whacky neighbor, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” After all, didn’t Barack Obama have Rev. Wright?

The difference, though, between Donald Trump and Jeremiah Wright is that it’s been a very long time since Barack Obama has been seen in the presence of the fiery preacher, and last night Mitt Romney and Donald Trump were on stage in Vegas like the opening act for Lola Falana.