Donald Trump has used his loudly expressed doubts about President Obama's origins to become one of the spring's most-discussed presidential hopefuls, and fellow potential candidate Sarah Palin says, "More power to him." Speaking with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro on Saturday, Palin said she thinks Obama "was born in Hawaii," but gets why "a lot of people" find Obama's unwillingness to release the long-form version of his birth certificate "kind of perplexing." Has Palin gone birther?
She's veering even further into the political fringe: "Every other serious Republican has distanced themselves from Donald Trump's birther crusade," says Doug Mataconis in Outside the Beltway. But Palin just "opened her Alaskan arms wide and gave The Donald a big hug." Only she can explain why she thinks it's a good move to "embrace Trump's bizarre crusade," but it makes her look foolish. After all, "Obama released his Hawaii birth certificate in June 2008."
"Sarah Palin on Donald Trump's birtherism: 'More power to him'"
No, this is just smart politics: Palin's answer is "shrewd," says Sarah Devlin in Mediaite. She seems to be offering "a quiet, but not overt, encouragement of Trump's investigation," but doesn't go in too deep. By leading with her belief that Obama was in fact born in Hawaii, she sounds "credible, rational, and moderate," but leaves enough doubt to pander to the Republican Party's growing birther-curious base.
"Sarah Palin on Trump's birth certificate investigation: 'More power to him!'"
Donald is doing this better: A "cannier" GOP candidate "wouldn't express so much certainty about Obama's Hawaii birth," says Steve M. in No More Mister Nice Blog. Trump's loud-but-reluctant skeptic schtick is pitch-perfect "primary-vote gold," and even though Trump and Palin probably won't enter the race, some serious Republican hopeful will surely take that birther ball and run with it.
"If this isn't the torch-passing, then the torch-passing will come soon"