Some are amused, and some are offended, by Donald Trump's wallowing in the depths of birtherism all over TV news. But not Sarah Palin. When asked about Trump's latest cause--tracking down President Obama's birth certificate--Palin said, "More power to him!" Speaking on Fox News, Palin explained that she approved of how Trump is "not just throwing stones, you know, from the sidelines. He's digging in there. He's paying for researchers to know why President Obama would have spent $2 million to not show his birth certificate."
Palin went on to say that she believes Obama was born in Hawaii, but "obviously, if there's something there that the president doesn't want people to see on that birth certificate... Then he seems to go to great lengths to make sure it isn't shown, and that's kind of perplexing for a lot of people."
Why would Palin turn birther now? As The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake note, back in February Palin said questions about Obama's birthplace were a distraction from more important issues. "Now, for some reason, she appears to think Trump’s quest is worthwhile," Cillizza and Blake write. What might that reason be? The Christian Science Monitor's Brad Knickerbocker thinks he has the answer: "Sarah Palin, for now at least, appears to have slipped to second place behind Trump among the most colorful of the GOP’s presidential teasers... Which may be why Palin took the opportunity to give Trump an attaboy on the birther deal."
Palin might have tried to thread the needle of wooing birthers while not looking like a conspiracy theorist herself, but Mediaite's Sarah Devlin thinks she wasn't quite successful. Palin "expressed hope that perhaps Trump’s piles of money would be the key ingredient missing from prior investigations of the President’s birthplace; Orly Taitz, despite having about 10 jobs, doesn’t have a hotel in New York City--know what I mean? ... Her attitude suggested a quiet, but not overt, encouragement of Trump’s investigation."
And while White House senior adviser David Plouffe finds Trump's claims laughable, he's not exactly discouraging him either. "I saw Donald Trump kind of rising in the polls. Given his behavior, and the spectacle of the last couple of weeks, I hope he keeps on rising," Plouffe told ABC News' Jake Tapper. "There's zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people to do this job."
Plouffe's not the only one cheering Trump on in a more frenemy kind of way than Palin:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.