Obama campaign senior advisor David Axelrod continued his run as chief political practitioner of The Dozens Wednesday night. On Current TV’s The War Room, host and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm asked Ax what Mitt Romney must be thinking about to cozy up to Donald Trump, and where Trump’s head is at with his Magical Birther Tour™, now sponsored by The Mitt Romney Campaign®.
“Imagine that you were wearing a republican strategist hat,” Gov. Granholm asked. “Why, why would he align himself with Donald Trump? What is this birther thing all about?”
“From Trump’s side,” she added, “is there a racial element there? Is it just portraying the President as somebody alien to American values? What is going on there?”
“I don’t have the requisite degrees to climb into Donald Trump’s head or even his hair so I don’t know what motivates him,” Axelrod replied. Oh to-the-snap!
Axelrod went on to say that “The question is why Governor Romney wouldn’t repudiate those tactics, and how on a day where Donald Trump makes such a – frankly- a fool of himself in terms of his performance on CNN around this issue, why would he stand with him and not have anything to say about it? I think it’s a, you know he said the other night –well I’m not going to repudiate him because I need 50.5 % of vote. I think Mitt Romney will do what he thinks is good for Mitt Romney. He thinks this is good for him. He needs Donald Trump’s money, he wants Donald Trump’s money, and therefore he’ll tolerate whatever Donald Trump has to say.”
Now, Axelrod isn’t exactly a Son of Asgard, mane-wise (Asgard, incidentally, was one of the many fine products formerly available on the Rick Santorum campaign’s “gear” page), but at least he comes by his less-than-flowing locks honestly. Still, there must be some by-law in the Bro Code that forbids blowing up someone else’s follicular spot, no?
What makes this a bit more fun is that Trump, unlike Romney, never met a jab he wouldn’t respond to, no matter how slight the source. You can bet that he’ll respond to Ax, and before you know it, we’ll have a full-blown episode of presidential Yo Momma on our hands.
On the substance, Axelrod is close to correct. Romney isn’t just tolerating the Trump cake, he’s eating it, too. Trump’s Birther garbage is being too quickly written off as a naked plea to racists, who would turn out to vote Barack Obama out even if Alan Alda was the GOP nominee. Trump’s audacious pile of steaming conspiracy is presumed to be a turnoff for independent voters, but that’s not necessarily the case.
The politically engaged (left and right) recognize the Birther conspiracy theory for what it is: an ugly manifestation of racial and religious suspicion that taints anyone who touches it. Even the conservative site that diddled Trump into his current state of excitement recognizes its toxicity.
However, to the general population, the President’s birth certificate has become just another humorous pop culture reference, like The Soup Nazi or Milli Vanilli. Its ugliness has been defanged, so when Joe and Jo Notpayingattention see Trump clowning it up on CNN, they see an entertaining rich guy whose success they delusionally think they have a shot at. Beyond that, though, they receive permission to act on the subtle (Kenya), ill-defined (Kenya) suspicions about the President (Kenya) that the right has worked so hard to hammer into the public discourse.
The irony is that the neutering of the Birther narrative has been abetted by the President’s team, as exemplified by Axelrod’s refusal to touch the racial angle with a ten-foot pole. While President Obama was wise to use humor in decimating Trump and the Birthers (and Osama bin Laden) in one fell swoop, his advisers and surrogates have missed the opportunity to make Donald Trump the liability he should be. If Axelrod really wants to play smashmouth, he should lay off Donald’s combover, and ask him why a Certificate Of Live Birth is only sufficient documentation for white candidates.
Here’s the video, from Current TV:
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