The Trump case study

Updated
 
A fundraising flyer distributed by the Romney campaign.
A fundraising flyer distributed by the Romney campaign.

As a rule, I tend to ignore the political opinions of reality-show personality Donald Trump, but there is a certain electoral salience that underscores nonsense like this.

“A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book,” Trump went on, “he said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. His mother never spent a day in the hospital.”

Actually, Obama’s literary agency at the time, two decades ago, published a recently discovered catalogue of clients and their projects that included erroneous information about Obama and a prospective book about race that he ended up not writing. An agency assistant back then, Miriam Goderich, said last week that she was mistaken when she wrote that Obama was born in Kenya.

But Trump isn’t buying it. “That’s what he told the literary agent,” Trump insisted. “That’s the way life works…. He didn’t know he was running for president, so he told the truth. The literary agent wrote down what he said…. He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia…. Now they’re saying it was a mistake…. Give me a break.”

I suspect most fair-minded people would consider Trump’s comments idiotic. So, why should anyone care? Because Trump is an official surrogate and fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. During the Republican primaries, Romney even had Trump record robocalls for his campaign, and next week, the two will appear together in Las Vegas.

As Greg Sargent noted today, when Hilary Rosen noted Ann Romney may not be qualified to serve as her husband’s economic advisor, it was national news for weeks, despite the fact that Rosen (a) was correct, (b) had no formal role whatsoever in President Obama’s campaign; and (c) was immediately denounced by high-profile members of the Obama team.

And yet, here’s Trump, spewing obvious garbage, which won’t diminish his role on Team Romney and won’t stop the Republican candidate from fundraising with Trump.

The playing field isn’t even.

Birthers and Donald Trump

The Trump case study

Updated