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Donald Trump
Yeah, no way this could go wrong. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
I will never understand the Republican desire to grant political legitimacy to Donald Trump. What's the target audience, here? Reality show viewers? Lovers of bad taste? To have Mitt Romney, of all people, so eager to court America's own poster child for pointless celebrity status plus ostentatious wealth (Mitt, if you have not heard, suffers from the problem that much of America thinks he is an amoral, out-of-touch rich guy who knows nothing of how the rest of the country lives) seems poor planning even for him.

But no, the Donald has been fully incorporated into Team Mitt. It's a bit like Gordon Gekko pairing up with Paris Hilton, but no matter. Contribute to Mitt, and win a dinner date with the awkward pair! Let's just watch the carnage, shall we?

[...] The Donald—who plans to host a lunch or dinner for the presumptive GOP nominee and some of his lucky supporters at one of the Trump properties in Manhattan—launched into a furious disquisition concerning Obama’s place of birth.

“Look, it’s very simple,” said Trump, who has spent the past 13 months questioning Obama’s constitutional eligibility to occupy the White House (and only doubled down with his stubborn skepticism after Obama produced a long-form birth certificate, certifying he was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii, and then hilariously roasted him at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner. “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.”

Well, if a book publisher said it, all bets are off! Never mind that the person who wrote the thing admitted it was an error as soon as that little story "broke," that just proves she's in on the conspiracy, or something.

Even months ago, Mitt was already getting hammered for this. Philip Klein, after February's event:

Today’s embrace of Donald Trump is a colossal blunder that will come back to haunt him.

To start, Romney’s entire candidacy was based on the idea that he was the most serious and presidential candidate in the race. Publicly accepting the endorsement of a reality show tabloid figure makes him look silly. [...]

Trump is also a loose cannon who will say anything for headlines. At this afternoon’s event, Romney shook Trump’s hand, said he was “honored” by his endorsement and said it meant a “great deal” to him. Now, any of Trump’s crazy statements, past or future, can be linked to Romney in a 30-second attack ad by showing footage from today’s circus.

Pretty much. I'd be seriously considering making a picture of them shaking hands my new desktop background, if I wasn't already sick of looking at both of them.

Even while they're freshly promoting this Mitt-Trump pairing, the Romney campaign is having to no-comment Trump's newest looniness:

Mitt Romney's campaign declined to say Friday if it was appropriate for the presumptive Republican nominee to use Donald Trump as a top surrogate as the reality television host continues to insist President Obama was not born in the United States. [...]

[T]he campaign would not respond to repeated requests about whether it was appropriate for Romney to campaign with The Apprentice host. Romney has two major fundraisers planned with Trump in the next month. The first, on Tuesday, is at Trump's Las Vegas hotel and will also feature an appearance by former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. The campaign is also raffling off a dinner with Trump and Romney in New York later in June.

Sheesh. You know you've got a really hot endorsement on your hands when your official campaign position on it is "now, let us never speak of this again."

I admit, I'm intrigued. Why did the campaign apparently want this endorsement so badly, and why are they pimping it to the point of raffling off a private dinner with the pair? Again, who's the target audience here?

Personally, I think the target audience is "people stupid enough to be impressed by Donald Trump." I don't know how many people we're talking about here, but I will say Romney's been pretty consistent about courting stupid people. If nothing else, I can't wait for the post-election docudrama on this one.

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