Also, he doesn't have a good American-sounding name like 'Castellanos'

Thank goodness the Trump campaign has put that whole "birther" thing behind it with Donald Trump's 30-second disavowal of the whole thing, which was Hillary Clinton's fault anyway. But you know, the fact remains that this Barack HUSSEIN Obama sure is a lot different from real Americans, even though Trump has now acknowledged he was born in Hawaii. Trump surrogate Alex Castellanos went on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday to clear matters up, pointing out that while Donald Trump completely ended birtherism, Hillary Clinton started it because even though she never said anything about Obama's birthplace in 2008, Clinton strategist Mark Penn certainly mentioned it, which makes her far more culpable than Trump, who merely launched his political career with repeated questions (for years, including this year) about where the mystery man Barack Obama really came from. Besides, the real issue isn't whether Barack Obama is American. It's whether he seems American, which he definitely doesn't:

Now, to be sure, Castellanos wasn't the person who first brought up the idea that Obama was "other" than a regular American -- he simply jumped in and wallowed around in it, explaining that of course Obama is weird and exotic -- and it had nothing to do with him being a blackamoor, that's for darn sure. Really, it's all commentator Cornell Belcher's fault for saying "other" in the first place:

Belcher: This birtherism stuff is a soft place for racism to land. It is a soft place for racism to land plain and simple. We've had a couple hundred years of presidents now and none of them have had this attack on them. The othering of the president, the making him not a real American [...]

Chuck Todd: Mark Penn wrote about other. Did you think he was toying in that world?

Castellanos: Before you answer, I have it here. From his memo, which Mark called "lack of American roots" in which Mark Penn says, quote, "I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and values." Now if Donald Trump had said that in 2008, we would all be sitting here saying, well that was the start of the birtherism.

Belcher: But no, he's been saying it for several years. It never came form Hillary's mouth and I don't know --

Castellanos: Just her strategist.

Well, then! Clearly, if it showed up in a memo that the Clinton campaign never actually ended up referring to, then obviously, that's where all the birtherism came from, and you certainly can't blame Donald Trump for jumping on the issue in 2011 and screaming about it nonstop. We suppose we could also note that Penn didn't say anything about a birth certificate or Kenya or anything there.

In any case, explained Castellanos, what Americans really cared about -- despite all the "Where's the birth certificate" billboards and stuff -- isn't where Obama was born. It's how foreign he seems. For instance, has anyone noticed his middle name?

I think the big question about Obama is not where he was born or his faith. The big question about Obama has been, has he been -- has he considered himself more of a globalist than an American? There is an otherness to this president. And people have tried to exploit that politically in different ways. The Clinton campaign tried to exploit it this way. The way their strategist said, by saying his lack of American roots is an issue.

Castellanos then spent the rest of Sunday explaining that when he said "otherness," he didn't mean anything about Obama's race, but merely the fact that he's not one of us, really:

Well, heavens, "cool detachment and intellectual difference" really ARE pretty un-American. Nobody's ever going to accuse Donald Trump of having those qualities, that's for damn sure. Besides, maybe Castellanos meant it as a compliment!

Or not -- the whole column he linked to is about how Obama is out of touch with the concerns of everyday Americans, although to be sure, it doesn't call him a foreigner so much as an elitist who's too academic.

So fine, Castellanos doesn't think Obama was too foreign to be president. He thinks Obama was too smart to be president. Doesn't look like there's any danger Castellanos's candidate this year will ever be accused of that. Republicans simply find sober, decent, smart men who have only been married the one time awfully strange.

[MediaMatters / RawStory / HuffPo]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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