Make-believe billionaire candidate Donald Trump is a birther now

The living parody of capitalist excess continues to win attention with his transparently phony bid for office

Topics: 2012 Elections, War Room, Birthers, Republican Party, Donald Trump,

Make-believe billionaire candidate Donald Trump is a birther nowDonald Trump gestures while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)(Credit: AP)

Donald Trump, a reality show host and savage parody of post-industrial Great Stagnation-era capitalism, is pretending to run for president, as a sort of performance art piece mocking the contemporary fad among elites of celebrating plutocrat billionaires as our wise superiors and pretending their vanity campaigns for elected office are some sort of charitable selfless “public service.”

And he’s really going all-out. What began as a sort of through-a-glass-darkly reimagining of the Bloomberg-for-president chatter added a dose of Gingrichian “false run to promote unrelated money-making endeavors” as he ramped up his “campaign” at precisely the moment the new season of his television show premiered.

Today Trump even became a pseudo-birther, in an interview with ABC News, which was for some reason taking part in an extensive marketing campaign for a television show that airs on a rival network:

“Everybody that even gives a hint of being a birther … even a little bit of a hint, like, gee, you know, maybe, just maybe this much of a chance, they label them as an idiot. Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy,” he said.
He explained the source of his doubt: “He grew up and nobody knew him. You know? When you interview people, if ever I got the nomination, if I ever decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten. They’ll remember me. Nobody ever comes forward. Nobody knows who he his until later in his life. It’s very strange. The whole thing is very strange,” he added.

You Might Also Like

Yes, very strange, very strange.

Funny story! In 1990, Spy Magazine actually took a trip to Trump’s boyhood home in Queens. And while Trump wrote of being “something of a leader” in his old neighborhood, the owner of the local candy store said: “I’ve been running this store for 28 years, and I don’t remember him.” Strange, very strange.

Trump went on to say that you should take him seriously as a candidate because he’s very rich and would be able to give himself $600 million if for some reason his fake campaign needed $600 million.

That actually gets at the heart of why Trump would never run for anything: He’s spent his entire career in the public eye scrupulously hiding how much money he actually has, in real life. He’s sued people for saying his net worth is less than he says it is. But lots of people have their doubts about whether or not he’d actually be able to give himself $600 million at the drop of a hat. And if he ran for real, as Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman say, “at some point he’d actually be required to disclose his assets.”

Which is obviously not going to happen, because it would ruin the whole joke.

Alex Pareene
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>