Why Donald Trump Went Birther

The Donald joined the "Obama is an alien" cult to avoid explaining that he once favored all the stuff Obama's done.

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Even though his real estate ventures have landed him in bankruptcy more than once, you'd think that Trump, author of Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life, would focus his nascent campaign on touting his business credentials to voters seeking answers in an uncertain economic environment. Instead, he went Birther on The View and Good Morning America, sparring with Whoopi Goldberg over Obama's birth certificate and offering doubts about the president's citizenship because he "grew up and nobody knew him ... the whole thing is very strange."

But even here, the two have something in common: Trump's mother was an immigrant -- just like Obama's father -- and this week Trump needed two tries to produce his real birth certificate.

One thing's clear: Trump is "Must-See TV." If he ever got into the Republican primary mix, he'd be the most entertaining candidate by far. But even if "real" candidates like Michele Bachmann can't match "the Donald" sound bite for sound bite, when their contest eventually got around to taking on the issues, she'd take him down on a debate stage -- because whether or not you agree with someone like Bachmann, at least you know where she stands.

Compared to Trump, even hard-core Birthers look sincere; while they'll say Obama's not an American, at least none of them has come out and nominated themselves to take his place.

There's a good chance that Trump's flirtation with the GOP will be over as soon as this season of Celebrity Apprentice ends, and that his real motivation is jealousy that Obama is starring in what he sees as the world's highest-rated reality-TV show: President of the United States. But if you think there's any chance he'll actually throw his hat in the ring, consider this: The only consistent position Trump has taken so far is that in 2011, he's against whatever Obama is for.

David Swerdlick is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

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David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.