Why Sarah Palin and Donald Trump Get Along So Well

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REUTERS/Joe Skipper and Allen Fredrickson

It had to happen. The gravitational tug was too intense. Like two massive stars colliding, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, the hybrid king and queen of the political-entertainment, have come together and declared common cause.

It began Tuesday, when Trump, on Good Morning America, declared his admiration for Palin. “I really respect her a lot,” he said. “I think that she has been very unfairly treated.” A few hours later on Fox, Palin returned the kind words. “I do have respect for Donald Trump and for his candidness,” she said. “Donald Trump is the one who is being really treated unfairly, I’d say, in the press.” Suffice it to say, their politics do not exactly mesh beyond this sense of victimization.

Trump was once a booster of Canadian-style health care. Palin sees such approaches as akin to death panels. Trump wants to impose a 25% tariff on China. Palin is a big free-trade booster. Trump supported the Obama bailout of the auto companies, saying he thought “the government should stand behind them 100%.” Palin has compared the government involvement in Detroit to spread-the-wealth socialism. But let’s not dwell on policy. The fact is both are tripped up by the press.

Just yesterday, Trump was asked by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie if he believed a right to privacy is found in the constitution. “I guess there is, I guess there is.  And why, just out of curiosity, why do you ask that question?” responded Trump, apparently unaware that the right to privacy is the bedrock upon which Roe v. Wade was decided. When Guthrie tipped him off, Trump responded, “Well, that’s a pretty strange way of getting to pro-life.  I mean, it’s a very unique way of asking about pro-life.  What does that have to do with privacy?  How are you equating pro-life with privacy?” A whiff.

But he is not the first to stumble on this question. Back in the 2008 campaign, Palin tripped over the same one, from Katie Couric.


That’s not all they have in common, of course. Their non-political, entertainment careers have been developed by the same reality show producer, Mark Burnett, who created both Sarah Palin’s Alaska and The Apprentice. Like the Palin and Trump relationship, Burnett’s ties to his stars do not appear to have anything to do with the issues. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Burnett is a big Democratic campaign donor, having given both to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President in 2008 and the Democratic National Committee, for which he wrote a $30,400 check in 2009, the maximum allowed by law.