The Phony Campaign

2008-01-27 Update

Our phony table has lost two of its rows, with Fred Thompson and Dennis Kucinich bowing out of the race. And is it just me, or would anyone else think a major TV network should remake "The Odd Couple" staring Fred and Dennis as Oscar and Felix, respectively? I'd watch.

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Hillary Clinton" phony233,000+12,000
"Ron Paul" phony206,000-18,000
"Barack Obama" phony168,000-1,000
"John McCain" phony164,000+9,000
"John Edwards" phony160,0000
"Mitt Romney" phony149,000-23,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony128,000+8,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony125,0000

Hillary's "surged" back into first place, and it's no wonder.

  • Sheldon Alberts is the Washington correspondent for Canwest News. At least that is what this article claims, and I say: who would possibly lie about that? Sheldon notes Bill Clinton remembering those wonderful days when it was just "the right wing of the Republican party" who dared criticize his wife:
    Now, he said, fellow Democrats supporting Obama and former senator John Edwards are being just as vicious.

    "I watched her in the Iowa caucus — I watched her being called dishonest, not truthful, phony, plastic," he said. "It's like open season."

    It is, of course, utterly disgraceful for one candidate to call another one phony.

  • Well, of course, unless you're desperate about not finishing third in the South Carolina Primary. So Hillary's campaign had no problems placing anti-Edwards robocalls to SC Democrats that (in the words of John Dickerson at Slate) "essentially said he was a big phony."
    Hello, This is the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign. Before you vote on Saturday, you should know that John Edwards voted for permanent trade relations with China. That's right, John Edwards voted for the bill that cost thousands of jobs. Like the ones in the textile mills he talks about so much down here.

    You should also know that John Edwards made nearly a half a million dollars working for a Wall Street investment fund. A fund that's been profiting on foreclosing on the homes of families; including 100 homes right here in South Carolina. That's according to The State newspaper. Here in South Carolina, Edwards says he's one of us, but up on Wall Street he was just another one of them.

    Can you trust John Edwards? This call is paid for by the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign.

    Double phony points to the Clintons for griping about mudslinging tactics while simultaneously doing the same themselves.

  • While this Googlehit thing is kind of fun, we've repeatedly pointed out that if it really worked reliably, John Edwards would be in an unchallenged first place. Charles Krauthammer does a pretty good job of pointing this out:
    Edwards has made much of his renunciation of his Iraq War vote. But he has not stopped there. His entire campaign has been an orgy of regret and renunciation.
    • As senator, he voted in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that he now denounces.

    • As senator, he voted for storing nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Twice. He is now fiercely opposed.

    • As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it "radically overhauled."

    • As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it "a good bill ... and I am pleased to support it." He now attacks it.

    • As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. Need I say? He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.

    Breathtaking. People can change their minds about something. But everything? The man served one term in the Senate. He left not a single substantial piece of legislation to his name, only an astonishing string of votes on trade, education, civil liberties, energy, bankruptcy and, of course, war that now he not only renounces but inveighs against.
    Concludes Krauthammer: "By his own endlessly self-confessed record, his current pose is a coat of paint newly acquired. His claim that it is an expression of his inner soul is a farce."

  • Over on the GOP side, we have Senator McCain just plain lying about Romney's past position on Iraq. But outranking that, phony-wise, was his response to Tim Russert in the recent debate:
    RUSSERT: [...] Senator McCain, you have said repeatedly, quote, "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." Is it a problem for your campaign that the economy is now the most important issue, one that by your own acknowledgment you're not well versed on?

    MCCAIN: Actually, I don't know where you got that quote from. I'm very well versed in economics. I was there at the Reagan revolution. I was there when we enacted the first -- or just after we enacted the first tax cuts and the restraints on spending. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee in the United States Senate, which addresses virtually every major economic issue that affects the United States of America. I'm very well versed on economics.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Straight Talk, just about everyone was ready to dig up where did say exactly that, and a number of other instances where he said things like that. Ouch.

    He tried to dig himself out of his hole on Meet the Press today:

    Of course I know more about national security than any other issue. That's been my entire life. Am I, am I smart on economics? Yes. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee. Why--that's why people like Phil Gramm, Tom Coburn and Warren Rudman and Carly Fiorina and the real strong economic minds, Jack Kemp, the real strong minds on the economy and, and conservatives on the economy are supporting me. They don't think that I'm--of course, I always have things to learn, and I continue to learn every day. But I'm very strong on the economy, and, frankly, my economic record is a lot stronger than that of the governor of Massachusetts when you look at his record as governor.
    I preferred it when he claimed to be dumb on economics, frankly. Now I think his position is something like: "I once pretended to be humble on certain issues. Just kidding! I'm totally awesome on all of them."

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:17 AM EDT