The Phony Campaign

2008-04-20 Update

The gap between Barack and Hillary shrinks whisker-thin, while McCain falls further behind:

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Hillary Clinton" phony170,000-2,000
"Barack Obama" phony167,000+3,000
"John McCain" phony148,000-6,000

  • It's going badly for McCain when the phoniest thing attached to his campaign is the revelation that the "Cindy's Recipes" section of his website contained plagiarized recipes from the Food Network and Rachael Ray.

  • The Baltimore Sun's Paul West reports this as if it were new:
    Hillary Clinton says Barack Obama is "a good man, and I respect him greatly." But in her final push for Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary, Clinton is portraying her rival in a very different light: as a phony.

    She is blanketing the state with an ad attacking Obama's boast, delivered in one of his TV commercials, that he does not accept campaign contributions from oil companies.

    "No candidate does," Clinton's ad accurately points out, since corporate donations are against the law, and she goes on to list thousands of dollars in individual contributions to Obama from oil company executives.

    I'd say she's trying to paint him not so much as a "phony" but as a "liar". But that's just me.

  • But we're in pot-and-kettle mode, as described by Michael McAuliff of the New York Daily News:
    In the final weekend before the crucial Pennsylvania primary, Sen. Barack Obama double-punched Sen. Hillary Clinton Saturday, slamming her as untrustworthy while his campaign revived her phony tale of ducking sniper fire in Bosnia.

  • That's major-leage phoniness, and McCain is clearly playing Triple-A at best. Is there anything he can do to recover? Josh Brodesky of the Arizona Daily Star reports on a dim hope, the efforts of David Brock of Media Matters for America:
    There is a media love affair that has been going on for years," [Brock] said during a question-and-answer session Saturday with guests.

    "They accept his phony brand as a straight talker, a maverick, a moderate. That needs to be broken through."

    As reported by Newsmax, Brock is currently "spearheading an effort to launch a $40 million campaign to attack Republican John McCain in the months leading up to the November presidential election. But:
    The new group was formed after two earlier organizations, Fund for America and the Campaign to Defend America, failed to raise enough money to launch a full-scale attack on McCain.
    Apparently this organization will succeed due to the magic of David Brock. But PR-wise, Brock's got a way to go:
    But getting Brock to speak in an interview about the planned media campaign against McCain proved as challenging as bridging the gap between conservatives and liberals.

    "I am not going to talk about that today," he said. "That wasn't my subject today."

    He then walked away.

    Another, earlier attempt to speak with Brock was cut off when a woman approached him about her foundation possibly donating money to Media Matters.

    "I love foundations," Brock said, rocking back on his heels, before also walking away.

    For background on Brock's ability to judge others' phoniness, see the article "David Brock, Liar" by Timothy Noah at Slate, and "The Real David Brock by Christopher Hitchens at the Nation. (From the latter: "I would say without any hesitation that [Brock] is incapable of recognizing the truth, let alone of telling it.")

    Sigh. Bad luck for McCain, phony-wise.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 11:04 AM EDT