The Phony Campaign

2008-04-27 Update

After weeks of decline phony hits seem to be picking up across the board:

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Hillary Clinton" phony177,000+7,000
"Barack Obama" phony174,000+7,000
"John McCain" phony161,000+13,000

  • Senator McCain refused to answer the "Political Courage Test" questionnaire [PDF] offered by a group named "Project Vote Smart".

    That wouldn't be so bad—Senators Obama and Clinton haven't answered the questionnaire either—except that Senator McCain is actually on the Project Vote Smart board. Well, at least he was until earlier this month, when he was removed over this issue. Saith Richard Kimball, Project President:

    It is true, we had to kick McCain off our board because he signed letters for the Project that compelled his opponents and a few thousand other candidates to answer the Project’s questions and then refused to answer them himself.

    This gives McCain extra phony points this week.

  • Senator Obama deserves a mention as well. Jake Tapper reports on his latest response to the lapel flag pin issue (which, yes, he referred to as a "phony issue"). On the one hand, he's quoted:

    I get pretty fed up with people questioning my patriotism

    On the other hand, apparently in the same speech, he's quoted:

    "Then I was asked about this in Iowa," Obama said. "And somebody said 'Why don't you wear a flag pin?' I said, well, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I said, although I will say that sometimes I notice that they're people who wear flag pins but they don't always act patriotic. And I was specifically referring to politicians, not individuals who wear flag pins, but politicians who you see wearing flag pins and then vote against funding for veterans, saying we can't afford it."

    Obama: fed up with patriotism-questioning, unless he's doing it.

    [This via Little Green Footballs, whose proprietor notes that Obama's excuses explanations for not wearing the flag pin have, um, evolved over time.]

  • Our guest phony this week is former President Bill Clinton, off in Oregon. Here's a story at ABC, headline "Bill Clinton Says Portland Pundits Are Wrong About Rural Oregon"

    "When Hillary's campaign announced that I was going to be speaking all over Oregon and in small towns and rural areas, I heard that some of the pundits in Portland thought I was nuts," he said. "And there's an article, I just read an article in the Associated Press that quotes a Reed College political science professor who says that my coming to see you won't work.

    "Now listen," Clinton told a booing crowd. "He said that Hillary's decision to reach out to rural Oregon was -- quote –- 'old politics.'"

    What makes this notably phony is (similar to the Obama incident above) is: apparently in the same speech, he's quoted:

    "We need to go forward together," Clinton told a cheering crowd. "I think that pretending people in small towns in rural America don't matter is old politics. And I think there's a more important point I'd like to make. This rural/urban/suburban divide in America is bad for our country. It's bad for our country. All these phony divides are bad for our country."

    Yes, he complains about "phony divides" while at the same time castigating those fancy urban college professors, inciting his audience to boos. This is the kind of thing that keeps Hillary on top, phonywise.

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