The Phony Campaign

2008-09-28 Update

Maverick hangs onto, and in fact slightly widens, his phony lead:

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"John McCain" phony1,270,000+170,000
"Barack Obama" phony1,240,000+150,000
"Bob Barr" phony44,400+7,400

The financial blowup was, of course, a huge driver of phoniness this week.

  • At Slate, John Dickerson compares and contrasts McCain's suspend-the-campaign-I'm-here-to-help posturing with Obama's:

    McCain's maneuver might look phony—but then, he and Obama have been engaging in phony activities since this financial crisis hit. Both candidates have been huddling with economic brains, as if they were already a government in waiting. They've both tried to act in ways that help voters see them as competent crisis managers. Perhaps McCain will help us define that line between the charades that voters allow and those they think are ridiculous, but he got an assist from the president. Bush called for a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders and for McCain and Obama to talk about the crisis. Obama had to accept, a tacit buy-in into the McCain strategy. McCain and Obama also issued a joint statement calling for bipartisan cooperation. (Obama's appended the plan he wanted McCain to agree to in the joint statement; McCain issued just the three-paragraph statement.)

  • Unfortunately for Obama, Greg Pollowitz was counting the five "core principles" he appended to the Wednesday joint statement. But in the Friday night debate, he was down to four.

    Which "core principle" got dropped? This one:

    Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.

    But that was in contradiction to a major Democrat proposal to dirty the bill: the earmarking of 20% of any (potential) profits to a so-called "affordable housing fund". So, that fifth point became forgettable quite quickly. Given a chance to "lead", Obama got led instead.

  • Darrell Hubbard, a Washington Times letter writer, thinks he has spotted a "phony Obama supporter":

    I am very disturbed that former President Bill Clinton, a proclaimed Democratic Sen. Barack Obama supporter, who purports that his Clinton Global Initiative is a bipartisan forum for discussing and improving global issues around the world, would allow Sen. John McCain to give a partisan Republican speech at Thursday's Global Initiative conference in New York.

    Mr. Clinton should have made it very clear and read the speech ahead of time to ensure that the speech focused on the spirt of his organization and was not a speech to promote the Republican agenda.

    This calls into question Mr. Clinton's true support for Mr. Obama and the Democrats.

    Why would he allow such a thing? Would Mr. Clinton rather compromise the most important presidential election in the past 50 years over his own personal endeavors?

    The icing on the cake is that Mr. Clinton provided courtesy videotape to the media of Mr. McCain's partisan rhetoric.

    What was he thinking?

    Please heal my wounds. I am hurt by this.

    Geez, how could this happen? Bill Clinton always seemed like such a genuine straight shooter in the past.

    But in Bill Clinton's defense [and let me just interject here that those last five words are ones I would not have ever expected to type], if you only went by Darrell's letter, you might not realize that both Obama and McCain spoke at Clinton's meeting. You can watch, listen to, or read their speeches via this page, and if you can detect any extra partisanship in McCain's, well, good for you, but …

    Hm. Who would benefit from painting Clinton unfairly as a "phony Obama supporter"? That "heal my wounds" thing—isn't that just a wee bit over the top? Could it be that Darrell Hubbard is the real phony here?

Last Modified 2014-12-01 1:22 PM EDT

Experimental Results


This week's test of the Sunday Basic Cable Movie Actor Theory:

  • 12:00AM on AMC: The Dead Pool (Clint Eastwood)
  • 7:30AM on AMC: Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood)
  • 10:30AM on AMC: Magnum Force (Clint Eastwood)
  • 1:00PM on AMC: The Enforcer (Clint Eastwood)
  • 3:00PM on AMC: Sudden Impact (Clint Eastwood)
  • 5:00PM on AMC: The Dead Pool (Clint Eastwood)
  • 7:00PM on AMC: Mystic River (Clint Eastwood (director))
  • 8:00PM on TNT: The Fugitive (Harrison Ford)
  • 10:30PM on TNT: The Fugitive (Harrison Ford)

Yes, it's a Dirty Harry marathon today at AMC. If you're feeling lucky, punk, turn on the tube at 7:30am (EDT) and leave it on for eleven and a half hours. (There's an hour break at 9:30am for an episode of Mad Men, so head off to church then.)

I also found this article via IMDB:

Clint Eastwood has not ruled out the possibility of making another Dirty Harry movie.

The actor said he thinks he is too old to star in another film, but admitted that he would not reject the idea out of hand.

He told MTV: "I'm 78 years old, and you're pretty well drummed out of the police force by that age.

"There could be a scenario. I suppose if some mythical writer came out of nowhere and it was the greatest thing on the planet, I'd certainly have to think about it, but it's not like I've ever courted it."

He added: "I feel like that was an era of my life, and I've gone on to other things. I'm not sure about being Dirty Harry again, but who knows?"

Clint also revealed that he was only offered the role after Frank Sinatra suffered a hand injury and was unable to hold a gun.

So: if you're a mythical writer, currently nowhere: you have a project. Get cracking!

Theory status: unrefuted for 33 consecutive weeks.

Last Modified 2008-09-29 12:47 PM EDT