The Phony Campaign

2011-03-27 Update

[phony baloney]

Intrade shows no candidates either dropping below or rising above our arbitrary 4% threshold this week. All candidates showed healthy increases in their phony hit counts, and Tim Pawlenty got a big enough bounce to move him up two spots, ahead of Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour. Congratulations!

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 4,560,000 +750,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 3,240,000 +560,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony 2,120,000 +440,000
"Newt Gingrich" phony 1,840,000 +370,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 1,170,000 +267,000
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 629,000 +224,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 614,000 +113,000
"Haley Barbour" phony 527,000 +103,000
"Mitch Daniels" phony 445,000 +68,000

  • The candidate under the phony microscope this week is Newt Gingrich, spurred by what nearly everyone agrees was a total 180° flip-flop on Libya policy, with a double phony twist. His recommended action on March 7:

    Exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone and that the sooner they switch sides, the more like they were to survive, provided help to the rebels to replace him.

    But on March 23:

    I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.

    Longer quotes and video at the link. The only unifying theme was: oppose whatever President Obama happens to be doing at the time.

    You can read Newt's attempt at reconciliation over on Facebook. To his credit, he doesn't say:

    You see, on March 7, Greta van Susteren was asking me about Gadhafi. While on March 23, Matt Lauer was pestering me about Qaddafi. Honestly, I always thought those were two different guys.

    But see if you're convinced by what he does say.

  • Not that it matters, but Pun Salad has decided to adopt "Qdaffy" as its Official Spelling of That Guy There, following the Worthing/Iowahawk stylebook.

  • I don't have a lot of use for dedicated lefty Jim Hightower, but he's spotted some phoniness over at Newt's website.

    A measure of The Newt's genuineness can be seen on [the] website. It features Newt and his lovely third wife, Callista, smiling at the camera while a large crowd of very happy, flag-waving Americans stands in the background, beaming at the couple. The crowd is a picture-perfect mix of white, black, Latino, and Asian-American citizens - as though they're right out of central casting.

    They are. It's a stock photo dubbed "Large Crowd of People Holding Stars and Stripes Flags." Newt simply bought the right to use this shot of "supporters," as have several other politicians, groups, and businesses. That's Newt for you - a fake picture in support of a fake campaign by a fake candidate.

    Hightower is correct. Here is the Getty Images link.

  • Jon Huntsman is currently at 3.9% at Intrade, so doesn't make our list. But (nevertheless), at her Washingtion Post blog, Jen Rubin asks: Why is Jon Huntsman running for president? The word "delusional" is used. A John Sununu interview at Real Clear Politics is quoted:

    "Huntsman won't play well here. Huntsman won't play well anywhere, because Huntsman's only barely a Republican," Sununu said in a lengthy interview Wednesday afternoon.

    "Huntsman's too liberal, comes with the tarnish of having accepted the appointment from Obama. He's never said anything really conservative in his life. How's he going to win in a conservative primary? He can't. Huntsman is, in my opinion, a non-player," he said.

    In the same RCP article, however, another NH GOP old-timer (and Huntsman supporter), Peter Spaulding, is also quoted: "It sounds like the warm and cuddly John Sununu we know."

  • But the biggest fish in the phony barrel is, as always, Barack Obama. Captain Ed Morrissey of the SS Hot Air notes the words of October 2007 candidate Obama:

    Conventional thinking in Washington says that Social Security is the third rail of American politics. It says you should hedge, dodge, and spin, but at all costs don’t answer. I reject that notion. I think that on issues as fundamental as how to protect Social Security a candidate for president owes it to the American people to tell us where they stand. Because you’re not ready to lead if you can’t tell us where you’re going.

    Compare and contrast with President Obama, version 2011.03, as reported at the lefty site, Talking Points Memo:

    The White House will not prominently inject itself into congressional negotiations on Social Security reform until after key legislators in both the House and Senate unveil their plans to reduce projected long-term deficits, according to administration officials. […]

    The White House's reticence has been characterized by some as a symptom of a rift between Obama's economic and political advisers. Some, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, do in fact believe that a bipartisan deal on Social Security would result in real economic benefits, while others argue that Obama shouldn't embrace any plan that substantially cuts benefits at all.

    It's phoniness you can believe in.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:32 PM EST