The Phony Campaign

2011-04-03 Update

[phony baloney]

After dropping below our arbitrary 4% level of seriousness at Intrade last week, Jon Huntsman is back, baby! All the way up to 4.4%!

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 4,480,000 -80,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 3,120,000 -120,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony 2,040,000 -80,000
"Newt Gingrich" phony 1,880,000 +40,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 1,250,000 +80,000
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 662,000 +33,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 615,000 +1,000
"Haley Barbour" phony 531,000 +4,000
"Mitch Daniels" phony 454,000 +9,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 167,000 ---

  • The Donald Trump is showing surprising strength at Intrade: 3.5%. Not enough to make the Phony table, but enough for us to mention, this post from Alana Goodman at Commentary: "Let’s Pretend Donald Trump is Serious for a minute".

    Over the years Trump has flip-flopped so many times on so many issues, while hopping from party to party, that he knows he has a credibility problem with the Republican base. The point is, Trump doesn’t really grasp the intellectual basis behind conservative principles, and apparently has no interest in learning. So instead of attempting to explain his contradictory stances and focusing on actual policy issues, he seems simply to be mimicking the way he believes a conservative base favorite acts. The result looks like Newt Gingrich’s recent routine, but without what Gingrich passes off as subtlety.

    Not bad: a direct hit on Trump with collateral damage to Newt.

  • Speaking of Newt, he came really close to dropping off the charts, down to 4% on Intrade. On Friday, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post awarded him "worst week" honors.

    Ask Newt Gingrich a question, and you’ll get an answer. Usually a long one with references to international economics, ancient history and sometimes even flex-fuel vehicles.

    Gingrich is, without question, a big brain who can bowl you over with the depth and breadth of his knowledge.

    But he can also trap himself with his rhetoric — offering contradictory answers to the same question, leaving himself trying to explain the unexplainable.

    We discussed his 180 on Libya last week. This week, Cillizza asserts, he sent mixed suggestions to GOP Congresscritters on the budget: (a) don't compromise with Senate Democrats; but (b) avoid a government shutdown.

    Read for yourself; it may be that Newt was more subtle than that. But, given history, why would anyone take Newt's advice about budgetary negotiations?

  • At the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis counterpoints Cillizza's point, with plenty of links to local-paper interviews Newt has granted.

  • But number one in our poll, and in our phony hearts, is President Barack Obama. Our designated fish-in-the-barrel-shooter, dog-bites-man-reporter, emperor-has-no-clothes-pointer-outer is the great Mark Steyn, noting news reports that NATO is threatening to bomb Libyan rebels, should they "endanger civilians".

    So, having agreed to be the Libyan Liberation Movement Air Force, we’re also happy to serve as the Qaddafi Last-Stand Air Force. Say what you like about Barack Obama, but it’s rare to find a leader so impeccably multilateralist he’s willing to participate in both sides of a war. It doesn’t exactly do much for holding it under budget, but it does ensure that for once we’ve got a sporting chance of coming out on the winning side. If a coalition plane bombing Qaddafi’s forces runs into a coalition plane bombing the rebel forces, are they allowed to open fire on each other? Or would that exceed the U.N. resolution?

    Pun Salad encourages you to read the whole thing.

  • Late Addition: Politico reports:

    President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

    The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

    Via the Tech Liberation Front which notes the quoting of Steve Aspergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. He says the award is "aspirational", like Obama's Nobel Peace Prize.

    Given Libya, I'd tell Steve: be careful what you wish for.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:31 PM EDT