The Phony Campaign

2011-04-24 Update

[phony baloney]

There wasn't enough action at Intrade over the past week to move any candidate above or below our arbitrary 4% criterion for inclusion in the phony poll. But an upswell of phoniness for T-Paw bumped him ahead of Mitt Romney:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 4,520,000 +150,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 2,980,000 +30,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony 2,130,000 +90,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 1,390,000 +90,000
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 745,000 +74,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 688,000 -3,000
"Donald Trump" phony 575,000 +106,000
"Mitch Daniels" phony 502,000 +37,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 215,000 +41,000

  • Donald Trump's poll strength continues to fascinate leftists: dare they hope that the GOP is stupid enough to nominate him? Peter Wehner, at Commentary asserts/hopes otherwise:

    Donald Trump […] is, when it comes to politics, shallow, inconsistent, egotistical, and buffoonish. By comparison he makes Ross Perot seem substantial, well-informed, and stable. Right now Trump’s support is based on a combination of name recognition, his skill at self-promotion, and his perceived tough talk. But once Republican and conservative voters begin to peek behind the curtain, this silly game will be over. Trump’s support will evaporate like the morning mist.

    Hope he's right.

  • Among the naysayers to a Trump candidacy is the Club for Growth:

    "Donald Trump for President? You've got to be joking," said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. "Donald Trump has advocated for massive tax increases that display a stunning lack of knowledge of how to create jobs. His love for a socialist-style universal health care system and his alarming obsession with protectionist policies are automatic disqualifiers among free-market conservatives. This publicity stunt will sputter and disappear just as quickly as the 'The Apprentice' is losing viewers."

  • This caused Mike Huckabee, a past target of the Club's ire, to devote some of his radio show to Club-bashing.

    According to that group, I'm also a tax-loving socialist. During the 2008 election they cherry-picked some factoids out of context from the deals I had to make from a ninety percent Democratic Arkansas legislature.

  • As he implied, Huckabee has a long anti-Club record. Check this 2007 column from the late Robert Novak:

    Who would respond to criticism from the Club for Growth by calling the conservative, free-market campaign organization the "Club for Greed"? That sounds like Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards, all Democrats preaching the class struggle. In fact, the rejoinder comes from Mike Huckabee, […]

    Novak was not impressed:

    Huckabee is campaigning as a conservative, but serious Republicans know that he is a high-tax, protectionist, big-government advocate of a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans. Until now, they did not bother to expose the former governor of Arkansas as a false conservative because he seemed an underfunded, unknown nuisance candidate. Now that he has pulled even with Mitt Romney for the Iowa caucuses with the possibility of more progress, the beleaguered Republican Party has a frightening problem on its hands.

    Now, four years later, things aren't much different. Alex Knepper of the Minority Report wrote a post headlined "Mike Huckabee Is Still a Phony and the Club for Growth Is Still Right". Bottom line:

    Huckabee is not only dishonest, but illogical. That phony Trump has no record. All that we have are his public statements, made in his books and interviews. If we can’t judge him by his public statements, then what exactly can we judge him by? Huckabee can’t even be bothered to be coherent. He’s just mad at the Club for Growth for exposing his phoniness. Now they’re letting Trump know that the game is up for him, too, and Huckabee, like the pro-life liberal he is, can’t help but rush to the defense of a man who supports socialized medicine. Let’s hope that they both stay out of the race.

  • But President Obama remains the guy to beat, phonywise. Ed Morrissey noted a gem from the President's big budget deficit speech:

    Now, we believe the reforms we’ve proposed to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid will enable us to keep these commitments to our citizens while saving us $500 billion by 2023, and an additional $1 trillion in the decade after that. But if we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, then this approach will give the Independent Physicians Advisory Board (IPAB) the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.

    Ed's emphasized an especially phony bit: if "improvements" to Medicare save money, why not make them right here, right now? We don't need no stinkin' death panel "Independent Physicians Advisory Board".

    Ah, to ask the question makes the answer obvious.

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