The Phony Campaign

2011-05-01 Update

[phony baloney]

I'm a little surprised to be dropping Sarah Palin from our phony poll this week, as she has (at least as I type) fallen below our (arbitrary) 4% Intrade inclusion threshold. She's all the way down to 3.2%, putting her behind Haley Barbour (3.7%).

How poor a showing is that? Well, Haley Barbour pulled out as an active candidate this week. But, according to Intrade, he's still got a better shot at it than Sarah.

Other than that, there were no changes in the standings, although all candidates saw significant increases in their Phony hit count:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 4,600,000 +80,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony 2,450,000 +320,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 1,520,000 +130,000
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 811,000 +66,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 755,000 +67,000
"Donald Trump" phony 721,000 +146,000
"Mitch Daniels" phony 576,000 +74,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 229,000 +14,000

  • In longshot-ville, both Gary Johnson (Intrade: 1.5%) and Ron Paul (Intrade: 1.9%) took steps toward running.

  • And (in slightly old news that people are only just now starting to pay attention to) Herman Cain (Intrade: 0.4%) won a poll as the most effective speaker at the Concord NH Tax Day Tea Party a couple weeks back. And was also impressive at the Americans for Prosperity Forum in Manchester NH last Friday.

  • But those guys don't seem to be phony enough to be taken seriously as potential Presidents, at least according to the Intraders. Michael Tanner profiled Johnson at National Review Online this week:

    It says something about our political culture that while the mainstream media were obsessed last week with the latest bizarre pronouncements by Donald Trump, another businessman-turned-politician was becoming the first declared Republican presidential candidate, with far less fanfare.

    In many ways, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson is the anti-Trump. While Trump is bombastic and self-aggrandizing, Johnson is self-effacing, often coming across as more wonk than politician. You’re not likely to see him in his own reality show any time soon.

  • A good gauge of phoniness: ask a candidate denouncing corporate welfare in Iowa about ethanol subsidies. Tim Pawlenty passed with flying colors:

    During Pawlenty's speech, he criticized Wall Street and corporate welfare, what he termed "special deals for some.''

    But when asked after the speech about ethanol subsidies—which have come under fired from some fiscal conservatives, but are considered crucial in Iowa, where Pawlenty's campaign could live or die—he hedged.

    Oh well.

  • The GOP candidates still have a long way to go to beat President Obama in the phony race, however. Andrew Malcolm provided a list of events that suggest the President isn't even trying to hide the phoniness any more:

    What the public sees, while it frets over stubborn unemployment and soaring gas prices, is a diffident Democrat who takes a 17-vehicle motorcade of SUVs and limos to be seen looking at clean-energy cars.

    A pontificating president who suggests that one worried commuter buy a new car instead of complaining.

    A guy who spent 745 million donated dollars to get into the White House complaining to visiting editors about losing his anonymity and being locked in the presidential bubble that provide service, luxury, power and security unimaginable to most.

    But read the whole thing.

  • At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin took aim at the President's phony search for oil speculators:

    The president’s search for the bad guys reminds me of O.J. Simpson’s search for his ex-wife’s “real killer.” In fact, there is no bogeyman in the oil industry; to the extent there is market distortion it is of the administration’s own making.

    There might be an oil shortage, but if we could somehow harness the energy expended by politicians in scapegoating, we'd be in pretty good shape.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:30 PM EDT