The Phony Campaign

Mother's Day Update

[phony baloney]

Some weird stuff going on at Intrade this week; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had never scored over our (arbitrary) 4% inclusion threshold since we started phonyblogging back in January. But (as I type) he's all of a sudden at a 15.0% probability of getting the GOP presidential nomination, putting him right up there with front-runners Mitt Romney (16.0%) and Tim Pawlenty (15.9%). This despite the fact that (as near as I can tell) Christie has made no recent moves toward actually running.

Go figure. Like Jeanne Shaheen, I can only blame greedy speculators.

Christie's bounce means that other candidates have to deflate, and so we bid farewell for now to Michele Bachmann (at 2%, and Intrade hasn't yet managed to spell her name correctly) and Jon Huntsman (also now at 2%).

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 4,530,000 -70,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony 2,370,000 -80,000
"Chris Christie" phony 931,000 ---
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 849,000 +38,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 741,000 -14,000
"Mitch Daniels" phony 598,000 +22,000
"Donald Trump" phony 500,000 -221,000

And now the phony stories behind the news:

  • The phony word of the week is "gutsy". Bruce McQuain collects a number of folks using that word or a variant thereof in reference to President Obama's green-light to Operation Geronimo. And you may have heard that—at least for now—the URL redirects to the Obama campaign website.

    OK, so it was gutsy—for Obama. Making a decision that, given similar circumstances, probably 41 of the previous 43 inhabitants of the office would have made the same way. (I'm not too sure about James Buchanan or Franklin Pierce.)

    Surely, Stewart or Colbert have mercilessly satirized this herd of independent (but thesaurus-lacking) minds? Or the quick metamorphosis of a catchphrase into a talking point into a campaign meme? No? Well, maybe this week.

  • Up here in the Granite State, Bruce Keough, the chairman of Mitt Romney's (losing) 2008 primary campaign, disclosed that he'll be dancing with someone else this time around.

    It's this ever-changing persona that soured Keough on Romney. "I don't think the voters are looking for somebody who's going to be recasting himself," he says. "They want somebody who's been true to a certain set of political ideals for a while."

    We'd prefer a less obvious phony, in other words.

  • Five GOP candidates showed up for a debate in South Carolina, only one of whom is currently above 4% at Intrade. And at least one observer was even unimpressed with him:

    As for Pawlenty, I’ve got to come down on the side of those who are less than sanguine about the way he came across. He was, as I noted during the debate, the one with the most polished answers and sounded the most knowledgeable on foreign policy. But his attitude seemed phony, if not sanctimonious. I think it was more than the bad makeup job that Jen Rubin and others have pointed out. If this was his first chance to breakout from the pack, he missed it.

  • The New York Times reported the reaction of Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus to the SC contenders:

    “As we all know, there are numerous other candidates that are looking at it — and thank God,” Mr. Priebus said before the proceedings began.

    Wait a minute. Who did he say to thank?

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