The Phony Campaign

2011-05-15 Update

[phony baloney]

When I started this campaign season's Phony Poll a few months back, I thought setting the criterion for inclusion to be a 4%-or-greater score at Intrade would give a relatively stable pool of candidates. That whole "wisdom of crowds" thing, right?

Boy, was I wrong. Just between last Sunday and today:

  • Mike Huckabee is gone. This makes sense, since (if you haven't heard) he took himself out of the running yesterday. The crowds, at least the ones that hang around Intrade, did not see that coming.

  • Herman Cain is in, at 4.8%. Which is sort of sensible, since he's been polling decently recently.

  • Donald Trump is down to 3.6%, so he's out.

  • Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown popped up to 7.7%, despite the fact that (as near as I can tell) he's shown no interest in running. Nevertheless, rules are rules, so he's in.

  • After a one-week appearance due to a 15% score at Intrade, Chris Christie is back down to around 3%. So long, Governor Christie.

  • Jon Huntsman, on the other hand, vanished from our poll last week, scoring 2% at Intrade. And this week, he's up to 12%. Welcome back to the Phony Poll, Governor Huntsman.

  • Sarah Palin is up at 5.2%, so she's back in the poll after a couple weeks' absence.

  • I (frankly) didn't expect to see Newt Gingrich again, but Intrade puts him at 4.7%. Newt Gingrich, come on down!

  • Newt might have gotten a bounce from his official entry into the race this week. But Ron Paul, determined to show that not all libertarians are actually sane, also announced this week, but nevertheless remains a 3.1% long shot at Intrade.

So without further ado, the phony results for our shaken-up field:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 4,660,000 +130,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 2,920,000 ---
"Newt Gingrich" phony 2,120,000 ---
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 881,000 +32,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 747,000 +6,000
"Herman Cain" phony 733,000 ---
"Mitch Daniels" phony 651,000 +53,000
"Scott Brown" phony 428,000 ---
"Jon Huntsman" phony 323,000 ---

Making the phony radar this week:

  • As a farewell to Mike Huckabee, we'll note that this story about his departure from the race contains:

    Huckabee stated, “What a hyocrite, what a phony!”

    Context shows (unfortunately) that he was not speaking about any of his fellow candidates, but instead about porn-loving, beard-dying, narcissist Osama bin Laden. Sure, Huck: go for the easy target.

  • The Phony-in-Chief spoke about unemployment at a "Town Hall" sponsored by CBS News in Washington D.C. And let loose a pandering howler to an audience undoubtedly filled with government workers:

    "The reason the unemployment rate is still as high as it is, in part, is because there have been huge layoffs of government workers at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level," he said. "Teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers-- they have really taken it in the chin over the last several months. And so, what we're trying to do is to see if we can stabilize the budget."

    As the indispensable Jim Geraghty points out, this is mendacious bullshit.

  • But President Obama was on a roll. Also this week, he was out in the west Texas town of El Paso, where he fell in love with a Mexican girl mostly lied about immigration.

    “The [border] fence is now basically complete,” asserted the president. Complete? There are now 350 miles of pedestrian fencing along the Mexican border. The border is 1,954 miles long. That’s 18 percent. And only one-tenth of that 18 percent is the double and triple fencing that has proved so remarkably effective in, for example, the Yuma sector. Another 299 miles — 15 percent — are vehicle barriers that pedestrians can walk right through.

    Obama then boasted that on his watch 31 percent more drugs have been seized, 64 percent more weapons — proof of how he has secured the border. And for more proof: Apprehension of illegal immigrants is down 40 percent. Down? Indeed, says Obama, this means that fewer people are trying to cross the border.

    Interesting logic. Seizures of drugs and guns go up — proof of effective border control. Seizures of people go down — yet more proof of effective border control. Up or down, it matters not. Whatever the numbers, Obama vindicates himself.

    That's Charles Krauthammer, and you should read the whole thing.

  • In honor of Newt's entry into the race, and his re-entry into the Phony Poll, let's look at the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" on Newt's interview with Sean Hannity on Fox. Newt's awarded four "Pinocchios", the highest possible. To me, Newt's gravest sin is:

    Ronald Reagan didn't get up every morning and say, gee, I wish they like me. Ronald Reagan had been a movie actor. Only had one movie, ‘King's Row,’ get a good review from the New York Times. Only one. But he had a pretty good career because it turned out that middle class, Middle America liked his movies.

    The Fact Checker checked, and lo and behold, the New York Times didn't like King's Row that much. But:

    We checked 10 of Reagan’s best-known movies. As mentioned, “King’s Row” (1942) was panned by The Times, as were “Working Her Way Through College” (1952), “Hellcats of the Navy” (1957), “The Killers” (1964) and “Storm Warning” (1951).

    Bedtime for Bonzo” (1951) got a lukewarm review.

    But these movies got positive notices, even raves: “Knute Rockne: All American” (1940), “Hasty Heart” (1949), “The Winning Team” (1952), and “Brother Rat” (1938).

    One wonders how and why Gingrich came to believe this fairy tale. Too good to check?

    Alternate theory: Newt's been taking lessons from President Obama.

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