Our arbitrary inclusion requirement (4% or better at Intrade) forces us to include Texas Governor Rick Perry this week. His "gonna think about it" remark this week jumped him up to 6.1%. This merest hint was enough for the Intraders to consider him a more likely prospect than actual/likely candidates Michele Bachmann (5.8%), Newt Gingrich (2.4%), Ron Paul (2.2%), Rick Santorum (0.8%), and Gary Johnson (0.3%).
Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki also hinted that they might do us the great favor of running, but Intrade was unimpressed: they scored 2.1% and 0.1%, respectively.
And, inexplicably, Intrade considers Scott Brown to have a 7.7% shot at the nomination.
This week's results show all candidates with healthy increases in phoniness, with Herman Cain moving ahead of Tim Pawlenty:
|Query String||Hit Count||Change Since
|"Barack Obama" phony||5,130,000||+550,000|
|"Sarah Palin" phony||3,130,000||+250,000|
|"Mitt Romney" phony||2,750,000||+340,000|
|"Scott Brown" phony||2,190,000||+330,000|
|"Michele Bachmann" phony||1,660,000||+220,000|
|"Herman Cain" phony||1,550,000||+803,000|
|"Tim Pawlenty" phony||1,310,000||+434,000|
|"Rick Perry" phony||1,010,000||---|
|"Jon Huntsman" phony||462,000||+102,000|
I think you could make some money, in fact, by shorting Scott Brown
at Intrade. Elected with strong Tea Party support, he joined
the RINO party
to vote against Paul Ryan's plan this week, which included Medicare reforms.
Not that he has any better ideas.
Brown writes that Medicare's "increasing cost must be addressed" and that attempts to do so are "long overdue" as part of any "serious" effort to do something about the long-term national debt. But Ryan's plan is just too stingy, apparently: "As health inflation rises," Brown writes, "the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support--and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays." So Brown agrees that the problem with the current Medicare system is that it puts the public on the hook for ever-rising health care expenses, which are growing faster than we can afford to pay for them. Yet his first complaint about Ryan's plan is that it backs away from that commitment, altering the system in such a way that the federal government doesn't continue to spend on Medicare at a rate that's rising at a dangerous and unsustainable rate. Like many Democrats, Brown seems to be upset that Ryan's plan solves the problem Rep. Ryan intended it to solve.
Oh well. Better than Martha Coakley, anyway. Slightly.
As always, the GOP field faces an uphill battle in
matching President Obama's phoniness. Just this week,
the President messed
up a toast to Queen Elizabeth; dated his entry in the
Westminster Abbey guestbook three
years ago; insisted—in the same
speech—that while Israel can't be expected to negotiate with
a "terrorist organization", they nonetheless must try to negotiate
with the Palestinian "government", a thugocracy including Hamas,
a terrorist organization.
Somewhat fittingly, the Patriot Act was renewed this week.
As often happens, President Obama found himself at odds
with Senator Obama on the issue.
And when it came time for the Presidential Signature, it
was provided not by the Presidential Hand, but by the Presidential
Autopen. Let's just hope that thing doesn't get near the
Big Red Button.
On Bill O'Reilly's show, ex-candidate Mike Huckabee found it dreadfully
hard to avoid saying the obvious about Mitt Romney:
O'REILLY: ...and here's the Northern governor and the Northern governor is getting a little haughty and you didn't like it very much.
HUCKABEE: Oh, that's probably some of it. But a lot of it was on issues. I felt like that there was a lack of authenticity on the sanctity of life issue and on the same-sex marriage issue and on the gun issue, issues that really matter to people in the Midwest and in the South.
O'REILLY: So you think he's a phony?
HUCKABEE: No, I didn't say that.
O'REILLY: You said lack of authenticity.
HUCKABEE: Lack of authenticity.
O'REILLY: See, where I come from...
HUCKABEE: You're a long calendar, Bill, and you can just...
O'REILLY: Where you come from in Arkansas, lack of authenticity is a phony, too.
HUCKABEE: We say -- we say bless his heart. He didn't fully understand...
HUCKABEE: When you hear a Southerner say bless his heart...
A long calendar?