The Phony Campaign

2011-06-26 Update

[phony baloney]

Our phony candidate list remains unchanged again this week. The Intraders didn't move anyone above or below our magical and arbitrary 4% criteria for inclusion.

It's interesting to note that Rick Perry has moved into a solid second place at Intrade, at 17.1%. (Behind Mitt Romney, 35.5%). Tim Pawlenty's fortunes have correspondingly gone south: over the past few weeks, he's dropped from nearly 25% to around 10%.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 3,120,000 -20,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 2,910,000 0
"Sarah Palin" phony 1,970,000 -40,000
"Rick Perry" phony 1,790,000 +50,000
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 1,200,000 -60,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 1,040,000 +297,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 922,000 -88,000

  • New Hampshire's sorely-missed ex-Senator John E. Sununu took to the pages of the Boston Globe to discuss the essential phoniness of President Obama's attempts to show he's "doing something" about the lousy economy.

    PANIC IS not a pretty thing. The Obama administration may not be there just yet, but a steady drumbeat of bad economic news pushes it closer every week. In Ohio the president talked about giving money to automakers, in North Carolina he talked about giving money to "green" companies, and recently he proposed yet another payroll tax holiday. Call it the "whirling dervish" approach to economic policy -- frantically spinning from one constituency to another, dispensing subsidies, and hoping something works.

    Oddly enough, part of the problem is probably the inherent instability and uncertainty of the situation. Since everyone knows that Obama (a) needs, above all, to be perceived to be "doing something", but (b) has no credible effective plans in his lefty playbook, there's always a good chance he'll "do something" totally destructive.

  • And not to mention: "(Laughter.) (Applause.)*"

  • And one more for the memory hole. Instapundit's comment: "If Sarah Palin had done this, it would be a major story. Luckily, it's Obama so it'll hardly get reported at all."

    And (as usual) he was right. Newsbusters reported:

    NBC Nightly News, which spent three straight nights mocking Palin on her Revere account, as reported by the MRC's Rich Noyes, ignored Obama's mistake, even as Jim Miklaszewski played clips from the very Fort Drum speech in which Obama made his screw-up. While CBS Evening News also covered Obama's event with the troops they too failed to report Obama's error. On ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer there wasn't even a story on Obama at Fort Drum, but they did air bits of a David Muir interview with First Lady Michelle Obama which Sawyer teased this way: "And still ahead, right here on World News, the First Lady talks to David Muir, what she wants for her daughters when they fall in love."

  • But there's plenty of phoniness on the GOP side too. At the Washington Examiner, the sharp-eyed Susan Ferrechio noticed that the health care topics have been relentlessly scrubbed from Mitt Romney's 2008 archived campaign sites. Gosh, it's almost as if doesn't want us to know what he was saying back then, for some reason.

  • Also at the Examiner, Hayley Peterson was reminded of how Mitt's 2008 campaign book No Apologies was "updated" for the 2012 campaign: "He inserted new paragraphs, deleted others and even changed some sentences to say something else completely."

    As Groucho supposedly said: "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."

    Both Examiner links via Alana Goodman at Commentary. I am at a loss to explain why Romney's phony numbers are so low.

  • But maybe it's not so strange that Jon Huntsman has leaped ahead of Romney in the phony poll. In his announcement video observed:

    In keeping with the campaign's message that Huntsman is a different sort of Republican, a video narrator describes him as "a quiet, no-drama conservative" and "never a pot-stirrer."

    "Not all modern conservatives must be loud or angry," the narrator says over soothing guitar strums. "Jon's boss Ronald Reagan knew that."

    But later that same day:

    "What I've said consistently about the tea party movement, and -- just watching it from 10,000 miles away -- it is a manifestation of our democracy.

    It is a manifestation of the anger and outrage that people feel in this country.

    It's the way that we do business in the United States, and if it puts pressure on elected officials to do things a little differently, to begin to balance the books, to look at a balanced-budget amendment so on and so forth, then that's a good outcome."

    Both links via Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard, who observed:

    Huntsman 2012: Against name-calling and anger. And for them.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:29 PM EDT

Another Year

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

How do you feel about movies nearly entirely driven by character instead of plot? That purport to show a slice of real life, as opposed to action and adventure? Where, just like real life, problems aren't neatly resolved at the end of the day?

I think they're… well, I wouldn't want to make them a steady diet. But this movie got hugely good reviews, and Netflix's algorithm promised I'd like it, so…

It centers on British married couple Tom and Gerri over the course of a year, and their interaction with family and friends. It is divided into four seasonal acts. Tom is a geological engineer, Gerri a counselor for the National Health Service. Their most prominent friend is Mary, one of Gerri's co-workers. She's the closest thing the movie has to a plot, as she struggles (but not hard enough) to deal with her fading looks, increasing loneliness, and continual self-absorption. We only see her through the course of the year, but it's pretty easy to guess what came before (drunken promiscuity) and what's going to happen next (bitter spinsterhood, probably also drunken).

Things "happen" over the year, but they are completely ordinary: Tom and Jerry's son, Joe, acquires a bubbly girlfriend. Another one of Gerri's co-workers has a baby. Tom's brother becomes a widower and the family travels up north for the funeral and to support his brother.

The movie (surprisingly) kept my attention throughout; the actors are a snug and natural fit into their roles. It's probably the only one you'll see where the character muses over the amount of mica in his core samples. Tom and Gerri will not remind you of Nick and Nora, Rhett and Scarlett, or Han and Leia. Their dialog doesn't sparkle with witticisms, and their looks are glamour-free. They're just a solidly-married couple trying to be nice, muddling through.

Last Modified 2012-09-26 5:04 AM EDT