The Phony Campaign

2011-07-10 Update

[phony baloney]

Once again, no major changes at Intrade that would cause us to change our phony candidate list:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Michele Bachmann" phony 3,660,000 +40,000
"Barack Obama" phony 3,100,000 -30,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 2,640,000 -190,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 1,870,000 -70,000
"Rick Perry" phony 1,440,000 0
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 1,200,000 +40,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 1,140,000 +80,000

  • Both Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed the "Marriage Vow" pledge from a Pleasant Hill, Iowa-based group called "The Family Leader" (or, if you prefer their unconventional capitalization: The FAMiLY LEADER"). The pledge seems designed to give libertarians the willies; at Reason, Mike Riggs explains why he's not a fan. Long-shot candidate Gary Johnson won't be signing, describing the pledge as "offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded".

    Apparently some language in the pledge was too racy even for its authors, who yesterday removed some verbiage that "suggested that black children born into slavery were better off in terms of family life than African-American kids born today".

  • Matt Lewis probably found it hard to keep a straight face as he typed:
    At first blush, Republican Mitt Romney's second bid at securing his party's nomination is a far more casual effort than his previous attempt. He's foresworn the same level of self-financing, traded in the Brooks Brothers' two-piece for Gap jeans and a Red Sox-embroidered polo, and his hair even seems to have a little give these days.

    But Romney's everyman reinvention is anything but casual: Every detail -- from dropping ubiquitous references of discount retail giants Wal-Mart and Target to sporting a pickup truck at fundraisers -- has been meticulously choreographed for the ex-venture capitalist so eager to shed the perception he's too slick, too stiff and too phony.

    When your efforts to look less phony appear, … well, less than genuine, you have a problem.

  • But President Obama continues to be blatant in his phoniness. In his "Twitter Town Hall" last week, he claimed:
    By the way, people who work in the White House, they've had their pay frozen since I came in, our high-wage folks. So they haven't had a raise in two and a half years, and that's appropriate, because a lot of ordinary folks out there haven't, either. In fact, they've seen their pay cut in some cases.
    The linked Hot Air article shows how manifestly dishonest this was. For example:
    The freeze didn't make much difference, anyway. The staff got raises through a nifty little dodge: job title or description changes. In some cases, though, the dodge got a little more sophisticated. Michael Gottlieb quit his post of special assistant and associate counsel, only to take the job again -- at a 14% increase in pay, from $114,000 to $130,500. Nearly everyone remaining at the White House has had a pay increase over the last two and a half years.

  • And there's a new Dave Barry column concerning the …
    … recent concerted effort to reduce the pesky federal budget deficit, which, shockingly, continues to mount despite the fact that both major political parties have issued sternly worded position papers against it. Day after day, week after week, the top brains of Congress and the […] administration sat in a conference room, eating prune Danish supplied by the Prune Danish Division of the Bureau of Pastries of the U.S. Department of Refreshments at a cost of $2,350 per slice.

    "What should we do about this pesky budget deficit?" the leaders asked, crumbs of concern dribbling from their mouths. "How can we reduce it? If only we had an idea! If only we could think of . . . "

    "SPEND LESS MONEY, YOU CRETINS!!" shouted a group of cockroaches, who had been listening from the floor and managed to figure out the solution despite the handicap of not being top political brains. Unfortunately, however, our political leadership is not responsive to cockroaches, unless of course they operate savings-and-loan institutions.

    Oh, I'm sorry. That's not a new column. It's dated November 4, 1990. My bad.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:28 PM EST