The Phony Campaign

2011-08-07 Update

[phony baloney]

Almost 2 million Google hits mysteriously vanished for Mitt Romney, dropping him to a milddling fourth place in our phony poll:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 6,990,000 +140,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 4,660,000 -210,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 4,490,000 +10,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 3,070,000 -1,840,000
"Rick Perry" phony 2,020,000 +20,000
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 1,150,000 -440,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 1,060,000 +77,000

  • Don't look now, but the Intraders judge President Obama's chances at re-election at (as I type) 52.7%; they were as high as 70% in early May, post-Osama.

  • We don't pay much attention to Newt Gingrich any more, but he's still officially running. And this week it was reported that most of his Twitter followers are fake.

    Yesterday Newt Gingrich laid out a new argument for why he should be the GOP presidential nominee: He's got the most Twitter followers. But according to a former Gingrich staffer, he bought them.

    If you read the story, they don't actually know that. The "former Gingrich staffer" is conveniently anonymous. And the Gingrich campaign has denied everything.

    On the other hand, a company named PeekYou claims to have analyzed Newt's followers, and deemed only 8% of them to be "human". They don't break down the 92% non-human further. How many Klingons?

  • Patrick M. Byrne, CEO of, got burned by Jon Huntsman, and wrote about it this week in Politico.

    In mid-2004, Jon Huntsman, who was running for Utah governor, sat in my Salt Lake City living room and asked about my political beliefs. I only care about one state-level issue, I told him: school choice.

    "Vouchers are my main issue, too!" Huntsman replied. "Vouchers are the reason I am running for governor." He waxed enthusiastically, "I want to go down in history as the voucher governor." (These are direct quotes, to which I have two witnesses.)

    But once Huntsman was governor, his voucher ardor quickly cooled. A few years later, Byrne contacted Huntsman:

    I sent word, asking, "I thought that this was your 'main issue', and 'the reason you ran for governor'?" Huntsman replied with only a text: "Campaigning for vouchers is outside my comfort zone."

    Byrne now considers a President Huntsman to be "unthinkable."

  • Steve Chapman looks at GOP candidates and finds their Constitutional devotion to the 10th Amendment to be phony. The candidates, Chapman notes,

    … support the 10th Amendment except when they don't. When New York legalized same-sex marriage, Perry first said, "That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me." But he soon reversed course, endorsing the Federal Marriage Amendment, which says marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

    Bachmann has made a similar exception. Asked about same-sex marriage in New York, she said that "the states have the right to set the laws that they want to set." Then she threw herself behind a constitutional amendment to repeal that right.

    Pawlenty? Romney? More of the same. The conspicuous exception is Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who has a weirdly consistent respect for the principles of federalism.

    Pun Salad adds: Gary Johnson, too.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:25 PM EDT