The Phony Campaign

2011-08-14 Update

[phony baloney]

Ames fallout: (1) A big phony bump for Michele Bachmann this week; (2) Intrade agrees with T-Paw that he is a very long shot for the GOP nomination; (3) Ron Paul is the beneficiary, as his Intrade probability shot up from around 2% to (drum roll, please) 4.6% (as I type), entitling him to return to the phony poll, and he's showing as a big-time phony:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Michele Bachmann" phony 14,200,000 +9,540,000
"Ron Paul" phony 12,300,000 ---
"Barack Obama" phony 6,950,000 -40,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 6,560,000 +3,490,000
"Rick Perry" phony 5,980,000 +3,960,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 4,450,000 -40,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 1,050,000 -10,000

In the phony news this week:

  • At Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, William Jacobsen's headline was irresistible: "President Phony to attack Mitt Romney as phony". Jacobsen quotes a Politico story, which in turn quotes a campaign consultant:

    "There's no way to hide this guy and hide his innate phoniness."

    That happens to be a Democrat talking about Romney. It could equally well have been a Republican talking about Obama.

  • Mitt Romney's reaction to the story? According to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent it was "transparently phony outrage".

    […] Romney and his advisers are the last people on earth who have any right to complain about out-of-bounds attacks on Romney's bio and/or identity, and I hope folks covering their current phony outrage will recall their own record on this score.

    Phony outrage in a campaign is as common as stones in Jerusalem, and it's kind of cute to see a hack like Sargent get upset about it so predictably. One of Sargent's high-quality professional arguments:

    […] Romney has also said: "I believe in the Constitution -- and I believe in the greatness of America," clearly insinuating that Obama doesn't.

    Clearly? Whenever a candidate says "I believe X", is it always "clearly insinuating" that his opponent doesn't? Does Sargent apply that test impartially? I don't think so.

  • An article in Politicker NY covered an Obama fundraiser, originally stating:

    Before leaving, Obama likened himself to one more figure. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    "I think that we forget when he was alive there was nobody who was more vilified, nobody who was more controversial, nobody who was more despairing at times," he said. "But what he understood, what kept him going, was that the arc of moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."

    Sharp-eyed folks began to observe the utter narcissism this revealed. Pretty quickly the article was amended the first paragraph:

    Before leaving, Obama likened himself to referenced one more figure. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The reporter's initial impression, however, fits the quote better. At least the website is honest enough to show the "correction" explicitly. I wonder how many angry calls from the Democratic National Committee it took to get them to make it?

  • Rick Perry is Officially In. Back in 1988, he was Texas Campaign Chairman for… Al Gore. But somehow I don't think Al's going to reward that early show of support, given Perry's recent thoughts on his old buddy and global warming:

    Al Gore's ego must have taken a tremendous bruising in the aftermath of the 2000 election, when he was so close to victory he could taste it. As time passed, we began to see the real Al Gore — not the contrived version that ran for president in earth tones, but the liberal extremist who took a hatchet to President Bush in front of the faithful. Gore found something more satiating to his ego than the presidency. He found a global cause, and he became the prophet who could protect us from Armageddon. Soon he took his PowerPoint presentations around the glob, raising concerns about melting icebergs and undersized polar bears. The Left embraced him like never before. Hollywood toasted him as their hero. The Nobel Committee gave him a peace prize. He won an Oscar And it's all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight. Al Gore is a prophet all right, a false prophet of a secular carbon cult, and now even moderate Democrats aren't buying it.

    Gosh, that's pretty strong stuff. Here's hoping that's the Perry that makes it out on the campaign trail, or at least that he brings along the same ghostwriter.

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