The Phony Campaign

2011-08-28 Update

[phony baloney]

The Hurricane Irene edition! Hope I can get this up before the power goes out!

[Update: I didn't. Which is why the August 28 update is actually appearing August 29. Hit counts current as of 8/28.]

A lot of up-and-down motion in the phony standings this week. Paul Ryan took himself out of the running, leaving us with nobody named Paul meeting our arbitrary inclusion requirement of 4% at Intrade. I'll try to contain my disappointment at that.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Rick Perry" phony 6,640,000 +950,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 6,370,000 +230,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 4,640,000 +30,000
"Barack Obama" phony 2,700,000 -4,180,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 2,650,000 -2,960,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 1,080,000 +30,000

  • Ed Morrissey does a fine job of cataloguing the week's "Obamateurisms", of which phoniness is often a component. My favorite this week: "Gripes that Congress hasn't passed trade deals he hasn't sent them." For more on the sad state of affairs, here's the New York Times article. Even the NYT can't spin this convincingly:

    Bottom line: Mr. Obama is not technically correct when he says that Congress is fully able to vote on the bills, as his administration has not sent them there in the first place.

    Translation from NYTese into English: Mr. Obama is lying.

  • Mitt Romney visited the other side of the Granite State this week, and Philip Rucker, a Washington Post reporter, cornered one Lucy Opal, age 83, for her reaction:

    "I liked his smile," she said. "He came through human-like."

    Apparently that was Lucy's primary concern. Back in 1969, she'd met George Romney, Mitt's father. She and Mitt reminisced.

    "My dad was the real deal," Mitt Romney told her.


  • At Cato, Gene Healy declares himself fed up with "phony federalism". He takes particular aim at Rick Perry, but notes that—um, well—on at least one issue, Perry sounds pretty good:

    "If you don't like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don't move to California," Perry writes. He complains that the Raich case made clear that "the federal government has the full prerogative to intervene in your private home if you are engaged in any activity that has some minimal relationship to the exchange of goods." He calls the medical marijuana movement "a movement I disagree with, while appreciating the desire of Californians to decide for themselves."

    But then Healy immediately takes it back:

    Would he stick to that? I'd bet not -- it took him all of a couple of days to perform a Romney-style double-axel backflip on gay marriage. As I note in my column, his campaign is already backing off of what the Governor wrote about Social Security.

    What Perry says about federalism and enumerated powers sounds sincere. Of course, Obama made all the right noises about civil liberties before he was elected. Is this sort of thing just cultural signaling to constituent groups?

    Probably! In these phony times, are we to assume the candidates will do the exact opposite of what they're promising? I'm gonna have to reconsider my voting strategy…

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