The Phony Campaign

2011-10-23 Update

[phony baloney]

Our lineup is unchanged from last week: only Mitt, Rick, and Herman are getting enough respect from the Intraders to push them over our arbitrary 4% threshold. And, as phar as phoniness goes: Rick Perry maintained a big lead, while Herman Cain lost about half his hit counts.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Rick Perry" phony 12,900,000 0
"Barack Obama" phony 7,950,000 +940,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 4,590,000 +670,000
"Herman Cain" phony 4,280,000 -4,100,000

In phony news this week:

  • Although Mr. Cain is at the bottom of our standings, he's still making phony news. Elspeth Reeve at the Atlantic comments on the fact that his presidential campaign reported spending $36K on Herman Cain-authored books, buying them from Herman Cain's motivational speaking company. This, speculates Elspeth, "adds a data point to the speculation that his campaign's more about selling books than winning the White House."

    Cain's isn't the first campaign to buy his own books, but it adds to the perception he isn't a for-real candidate.

    Let's see: Cain's campaign is doing what other campaigns are doing, but that somehow only makes Cain a phony candidate?

    I may be biased. One of Cain's books has, as far as I'm concerned, the best title on a political book ever: They Think You're Stupid.

  • Mitt Romney got the Bad Lip Reading treatment:

    "Oh, hey, this is for the cow." That cracks me up.

  • The Washington Post's conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin might be projecting in a post headlined: "Perry's biggest problem: Voters don't like him." But there's some reason Perry hasn't caught fire as the non-Mitt candidate.

    In a sense, Perry is the anti- Herman. Cain is funny, witty and optimistic. Perry's demeanor in these debates varies from sleepy to hostile. Perry can't and shouldn't change who he is. Voters can spot a phony a mile away. But it wouldn't hurt for him to be sunnier, more magnanimous and a whole lot less angry. Right now, voters plain don't like him.

  • On the D side, the big phoniness this week was…

    The White House on Thursday defended Vice President Joseph R. Biden's rhetoric that more Americans will be raped and killed if Republican lawmakers reject part of President Obama's jobs bill that would pay for more police officers on the street.

    Cheer up, Republicans: at this point in the campaign, Biden could claim that failure to enact Obama's proposals would bring on a Borg assimilation, and the Administration would feel the need to back him up on it.

    The "Fact Checker" columnist of the Washington Post awarded Biden's comments a coveted "Four Pinocchios". On the other hand, Poltifact rated Biden's claim as "Mostly True", which only fortifies their record as hopeless Democrat apologists.

  • But sanity does not universally reign at the Washington Post, as Chris Cillizza encouraged President Obama to—I am not making this up—adopt the populist campaign stylings of John Edwards as his own.

    Every Republican reader of Cillizza's post immediately hoped that Obama would take that advice. Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary:

    It bears recalling that Edwards's fall from grace came after his political career had ended in failure and played no part in the series of humiliating defeats that he suffered. Though his origins may have been humble, by the time he entered the political fray, Edwards was the poster child for tort reform: a blow-dried millionaire ambulance chaser. Though his soak the rich rhetoric pleased some on the left, his attempt to position himself as the spokesman for the disadvantage flopped because most Democrats, let alone the rest of the electorate, regarded him as a phony.

    Ah, I remember John Edwards. As phonies went, he was the real thing.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:44 PM EDT