The Phony Campaign

2011-11-20 Update

[phony baloney]

The Intraders bid up Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul (?!) a significant amount this week, enough to get them above our arbitrary 4% threshold for inclusion in our phony poll. And Ron had enough phony hits in the bank to allow him to debut right at the top:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Ron Paul" phony 30,500,000 ---
"Mitt Romney" phony 17,100,000 +300,000
"Barack Obama" phony 15,900,000 -1,000,000
"Newt Gingrich" phony 8,530,000 +1,160,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 2,450,000 ---

  • In honor of Ron's inclusion, the Bad Lip Readers have done him the honor (if that's the right word) of interpreting him:

    "Hoo ha, cherry soda!" Cracks me up.

  • I've been seeing a lot of a slick pro-Huntsman TV ad from "Our Destiny PAC". (You can watch it too, on their website; USA Today provides its script and a fact check for it.)

    For our purposes, it's notable for putting the p-word right out there:

    Man No. 1 (speaking to camera): "The president's failed; the economy is worse."

    Man No. 2: "The stock market's a wreck. Are we the next Greece?"

    Man No. 1: "Our government's flabby, bloated and weak."

    Man No. 2: "Got a job? Sure you'll have it next week?"

    Man No. 1: "The world is literally collapsing and no one has shown up we can trust as a conservative."

    Woman: "Who actually has a chance to win."

    Man No. 2: "And not some phony who tells me one thing and you another."

    Woman: "Where's that guy?"

    Phony? Gee, I wonder who they could be talking about?

    "Our Destiny PAC" isn't affiliated with the Huntsman campaign (for legal reasons). But Huntsman isn't shy about associating himself with that talking point. From an interview with Al Hunt:

    HUNT: Let me ask you a final political question. The super PAC supporting you, not done by you, but they support you so you're not involved, they're running ads in New Hampshire starting today in which they say voters should not support "some phony who tells me one thing and you another." Do you think they were referring to Governor Romney?

    HUNTSMAN: I haven't seen the ad, but it sure sounds like him.

    HUNT: It does? You think that's what Governor Romney's doing? He is being a phony and telling people one thing and another -

    HUNTSMAN: Well, when you've been on both sides of all the key issues of the day, then that gets to the heart and soul of whether you've got believability. And when the 2012 election cycle, to my mind, is going to be about enhancing and promoting trust in the political system, I don't think you're electable under those conditions.

    In the same interview, Huntsman boldly predicts: "We will win New Hampshire." Bold talk from a guy whose poll numbers are stuck in the high single digits.

  • Speaking of Huntsman, he appeared on Saturday Night Live last night, goofing with Seth Meyers about his New Hampshire pandering. It was funny and you can watch it here.

    But how many New Hampshire Republicans, besides me, watch SNL? Five, maybe?

  • The Washington Post's conservative blogger, Jen Rubin, only has eyes for Mitt, and she's a one-woman buzz saw against anyone who poses a threat to her guy. Which may not be fair, but (on the other hand) she does a pretty good job of reminding us why we were unimpressed with Newt Gingrich long ago. This week, she noted how the news about Newt's consulting gig with Freddie Mac exemplified his long history of you-know-what:
    Whatever you call it, Gingrich, as we know, can shift his shape at the drop of a hat. Last week he was the maverick outsider who was going to reinvent Washington. Today he says, "It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington." Yes, he knows the Congressional ethics laws from the position of a violator, the Washington influence-buying game from the position of an exorbitantly paid consultant, and the arguments for the individual mandate, cap-and-trade and ethanol subsidies from one who held such positions at various times.
    Also, at no extra charge, Jen recalls Newt's cringe-inducing excuse about how he was "driven by how passionately I felt about this country" into— committing adultery.

    Jen also deemed Newt a phony intellectual this week on the basis of Andrew Ferguson's hilarious review of Newt's written oeuvre earlier this year.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:43 PM EDT