The Phony Campaign

2012-01-01 Update

[phony baloney]

Happy New Year! Will it be more, or less, phony than 2011?

Both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman dropped below our arbitrary 4% inclusion threshold at Intrade. (Ron's at 3.5% as I type, while Jon is at 3.3%.) So it's a three-man race right now, and still a runaway for the incumbent:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 165,000,000 -4,000,000
"Newt Gingrich" phony 6,340,000 +560,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 671,000 +44,000

  • Mr. Dave Barry performs his yearly (and, I suspect, court-mandated) public service of reviewing the big events of the year past.
    What made [2011] truly awful was the economy, which, for what felt like the 17th straight year, continued to stagger around like a zombie on crack. Nothing seemed to help. President Obama, whose instinctive reaction to pretty much everything that happens, including sunrise, is to deliver a nationally televised address, delivered numerous nationally televised addresses on the economy, but somehow these did not do the trick. Neither did the approximately 37 million words emitted by the approximately 249 Republican-presidential-contender televised debates, out of which the single most memorable statement made was, quote: "Oops."
    You should definitely Read The Whole Thing™.

  • My family roots are in North Central Iowa, so I paid special attention to Jonathan V. Last's report from the bustling metropolis of Mason City.
    Music Man Square in Mason City is named for Meredith Wilson, the native son who wrote The Music Man. It's not a square in the traditional sense. It's a building whose interior is mocked up into an elaborate--and quite lovely--version of River City's Main Street. There are fake storefronts and brick sidewalks, with the polish of a Disney World production. (You can see for yourself here.) You may recall that The Music Man is a story about a good looking, smooth talking phony who comes to town and swindles the locals. Whoever thought it would be a good idea for Mitt Romney to hold an event here--he entered from the far end of the fake Main Street and gripped and grinned his way through a throng of perhaps 400 people--either has a dark sense of humor or no sense of irony.
    Well, at least he didn't sing.

  • Michael Barone wonders why GOP nominees are taking Iowa so seriously.
    [T]he Iowa Republican caucuses have a poor record in choosing their party's nominees. In the five presidential nominating cycles with active Iowa Republican caucus competition, the Hawkeye State has voted for the eventual Republican nominee only twice--in 1996 for Bob Dole, in 2000 for George W. Bush--and only once was the Iowa winner elected president.
    The New Hampshire GOP is doing significantly better than Iowa at voting for the eventual nominee. Looking at the last six contested primaries (1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008), the eventual nominee won in four (1980, 1988, 1992, and 2008), and the eventual President twice (1980 and 1988).

    Yes, that's right: NH has not picked a winning GOP president in a contested primary for 24 years.

    South Carolina, on the other hand, has gone six-for-six at picking the eventual GOP nominee during the same time period.

  • The Toronto Sun covers the news the more timid American Lamestream Media avoids. For example, as near as I can tell, the Sun was the only paper to report verbatim the remarks of Jacob Volkmann, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. After last night's victory (over Efrain Escudero) in Las Vegas:
    Volkmann, who survived a deep north-south choke in the third round, claimed Obama is in need of a 'glassectomy,' a fake procedure.

    "Ask me what a glassectomy is, Joe," Volkmann said to interviewer Joe Rogan. "It's where they remove the belly button and put in a piece of glass so you can see what you're doing while your head's up your ass."

    Most other stories seem to have substituted "[expletive]" there.

    Previous comments by Mr. Volkmann about President Obama earned him a visit from the Secret Service.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:39 PM EDT