The Phony Campaign

2012-04-29 Update

[phony baloney]

The phony race continues to narrow, with President Obama's lead over Mitt Romney shrinking to a 24.7-to-1 margin:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 30,600,000 -2,300,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 1,240,000 +30,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 274,000 +1,000

And the phony high points of the week were:

  • CNN reports that the humor at the 98th annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner—and please note that I am quoting directly from the story here, because this is a play on words that even I would be ashamed to make—"went to the dogs." For phony purposes, President Obama's speech Went There:
    "I know everybody is predicting a nasty election, and thankfully, we've all agreed that families are off-limits," the president said. "Dogs, however, are apparently fair game."

    The president's punch line: An ad by a phony Super PAC that featured Romney on Air Force One with a dog cage on top of the aircraft and promoted dog freedoms, while warning of Obama's policy of dog socialism.

    But the president didn't back away from his own doggy history:
    "That's pretty rough. But I can take it, because my stepfather always told me, it's a boy-eat-dog world out there," Obama said.
    Maybe you had to be there.

  • Ms. Ann McFeatters, a Scripps-Howard columnist who has (it says here) "covered the White House and national politics since 1986" penned a commentary headlined with a blazing insight: "Romney trying too hard, coming off phony".
    And now we have the great loosening-up campaign.

    The problem?

    Nobody can really imagine living next door to Mitt Romney, let alone exchanging house keys with him in case of emergency.

    That is how Howard Baker, the Republican former senator from Tennessee and all-around good guy, once described a hypothetical perfect presidential candidate.

    To quote Han Solo: "I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit." I find myself easily imagining all sorts of people living next door. I find it harder to imagine that Ms. Ann McFeatters is actually paid to write this by-the-numbers drivel, yet here it is right on my screen. It's a funny world.

  • Speaking of imagination, Captain Ed noted that you have to have a very flexible one to take political attack strategies seriously. He mused on a MSNBC Morning Joe commentator, whose remarks were reported thusly:
    The interesting thing that's happened in the last week, I think, is the way in which the Obama campaign has shifted away from the consistent argument that they've made over the course of the last year, really, about Mitt Romney, which is that he is a flip flopping phony, away from that argument to the argument he is a right-wing nut. And, you know, with David Plouffe coming out and saying that he is the most radical conservative since Barry Goldwater. You can't kind of have it both ways. Barry Goldwater was not a flip flopping phony. And so, if you're going to say that Romney is a flip flopping phony, you can't say that he's a hard right conservative.

    I think they are shifting in that direction and that is, I think, part of their trying to adapt to a new environment where they think Romney might be able to get to the middle, and they want to try and keep him over there on the far right.

    I suppose they need to fill the MSNBC airtime somehow. If they just noted that political argument is designed to bypass rationality and aim for the gut…well, that would take about 7 seconds, and what would they do with the remaining 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 53 seconds that day?

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:57 PM EST