We welcome Dr. Ben Carson to the phony poll, as PredictWise puts him with a 2% probability of being our next president. But how does he stack up against the crowd, phony-wise?
|Query String||Hit Count||Change Since
|"Jeb Bush" phony||1,190,000||-1,150,000|
|"Hillary Clinton" phony||421,000||-69,000|
|"Donald Trump" phony||381,000||+38,000|
|"John Kasich" phony||175,000||-10,000|
|"Joe Biden" phony||158,000||-10,000|
|"Bernie Sanders" phony||123,000||+1,000|
|"Ben Carson" phony||120,000||---|
|"Scott Walker" phony||112,000||-3,000|
|"Marco Rubio" phony||105,000||+1,000|
We've occasionally noted
their stage directions out loud was considered a gaffe. (The
classic example: George H. W. Bush's "
But now, as Andrew Ferguson notes in the WSJ, it's become a trend: "The 2016 Race Has Already Gone Meta".
Even now, so early in the presidential contest, we are seeing vivid signs of the “meta-campaign”—the spectacle of candidates who would rather describe the wonderfulness of their campaign than tell us what they’ll do in the unlikely event it succeeds.
I can't help but think this is a symptom of campaigns that hold voter intelligence in contempt. And the campaigns may find it a successful tactic, at least this time around.
At the Daily Beast, one Betsy Woodruff
headlines her article
Walker: Anti-Immigrant Phony", and chronicles the candidate's "every
position imaginable" on birthright citizenship and other
Charlie Sykes, one of the most influential conservative talk-radio hosts in Wisconsin, estimates he’s interviewed Walker hundreds of times over the last 20 years. Sykes said there may be a very simple explanation for why Walker has had so much trouble talking about the issue: The governor doesn’t believe what he’s saying.
We'll give him points for being an obvious phony.
As noted at
Hillary tried out yet another e-mail talking point to a complaisant
interviewer, Andrea Mitchell:
AM: Did anyone in your inner circle say, “This is not a good idea. Let’s not do this?”
HRC: You know, I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world.
I didn’t really stop and think, “What kind of e-mail system will there be?”
Note that Andrea Mitchell did not follow up with the obvious queries:
"You claim you
were 'not thinking a lot' when you became Secretary of State.
Can you give voters any reason to believe you'll be 'thinking
a lot' if you become President?"
"But wait a minute. You had to have made a conscious decision
to set up your private mail system; otherwise you would have just
settled on the default State Department system. Didn't you
just tell me an obvious lie?"
We can only hope that someday Hillary will have the bad luck to get interviewed by someone able to nail her down on obvious dishonesty.
- "You claim you were 'not thinking a lot' when you became Secretary of State. Can you give voters any reason to believe you'll be 'thinking a lot' if you become President?"
For example, some future interlocutor might read Timothy P. Carney's
ethanol flip-flop reveals a Democratic sclerosis on cronyism".
She was agin' ethanol mandates… until it was time to start campaigning
Speaking of ethanol:
Our phony poll newcomer, Ben Carson, has
out in favor
of taking "$4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies"
and using that
"fueling stations" with a 30% ethanol blend.
He took this stand immediately after saying "I don't particularly like the idea of government subsidies for anything because it interferes with the natural free market."