The Phony Campaign

2015-11-08 Update

Aieee, the carnage! PredictWise has dropped both Ben Carson and Chris Christie below our (arbitrary) 2% threshold for inclusion in the phony poll. (Disagree? Put your money where your brain is, chump.)

To the standings! Who's the phoniest of them all?

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-11-01
"Hillary Clinton" phony 485,000 -595,000
"Donald Trump" phony 377,000 -733,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 207,000 -50,000
"Jeb Bush" phony 177,000 -48,000
"Ted Cruz" phony 171,000 -99,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 144,000 -51,000

  • At the Washington Examiner, Byron York details Jeb!'s "this time for sure" campaign midcourse correction: "In restart, Jeb blames advisers, promises authentic, can-do candidacy"

    In Tampa, seeking to re-boot a deeply troubled campaign, Bush pledged to be himself. "I can't be something I'm not," Bush told the crowd, saying it was a lesson he had learned during his years as Florida's governor.

    Using (once again) Jonah Goldberg's memorable metaphor: Jeb continues to read his stage directions.

  • Bernie Sanders claims to have "serious problems" with Uber because it is "unregulated".

    This did not stop his campaign from using Uber for (honest!) 100% of its claimed transportation costs.

    So, hypocrisy. Especially notable when Bernie claims to be standing up for the "little guy". The solons of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are cracking down on "little guy" Uber drivers, whose "crime" is mostly providing a service that people want.

    "Live free or die", my fanny. Could we explore giving the city of Portsmouth to Maine?

  • At Cato, Gene Healy notes the passing of Fred Thompson, who was famously unenthusiastic about the grind of his short-lived 2008 presidential campaign. (I cast one of the 2,890 votes he received in the New Hampshire Primary that year. Good for sixth place! Only missed fifth place by 16,000 votes or so!)

    Healy notes that the citizenry used to expect "dignity, reserve and self-denial" from people aspiring to the presidency. Things are different now:

    […] Thompson’s inability to feign enthusiasm for the process spoke well of him. It suggested that he was psychologically healthy and normal. Those qualities are ruthlessly winnowed out by the modern presidential race, which rewards those with an unhealthy appetite for presidential power and glory. You’ve got to want it to win it, and they want it more.

    Fred was elected twice as a US Senator from Tennessee, so he was no stranger to normal campaigning. But a presidential campaign is a different kettle of fish in these modern times.