The Phony Campaign

2016-02-07 Update

Our PredictWise-based 2% probability criterion demands no lineup changes this week. And (once again) the only change to our ordering is the Bush/Rubio swap of fifth/sixth place. Yawn.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-01-31
"Donald Trump" phony 108,000 -252,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 98,100 -103,900
"Ted Cruz" phony 66,600 -91,400
"Bernie Sanders" phony 66,500 -31,400
"Marco Rubio" phony 53,300 -5,800
"Jeb Bush" phony 38,800 -28,900

But there's always fresh phony news to report:

  • Rubio might get a phony bump soon based on his debate performance last night; specifically his back-and-forth with Chris Christie (detailed at the NR Corner by David French) was inauthentic in a bizarre way.

    Marco Rubio’s already-famous exchange with Chris Christie was indeed a brutal moment. I still can’t believe that Rubio went back to the same talking point right after Christie called him on it. Watching it real-time, I honestly wondered if Rubio forgot what he just said. When he started to do the same thing a third time, I couldn’t believe my ears. Christie wasn’t masterful — not by any means — Rubio just served him the worst kind of hanging curve.

    Video at link. I swear, Rubio's responses seemed like they were generated by a buggy AI program that mistakenly worked itself into a tight loop.

  • To my ears, Donald Trump had a bad debate. When Mary Katherine Ham challenged him to distinguish his health care reform ideas from single-payer advocate Bernie Sanders … as Peter Suderman notes, "Trump claims he’s for common sense, and the proceeds to not make much sense at all." Trump's answer is quoted in full at the link.

    The obvious takeaway from this response is that Trump not only has no plan to replace Obamacare, he has idea what he’s talking what he’s talking about when it comes to health care policy, and doesn’t care that he’s clueless. It tells us nothing at all about health care, but it does tell us about Donald Trump and his presidential campaign.

  • In the debate, Trump also maintained his advocacy of eminent domain, trying very hard to blur the distinction between (a) Constitution-based takings (with just compensation, for public use), and (b) grabbing an elderly widow's house and land in order to build a casino's limousine parking lot. (Jeb Bush, of all people, was good on this.)

    A RedState contributor quotes Trump's response and begins commentary with

    Here Trump shows that he is either totally unaware of what eminent domain entails or he’s a duplicitous f*** who thinks you are stupid.

    [Frog? Face? Fowl? Fawn? Feeb? Fern? Fink? Fish? Fake? Oh, yeah, I guess it's "fake".]

  • Speaking of AI, some DOD whiz kids should figure out how to program Kevin D. Williamson's writing style into terrorist-hunting drones. When Kevin picks a target, he is deadly accurate and merciless. Today's example keys off this tweet from Terry Shumaker, New Hampshire lawyer, longtime Clinton sycophant:

    Kevin:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is not qualified to be president of the United States of America, because she doesn’t know what the United States of America are.

    Terry Shumaker, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad (I wonder what that gig cost him) and current abject minion in the service of Mrs. Clinton, quotes Herself telling an audience in New Hampshire: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.”

    There is a very old English word for people who are required to perform service as a rent for their existence, and that word is serf. Serfdom is a form of bondage.

    It gets better from there, so please RTWT.

    I was reluctant to put this in a phony campaign post, because this seems to be one of those rare times when Hillary reveals how she really thinks. But… <voice imitation="Doc Brown"> well, I figured, what the hell? </voice>

  • And I don't want to turn this into an too-National Review-based post, but Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week was pretty perceptive on the "authentic" Bernie Sanders. It's titled "Hillary’s Sincerity Problem", and it's about that too, but that's fish-in-barrel stuff. Jonah notes that in all Bernie's railing against the "rigged system", he's mystifyingly reluctant to make some obvious points:

    Bernie Sanders has to believe Hillary Clinton is part of the problem. But he won’t say so, save to prattle on about Clinton’s super PACs and speaking fees. That’s amateur-hour stuff. It’s academic-seminar-level griping, not revolution-fomenting. He wants to talk about the system, but he won’t do what is minimally required to change it. And right now, the first step on that long road is steamrolling Hillary Clinton. It’s like saying you want to do whatever it takes to fight malaria, but refusing to say much about the huge, sprawling, and fetid marshlands in the middle of downtown. The Clintons are swamp creatures, taking what they need and leaving in their retromingent wake the stench of corruption.

    Definition of "retromingent" here. You're welcome.

  • Does Trump have a couple of things right about the phony Cruz? Find out the shocking answer in Jennifer Rubin's Trump has a couple of things right about the phony Cruz.

    Donald Trump may not know Russian President Vladimir Putin is implicated in a killing or that “paying for everyone’s health care” is essentially single-payer, universal health care. Nevertheless, he does know something about dealing with other people, and in that regard is the perfect combatant to take on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who knows virtually nothing about that.

    Ms. Rubin doesn't care for Trump, but she flat-out despises Ted Cruz.