The Phony Campaign

2016-02-14 Update

Unexpectedly! Michael Bloomberg has gained just enough serious betting money to (again) satisfy our 2% PredictWise criterion for inclusion. And after weeks of not much movement in our hit count standings, Bernie has jumped up from fourth to first place. (Disclaimer: could be a Google Glitch.)

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-02-07
"Bernie Sanders" phony 165,000 +98,500
"Donald Trump" phony 111,000 +3,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 103,000 +4,900
"Ted Cruz" phony 67,000 +400
"Marco Rubio" phony 54,600 +1,300
"Jeb Bush" phony 36,400 -2,400
"Michael Bloomberg" phony 8,940 ---

  • So what's behind Bernie's sudden phony showing? Well, he delivered a doleful drubbing to Hillary in the New Hampshire Primary. And…

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign responded by calling him a fake Jew.

    This was, in any case, the interpretation one Jon Green attached to the comments made by ex-NH Congresscritter Paul Hodes that Bernie is a "secular Jew" and denying that "his religion influenced his stance on Israel."

    Hodes contrasted this position with that of Hillary, who "has an unshakeable bond with Israel". (Really!?)

    You may wonder, as I did, why Hodes took it on himself to speak about how a candidate's religion affects support for Israel. It turns out Hodes is Jewish, which I didn't know. I suppose that explains something, although I'm not sure what.

    And for what it's worth: the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which originated the story, quotes the Clinton campaign as later denying that it plans to attack Sanders on his Israel policy.

    (But as with all things Clinton: the understood postscript to the denial is: "… unless it's perceived to be in her political interest to do so.")

  • On the flip side:

    TV host Glenn Beck attacked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Thursday, saying “too many people are looking at Trump and believing that man has ever opened a Bible … that’s the biggest crock of bullcrap I’ve ever heard.”

    Phony Jews, phony Christians. We're up to our eyeballs in 'em.

  • And then there's stuff like this, from the Communications Director of the Jeb Bush campaign:

    At Hot Air, Allahpundit screams "Oh, the inanity!"

    I thought this election was about nationalism and populism. How’d we get from that to whether it’s appropriate to employ Skinemax actresses and listen to NWA in the span of a day?

    And how is it, with Republicans suddenly throwing roundhouses at each other over “values” in South Carolina, that Donald Trump, of all people, is the main beneficiary?

    In an update, Tim Miller explains/responds (in part):

    My point was this: for years Marco has been doing interviews with outlets that target younger voters where he highlights his knowledge of rap, his favorite movies (Pulp Fiction) and other cultural touchstones. Then all of a sudden, 2 weeks before the Iowa caucus, he begins adding into his stump speech a lament about the values that movies and music are shoving down our throats.

    Miller dubs Rubio's NWA (New Wholesomeness Argument) to be "an obviously phony pander worthy of a cheeky tweet".

  • On still yet another hand… Roger L. Simon had the chance to observe the private behavior of one of the candidates in New Hampshire, post-debate. Roger deems him the opposite of phony. In fact, the word mensch is used, high personal praise.

    No spoilers here. Goest thou and readest the thing in its entirety.