The Phony Campaign

2018-11-25 Update

[phony baloney]

Our candidate roster expands by two this week, with Paul Ryan (a returnee) and John Hickenlooper, both hitting the 3% nomination-probability threshold.

A Democrat, Hickenlooper is currently governor of Colorado. He was term-limited, so he'll be looking for a new job in January.

Neither Ryan nor Hickenlooper are showing unusual phoniness in this week's tablulation:

Candidate NomProb Change
Donald Trump 71% unch 2,420,000 -2,570,000
Beto O'Rourke 15% +1% 1,090,000 -80,000
Nikki Haley 5% -1% 1,030,000 -130,000
Hillary Clinton 4% +1% 920,000 +187,000
Kamala Harris 17% +1% 554,000 +25,000
Joe Biden 7% unch 239,000 -34,000
Bernie Sanders 7% unch 223,000 -16,000
Paul Ryan 3% --- 203,000 ---
Mike Pence 8% +1% 186,000 -148,000
Elizabeth Warren 10% -1% 179,000 -27,000
Kirsten Gillibrand 4% unch 165,000 +15,000
Sherrod Brown 3% unch 151,000 +14,000
Amy Klobuchar 4% unch 98,700 -400
Cory Booker 3% unch 66,000 -4,600
John Hickenlooper 3% --- 64,000 ---
John Kasich 4% +1% 41,200 -2,100

Standard disclaimer: Google result counts are bogus.

But let's look at the latest phony news about our candidates:

  • Is America really ready for a President Hickenlooper? If elected, he would only be the second US president with a four-syllable last name. And, frankly, "Hickenlooper" is a way goofier name than "Eisenhower". (Ref: Words With K in Them Are Funny.)

    (But, namewise, I don't see any US politician rivalling a recent president of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina. That's a good way to keep your name out of the headlines: make it too long to fit.)

    Whew, we got off-subject there. Getting back to it, a recent Denver Post article reported: Gov. Hickenlooper jet-sets across the globe on private planes paid for by others, new ethics complaint alleges. The complaint was generated by "Public Trust Institute" (PTI), run by Frank McNulty, a former Republican legislator in Colorado.

    This will raise the eyebrows of conspiracy theorists:

    Some events, such as the Bilderberg Meetings in Turin, Italy — a gathering of high-powered corporate executives and political leaders from around the world — are so exclusive and secret that “neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed,” according to the group’s website.

    Much of the event is paid for by its sponsors, which in 2018 included Fiat Chrysler, PTI’s complaint shows.

    PTI also alleges that Hickenlooper accepted a chauffeured Maserati limousine and other amenities at the June 2018 meetings — he was caught on camera at the airport saying he had “no official statement” about why he was there, but said he paid for the trip himself — including transportation via private jet that PTI estimates to have cost as much as $10,000.

    “Bilderberg is a luxurious, corporately paid event to discuss international affairs amongst global business and political leaders,” the complaint says. “This is precisely the type of event [Colorado ethics rule] Amendment 41 is intended to restrict.”

    Who does Hickenlooper think he is, Hillary Clinton?

  • On Monday last, CNN "Editor-at-large" Chris Cillizza captured The 42 most eye-popping lines from Donald Trump's 'Fox News Sunday' interview. Apparently he gets paid for that. The p-word appears in item 33:

    33. "The news about me is largely phony. It's false. Even sometimes they'll say, 'Sources say.' There is no source, in many cases -- in cases there is."

    Cillizza rebuts:

    Again, this is about Donald Trump not liking the news. Not about the news being "largely phony." And the idea that mainstream media organizations make up sources is beyond ridiculous.

    Yeah, probably. But how would we know? It's not as if CNN's hunger for scoops doesn't cause it to mislead its viewers.

  • At Spectator USA, Freddy Gray looks at Beto:

    Unlike Obama in 2008, however, the Beto hype of 2018 feels labored, even needy — a desperate crush for progressives who have lost faith in the democratic progress. Women and gay men compete to express their lust for him, as if he were in a boy band. After Beto posted a video of himself cooking a meal, social media went berserk. ‘Beto O’Rourke is cutting up flank steak over on Instagram in case anyone asks how it is I got pregnant,’ tweeted a man called Evan Ross Katz. Most other responses are too filthy for these pages; all seem contrived.

    O’Rourke is more than a bit phony, too — all hat and no cattle, as Texans say. Take the name Beto. It’s an Hispanic abbreviation of Robert, though O’Rourke is of Irish descent. A Ted Cruz campaign jingle mocked him for it: ‘I remember reading stories, liberal Robert wanted to fit in / So he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.’ A curious irony there: Ted’s real name, Rafael, is Hispanic, but he too wanted to fit in.

    At least he isn't a Bilderberger, like Hickenlooper!

  • And I wouldn't say Democrats are getting desperate, but … Vanity Fair answers a question nobody is asking: Why Sherrod Brown May Have an Edge on Warren and Sanders.

    Brown, who is potentially looking to challenge the president directly in 2020, refuses to be typecast—or to cede blue-collar politics to Republicans. “Populism and patriotism are not racist, they are not anti-Semitic. They don’t push some people down in order to lift some people up. They don’t appeal to the darker side of human nature,” Brown tells me. “We should not yield the hallowed ground of patriotism to extremists. We see that in Columbus, and we see that especially in the White House. You don’t practice a form of phony populism where you turn people against one another.”

    Can you still call yourself a populist without railing against shadowy elites conspiring to rig the game against the little people? Can you win the nomination in today's Democratic Party without at least pretending to do that?

  • And maybe we can slide a belated Michael Ramirez Thanksgiving cartoon in here:

Last Modified 2018-12-20 7:23 AM EDT