The Phony Campaign

2015-03-01 Update

[phony baloney]

Joe Biden turned out to be a one-week wonder at Betfair; the punters there have regained a small bit of sanity and returned him to the long shot category. Odds: 48 as I type. Albeit that's better odds than Cruz (95), Christie (60), and Perry (80). So Joe's gone, at least for now, leaving us with Jeb, Hillary, Scott, Rand, Marco, and Fauxcahontas:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 4,830,000 +3,967,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 421,000 +66,000
"Scott Walker" phony 237,000 +83,000
"Rand Paul" phony 215,000 +44,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 92,300 -2,800
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 90,700 -4,800

And, yes, that's almost certainly a Google Glitch causing a more-than-fivefold phony hit increase for Jeb Bush.

  • A small hit piece this week from the Washington Post documenting the "expensive tastes of Jeb Bush’s low-key wife, Columba. Spending $19K on clothing and jewelry in Paris! (And then misleading customs officials about it!) A $42K loan to buy jewelry! And more!

    Just think, if we get another Clinton/Bush campaign, we'll no doubt get round-the-clock MSNBC coverage of Columba's baubles! Fox will fire back with details about Bill's cigars and watches!

    Comments Melinda Henneberger:

    We say we want politicians and their families to be authentic, but expect them to pretend to be just average folk who shop at Target. (Oh, but then when Mrs. Obama was criticized for doing that, too: “What a phony-baloney plastic banana good-time rock-and-roll optic photo op that was,’’ observed Rush Limbaugh.)

    Rush can certainly turn a phrase.

  • Andrew Stiles does a quick Q-and-A about the The Clinton Foundation Scandals. Sample:

    What are [the Foundation's] guiding principles?

    Here are the foundation’s guiding principles, according to the website:

    • We’re all in this together.
    • Nothing truly happens unless a life is changed.
    • No one has all the answers, but we can bring together the people who can find them.
    • Results you can measure are the only results that matter.
    • Empowerment is liberating and life-changing.
    • There is always a way to be faster, leaner, and better.
    • The greatest good is helping people live their best life story.

    What does that even mean?

    Good question. The Clinton Foundation is fluent in the language of feel-good corporate jargon. Many have suggested that these words, when arranged in such a fashion, have no meaning.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has suggested that foreign government contributions to the Clinton Foundation should disqualify Hillary from running for president.

    Well, yes. But if this were the kind of country that held the Clintons to rigorous ethical standards, they would today be practicing law out of a small office in a Little Rock mini-mall. (Generously imagining that neither would have been permanently disbarred.)

  • But instead, we are treated to (again, WaPo) stories like "The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help re-imagine Clinton brand".

    Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew?

    Now, this sort of thing isn't exactly new. The late Joe McGinnis rose to journalistic fame with his book about the 1968 Nixon campaign, The Selling of the President, all about this kind of stuff.

    But really:

    In politics, authenticity can be a powerful trait, and it is one that sometimes has escaped Clinton. In her 2008 presidential campaign, despite some raw displays of emotion, she often came across as overly programmed.

    How many ways can a WaPo writer euphemize "she's really phony"?

    Hillary is the Oakland, California of candidates: other than an overwhelming appetite for power and wealth, there is no there there.

Last Modified 2017-11-29 2:12 PM EDT