The Phony Campaign

2015-04-26 Update

[phony baloney]

The skin-in-the-game bettors at PredictWise once again judge that Joltin' Joe Biden has a 3% shot of being our next president, over our arbitrary inclusion threshold of 2%. So…

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 979,000 -991,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 444,000 -67,000
"Rand Paul" phony 195,000 -32,000
"Joe Biden" phony 144,000 -
"Marco Rubio" phony 123,000 -37,000
"Scott Walker" phony 112,000 -2,000
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 83,000 -12,500

Still MIA: Ted Cruz (hovering around 1%). Carly Fiorina, who I understand is about to announce, has yet to appear in PredictWise's candidate list.

  • I don't understand why Hillary remains in such a consistent second-place to Jeb. Remarking on her phoniness seems to be a default topic for pundits, something to write about when you can't think of anything else. All within the past week:

    Gee. It's almost as if this sort of thing is becoming too easy.

  • Jack Shafer offers Hillary campaign advice, dropping this howler:

    Above all, you must be sincere, because if there is one thing the press can’t tolerate, it’s a phony.

    It's hard to believe, but I don't think he's kidding.

    Jack Shafer can be insightful, but here demonstrates a remarkable obliviousness. The press loves phonies. If it didn't—I think I've said this before—both Clintons would be, at best, mini-mall lawyers in Little Rock. (Making the generous assumption they would have avoided disbarment. Or jail.)

  • Here's something else I've said before: for the Clintons, dishonesty is the default setting. A New York Times reporter provided yet another confirming anecdote this week, reporting on Chappaqua meetings between Bill Clinton and offcials of KazAtomProm, the Russian uranium firm.

    “When I first contacted the Clinton Foundation, they denied any such meeting ever took place. And when we told them we have already talked to the head, who not only told us all about the meeting but actually has a picture of him and Bill at the home, that he proudly displays on his office wall, they then acknowledge the meeting had taken place.”

    "We apologize for lying. In our defense, we thought we could get away with it."

  • Brendan O'Neil notes Hillary's 2016 marketing strategy: to campaign "as a woman". Patronizing? Sure.

    But of course, that’s the card Hillary herself is playing. She uses the Twitter hashtag #GrandmothersKnowBest (one wonders if that will be printed on the side of the missiles she fires at errant states that dare to piss off Madam President). And her launch video was all about gender. Primarily featuring women – and of course containing a nod to gay marriage, for it is political suicide for any public official to fail to genuflect cravenly before this most orthodox of modern orthodoxies – her video is an identity-fest. It says nothing of policy – bar supporting families and being nice to working people – and instead tick-boxes all identities, especially gender ones. Young woman? Check. Ethnic woman? Check. Old woman? Check. Mexicans? Check. Gays? Check, check, check. Left-leaning observers are falling over themselves to pat Granny Hillary on the back for what one describes as her ‘shift in tone from 2008 to 2016’, where she will now be ‘running as a woman’. In 2008, she ran as a politician; in 2016, she will run as a woman. How, precisely, is this ‘shift in tone’ from defining a female candidate by her politics to defining her by her gender a positive thing?

    It's not, of course. But if your policies are tired rehashes of stale progressivism, and your record of accomplishment is worse than spotty, what are you gonna do? Market your chromosomes, that's what. Just ask the current occupant of the Oval Office for advice on that.

  • Once you read Jonah Goldberg's observation about GOP candidates' proclivity for “reading your stage direction”, you start to notice it everywhere. Jeb Bush

    “I have to show my heart,” [Bush] said. “I have to talk about my life experience.”

    Or as his dad put it in Exeter in 1992: "Message: I care."

  • An amusing bit of phoniness was spotted this week by Mickey Kaus:

    On Sunday, Bob Scheiffer asked Marco Rubio if as president he’d sign his own “Gang of 8″ immigration bill. Rubio ducked, saying “That’s a hypothetical.” Yes, it is! A germane and highly informative hypothetical, which he should be able to answer. It’s his damn bill. He tried to foist it on us. Why won’t he tell us if he’d sign it? And if Rubio’s so keen on letting Republican primary voters know he’s learned his lesson, why isn’t the answer he gives simply “No, I wouldn’t sign it today”?