The Phony Campaign

2015-05-10 Update

[phony baloney]

We say buh-bye to Martin O'Malley (again) this week, as the PredictWise guys have dropped his presidential probability under our arbitrary threshold of 2%. Joe Biden is still hanging in there, though:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 767,000 +7,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 390,000 -29,000
"Rand Paul" phony 170,000 -9,000
"Joe Biden" phony 137,000 -5,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 105,000 -8,000
"Scott Walker" phony 98,800 -10,200
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 75,200 -4,000

Announcing their candidacies this week were Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Magic Mike Huckabee. The oddsmakers behind PredictWise's probabilities remained apparently unshaken by this news.

(Aside: At EconLog, Scott Sumner points to evidence that betting markets did a far more accurate job of predicting the outcome of this week's British elections than did the pundits and pollsters. That's why we use them here.)

  • A truly fascinating mindset is revealed by Rory Campbell at the Guardian, attempting to reconcile Hillary Clinton's populist topple-the-one-percenters campaign message with her schmoozing of billionaires and (mere) multi-millionaires for campaign cash. Never mind her bemoaning of Super PACs while near simultaneously endorsing "Priorities USA", a Super PAC backing her. A San Jose State University professor of politics is quoted:

    “It’s the reality of these times. You have to play dirty to get there and clean up. Clinton is a pragmatic politician and wants to win. There will be criticism but I think people are realistic.”

    All indications this was said totally in earnest, with no laugh track. Expect to see variations on this theme for the next 547 days or so…

  • In other news, the Republican National Committee dug out a 2003 radio interview with Hillary, where she assured listeners that she was "adamantly against illegal immigrants", bemoaning the view from her limo of "loads of people waiting to get picked up to get yard work, and construction work, and domestic work".

    As with other issues, she's now singing a different tune. Nothing new here: she will say and do whatever she thinks necessary to get elected. The MSM will yawn, and so will many voters.

  • Ruben Navarrette's recent column shows just how shallow and stupid "respected" political journalists can get. Case in point is Mark Halperin's recent interview with Ted Cruz. It started off OK …

    But then Halperin made it personal, and the interview careened into a ditch. He told Cruz that people are curious about his "identity." Then, the host asked a series of questions intended to establish his guest's Hispanic bona fides. What kind of Cuban food did Cruz like to eat growing up? And what sort of Cuban music does Cruz listen to even now?

    I've known Ted for more than a decade and I could tell he was uncomfortable. But he played along, listing various kinds of Cuban food and saying that his musical taste veers more toward country.

    I kept waiting for Halperin to ask Cruz to play the conga drums like Desi Arnaz while dancing salsa and sipping cafe con leche -- all to prove the Republican is really Cuban.

    In (slight) defense, Halperin can be perceptive, as when he called President Obama a "dick" on MSNBC. (He apolgoized nearly immediately for his unthinking honesty, however.)