The Phony Campaign

2015-05-31 Update

[phony baloney]

After a few weeks' absence, Joe Biden struggles back into the phony poll, with the PredictWise oddsmakers putting him at a 2% probability of being Our Next President.

This gives our poll an even split: 4 Dems, 4 Gops.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 898,000 -152,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 493,000 +92,000
"Martin O'Malley" phony 414,000 +314,800
"Rand Paul" phony 216,000 -168,000
"Scott Walker" phony 157,000 +55,000
"Joe Biden" phony 144,000 -
"Marco Rubio" phony 129,000 +23,000
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 95,000 +9,200

  • One of my favorite fiction writers, Carl Hiaasen, is quite put out: "Jeb Bush raises tons of money, loses credibility"

    The following words were actually spoken last week by Jeb Bush’s non-campaign spokesperson: “Governor Bush is actively exploring a run. He has not made a final decision.”

    Every grownup in America knows this is a lie.

    Good point. It's a legal fiction designed to tap-dance around the arcane financing rules imposed on declared candidates. As long as he's not official, Jeb can raise money for his Super PAC.

    Trivia: You can see the Federal Election Commission's list of the—as I type—356 declared candidates here. Of the eight names above, four appear in the FEC list: (Clinton, Paul, Rubio, Walker); four are absent (Bush, O'Malley, Biden, Warren). Considering the latter group, my guess is that O'Malley's official FEC Form 2 Statement of Candidacy is in the mail. There's a pretty good chance that neither Biden nor Warren will run. So what's Jeb waiting for? (Some sober analysis here.)

    By the way: It's easy to dismiss 345 or so of those FEC-declared candidates as "delusional". And, I confess, I was about to do that. But if we're going to start picking apart candidates on their personality traits and psychological abnormality…

    Oh, wait a minute that's what we do here. So, yeah: delusional.

    Back to Hiaasen: he picked a mighty convenient time window in which to make his complaint about Jeb. Hillary announced on April 13, and before that she was in the same position Jeb is now. Where was Hiaasen then? And Jeb is expected to declare in a couple weeks, after which Hiaasen's point would be moot.

    And note that declared candidate Hillary continues to personally court donors for Super PAC "Priorities USA". Given Hiaasen's sputtering outrage at Jeb's Super PAC antics, you'd expect at least a mention of that. Instead, crickets. Or, for Hiaasen, swamp cicadas.

    This is why I pretty much stick to the fraction of Hiaasen's writing that's explicitly labeled "fiction".

  • In 2006, Elizabeth Warren co-wrote a book that (among other things) decried as "myth" the notion that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly.”

    And—I bet you can see this coming—at National Review, Jillian Kay Melchior and Eliana Johnson detail how Senator Warren previously made big money by buying houses and flipping them quickly.

    If she runs, one of her campaign slogans will need to be: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do."

  • As many people noted this week, Hillary's fake southern accent reappeared, after a four-year absence, while campaigning in South Carolina.

  • Byron York covers Martin O'Malley's campaign announcement in Baltimore, miraculously unmarred by gunfire. Enjoy the identity politics:

    The first speaker was black, gay, and an illegal immigrant. The young man, Jonathan Jayes-Green, told the crowd that his family came to the United States from Panama legally — "in search of the American Dream" — when he was 13 years old. "But our path to that American Dream became complicated when our visa expired and we became undocumented," Jayes-Green said.


    One might think that with Jayes-Green's appearance, O'Malley had covered the gay marriage issue. Actually, no. The next speaker, Johns Hopkins student Joseph Weinstein-Avery, stressed that he was just an everyday Baltimore guy — "I love my Orioles and my Ravens" — going to school and hoping to enter public service some day. "I'm a grandson, a son, a nephew and a friend," Weinstein-Avery said. "I'm your next door neighbor's kid — all thanks to the job that my two moms did raising me."

    Yes, I am talking about the hyphenated last names. Democrats are totally pandering to the hyphenated-last-name voters.