The Phony Campaign

2023-03-19 Update

Let's lead off this week with Jack Butler's description of Coach Kamala's Cringe Catastrophe. Made available in a tweet:

Ye Gods. I really can't improve on Jack's take:

This is not just another politician trying — and spectacularly failing — to show an affinity for sports. (I’m looking at you, Mayor Pureval.) It is some weapons-grade cringe. Howard University’s basketball team may take months to recover from exposure to it. Teams in the vicinity likely had their motivations reduced in the fallout. Indeed, it may have transcended the space–time continuum and canceled out some of history’s greatest locker-room pep talks. One hopes that readers and other innocent bystanders are spared from its deleterious effects.

And you just might want to click over to watch "40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes".

On to the phony standings. We bid farewell this week to Governor Gavin Newsom, who (according to EBO) has fallen below our 2% inclusion threshold. Nikki Haley's still hanging in there, though:

Candidate EBO Win
Hit Count
Ron DeSantis 22.0% +0.4% 5,970,000 +320,000
Pete Buttigieg 2.1% -0.5% 2030000 +380,000
Donald Trump 20.9% -1.7% 1,100,000 +70,000
Kamala Harris 3.0% +0.1% 722,000 +633,400
Joe Biden 30.0% +0.2% 352,000 +33,000
Nikki Haley 2.2% +0.1% 124,000 +8,000
Other 19.8% +3.4% ---- ----

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

Note that I've added an "Other" line, showing the betting market's accumulated (and cash-backed) wisdom that, surely, someone else will ride over the horizon on a white horse, declare their candidacy, and be lifted onto the collective shoulders of a grateful and relieved electorate, and sent into the White House on January 20, 2025.

Hey, it could happen.

Details on that, if you care: "Other" is just obtained by subtracting the shown probabilities from 100%, So that number includes

  • people shown at EBO with a less than 2% probability (e.g, Pence, Pompeo, Newsom, Noem, …)
  • people unlisted at EBO, but being bet on nonetheless (Youngkin, Kanye, Williamson, even Sununu, …)

In other phony news:

  • There's more Kamala news! American Thinker's Monica Showalter describes When love congeals: Kamala Harris not returning Elizabeth Warren's phone calls.

    Once upon a time, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren were the best of buddies, the gushiest of pals, Ginger and Maryann, Laverne and Shirley, Thelma and Louise, their very own two-phony mutual admirational society.

    Now Harris isn't taking Warren's phone calls, according to CNN:

    Elizabeth Warren has called twice to apologize. Over a month later, Kamala Harris hasn’t called back.


    Well, Kamala's been busy, composing locker room speeches.

    Not that it matters, but at EBO, Elizabeth Warren is one of those listed "Others", coming in with a 0.2% chance at the presidency. That likelihood is nowhere near low enough to calm my nerves.

  • Goodness knows, I am no Trump fan, and neither is Andrew C. McCarthy. But he's all in a lather about Progressive Democrat Bragg’s Motivation in Nakedly Political Indictment of Trump.

    Progressive prosecutor Alvin Bragg’s impending criminal prosecution of Donald Trump is a disgrace, as a matter of due process and good governance. Rich is right that it’s good for Trump’s political fortunes, at least in the short term. We shouldn’t lose sight, though, that it is good for Democratic political fortunes in the long term.

    Obviously, Trump does not merit immunity from prosecution just because he is a former president, a current presidential candidate, and an influential political figure with a devoted base of millions. Yet no former president and substantial candidate should be the target of a criminal prosecution, especially by the opposition party, unless the matter is truly serious — unless it would be treated as felony conduct if it were committed by anyone.

    Besides Bragg’s investigation, we have carefully covered the pending probes of the former president in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his illegal possession of classified documents. Those are extraordinarily serious matters. We can agree or disagree about the legal theories that prosecutors may pursue; and we should watch carefully whether, on the classified documents, Trump is afforded equal protection of the law given that President Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, among others, have engaged in similar conduct with (so far) impunity. Nevertheless, if Trump were indicted for, say, obstructing Congress on January 6, 2021, or obstructing the grand-jury investigation of his hoarding of secret intelligence at Mar-a-Lago, no one could credibly claim that these were (pardon the pun) trumped-up cases, even if the decision to charge them is politically fraught.

    Not so with the Stormy Daniels caper.

    Also see McCarthy's pouring of cold water on the eagerly anticipated Tuesday "arrest" of the Donald. His claim: Trump’s Claim of Tuesday ‘Arrest’ Is Highly Unlikely. Okay, we'll see. Whatever happens, I'm stocked up on popcorn.

  • As reported by Karen Townsend at Hot Air: Biden's first interview on ‘Daily Show’ set to air - he comes prepared with a phony story about gay men.

    Biden went into storytelling mode. “I can remember exactly when my epiphany was…” he began. He said he was a senior in high school. His father was dropping him off at school. He said that while sitting in the car, he looked to his right and saw two well-dressed men in suits kiss each other goodbye as they headed in opposite directions to work. He said he looked at his father and his father said, “Joey, it’s simple. They love each other.” Then he said, “I’m not joking” to [Daily Show interviewer Kal] Penn. That’s the giveaway. That is a Biden tell. When he is off in fantasyland and telling a whopper about a life experience, he always says, “I’m not joking.”

    It has to be a whopper. When Biden was a senior in high school, if he was an 18-year-old senior, the year was 1961. Were two gay men openly kissing in Delaware in 1961? I doubt it. The way Biden told the story, it wasn’t a quick peck of a kiss. It was a KISS. The Stonewall Riots weren’t until June 1969 and that time has been called the catalyst for the gay rights movement. Penn, an alum of the Obama administration, just took Biden’s story as the truth, he didn’t ask any questions to challenge him on his epiphany.

    Sheesh, I remember when Kal Penn was on House. He was good, until the writers had him commit suicide. Now he's doing softball questions on a not-funny comedy news show?

  • I'm pretty sure Jonah Goldberg was never on House, and he has no shot at interviewing Biden, but he has interesting observations nonetheless: The Mind’s Lies. An incomplete list:

    While I think Donald Trump consciously lies more than any public figure in my lifetime, I think Biden unconsciously lies more than any public figure I’ve ever seen. Some are just old man stories, like his claim that in the second congressional baseball game he showed major league promise when he hit a 368 foot single.

    But other stories are weirder and more significant. He’s claimed, many times, that he was arrested in South Africa along with Andrew Young and Nelson Mandela. It never happened. As Young told the New York Times, “I was never arrested and I don’t think [Biden] was, either.”

    More than once, he’s insisted that he was arrested marching with civil rights protesters in the 1960s. Last year he told an audience in Atlanta, “I did not walk in the shoes of generations of students who walked these grounds. But I walked other grounds. Because I’m so damn old, I was there as well. You think I’m kidding, man. It seems like yesterday the first time I got arrested.”


    He frequently claims he went to a black church during the civil rights era and organized marches. Almost surely, nah-ah. He’s said he did legal work for the Black Panthers and fought to desegregate movie theaters. Not true.

    And more, including The Tale of Uncle Frank's Purple Heart. Jonah wonders at the psychology involved.

  • We've never had a president named "Mike", and it looks like two of them are thinking about running. One of them draws Jonah Goldberg's (yes, again) fire for phoniness: Pence Tries to Have It Both Ways Regarding January 6.

    On Saturday night, Mike Pence unleashed his anger at Donald Trump.

    “History will hold Donald Trump accountable for January 6,” Pence declared at the Gridiron Dinner, a normally jovial event for prominent journalists. “Make no mistake about it: What happened that day was a disgrace, and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way. President Trump was wrong. His reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day.”

    Now, Pence is right to be angry about January 6. Trump put his exceedingly loyal vice president in a horrible position: Be faithful to the president and his base or be loyal to the Constitution and the country.

    This was, no doubt, a painful choice for Pence. And Pence did the right thing by refusing to play along with Trump’s scheme. But it’s worth remembering that Pence’s decision on January 6 was shocking to a lot of people because he spent four years being a loyal cheerleader for Trump, through the president’s countless scandals.

    It’s also worth remembering that, really, it was the least Pence could do.

    Jonah winds up with: "Shouldn’t someone running for president be able to tell the truth—and vent his anger—without so much hemming and hawing and political calculation?"

    And, as always, it's worth asking "Compared to who?"

Last Modified 2023-10-29 7:09 AM EDT