The Phony Campaign

2023-05-14 Update

So Donald Trump came up to New Hampshire for a CNN "Town Hall" last week and…

No, that's a "parody". Anderson Cooper did not actually say that. But, yes, Trump actually did repost that phony video.

Donald Trump's pilling on CNN in the wake of his town hall by posting a doctored clip of Anderson Cooper saying Trump owned CNN during the event ... but with far more colorful language.

Trump is clearly relishing the fact CNN is getting tons of blowback from the left for giving him a platform -- and he spiked the football with this fake video of Anderson reacting to the end of the town hall. As the crowd roars for Trump, you see Anderson say "That was President Donald J. Trump ripping us a new ass****."

Put politics aside, for just a moment, and the clip is pretty hilarious. However, it's also a stark reminder of just how petty and self-congratulatory Trump can be.


There are no changes to our phony lineup this week, and only one minor change in the standings: RFK Jr and Michelle Obama switched places:

Candidate EBO Win
Hit Count
Ron DeSantis 14.1% unch 8,390,000 +920,000
Donald Trump 26.9% +0.3% 1,060,000 -30,000
Joe Biden 36.6% +1.6% 368,000 +13,000
Robert Kennedy Jr 4.5% +0.4% 193,000 +16,000
Michelle Obama 2.7% unch 161,000 -18,000
Kamala Harris 2.3% -0.5% 107,000 +4,000
Other 12.9% -1.8% --- ---

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • Although new assholes were not actually ripped… Jim Geraghty scores the bout: Trump’s TKO against CNN.

    Last night’s “town-hall meeting” turned into a nationally televised live Trump rally, with intermittent questions from moderator Kaitlan Collins that the former president brushed off, mocked, and ignored. Instead, Trump offered the live audience and those at home an auditory version of his Truth Social rants, bulldozing over Collins’s objections.

    Meridith McGraw of Politico reported that the audience “was mostly made up of Republicans who offered cheers and a standing ovation to Trump tonight. Last week, CNN invited the New Hampshire GOP and other state groups to help fill the audience per an email that was passed along.”

    The result was an extremely pro-Trump audience at Saint Anselm College. Trump won the New Hampshire primary back in 2016 by almost 20 percentage points more than the second-place finisher, son of a mailman John Kasich. In 2020, 365,654 New Hampshire voters cast their ballots for the incumbent, and the people who showed up last night appeared to rank among Trump’s most ardent fans in the state. I suppose if you’re skeptical or not a fan of Donald Trump, you don’t drive somewhere on a Wednesday night to watch him answer questions for an hour.

    Our state's governor, Chris Sununu, didn't appreciate Trump's derogatory references to E. Jean Carroll:

    “It was embarrassing,” Sununu told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki in an interview set to air Sunday.

    “The audience was absolutely filled with Trump supporters, so I wasn’t surprised to hear the support,” he said. “But when you’re talking about a serious issue like that, and laughter and mocking and all that, it’s completely inappropriate, without a doubt.”

    The interview will be on MSNBC at noon today, for you masochists.

  • Poor Michelle. If Michelle actually decided to run for president, she'd be a very credible candidate, despite her lack of actual experience. Unlike some other candidates, she's not obviously crazy or demented, she's relatively young, and the mainstream media love her. In fact, we have to go back to 2020 to find the question Kyle Smith asked, and we're still wondering about: What Does Michelle Obama Have to Complain About?.

    There’s a curious joy deficit in Michelle Obama’s video memoir Becoming, the Netflix documentary produced by her and her husband. As she glides from one beautiful space to another, surrounded by beautiful and famous people, with beautiful daughters and a beautiful bank account and much else to be grateful for, the viewer keeps waiting for her Flounder moment: Oh, boy, is this great!

    Instead, the tone is mostly dour, pained, even somber. I suspect (and hope!) that, off-camera, the Obamas are a bit more full of joie de vivre than Michelle Obama is in this film, which is largely a litany of complaint. She says she felt so much pressure to be perfect for eight years in the White House that when it was over she let the dam burst by crying for half an hour (half an hour?) when she and her husband departed on Air Force One. She talks about the various times she feels she was targeted by racism, exaggerating what actually happened. She walks us through her press coverage, which she finds indescribably unfair and hurtful.

    She is, however, so bereft of examples of nasty media attention to cite that two of the examples she shows us are ironic, i.e. the joke is on her detractors. One of them is a cover story in the (left-wing) magazine Radar that asked, wryly, “What’s So Scary about Michelle Obama?” (The underlying story, by Ana Marie Cox, made it clear that there was nothing scary about Michelle Obama.) Another is the famous New Yorker cartoon cover that depicted Barack Obama in traditional Muslim dress and put Michelle Obama in an Afro, with an assault rifle and a bandoleer on her chest, as an American flag burned in the fireplace. The Obamas complained about this at the time and many pointed out that a) The New Yorker has always been a vociferous supporter of the Obamas and b) the cartoon was portraying an obviously fanciful image of the Obamas that existed solely in the fever dreams of right-wingers. The New Yorker itself hastened to explain the joke at the time, which must have been painful for that institution.

    She thinks of herself as a victim. Not an attractive quality in someone who's lived a more privileged life than (at least) 99% of Americans of any race.

  • Also: Bats. Bonkers. Daft. Loco. Unhinged. Just a reminder from John Hinderaker: RFK, Jr. Is Crazy. Quoting the NYPost:

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. doubled down Monday night on his claim that the Central Intelligence Agency was behind the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy.

    The Democratic presidential candidate appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” and discussed the 1963 murder of the 35th president.

    “There’s millions of pages of documents — of, uh, CIA documents, of, uh, transcripts, of recorded conversations from, uh, the Cuban embassy in, in Mexico City, from — it’s hard to summarize the evidence,” Kennedy, 69, told host Sean Hannity.

    Comments Hinderaker:

    Yes, there are millions of pages of documents. And they contain not a shred of support for the Left’s conspiracy theories. There are recorded conversations from the Cuban embassy in Mexico City because Lee Oswald, a Communist who thought the USSR had gone soft, went there in an attempt to contact his hero Fidel Castro.

    It almost makes me wish for Junior to become president so we can witness the pitched battle between the White House and the CIA over this.

    Not for the first time, I'll remind us that presidential candidates are likely to be several sigma off the mean on any number of psychological/personality traits. It's a judgment call on how/whether some combination thereof will wander into Crazytown.

  • Among other things. Jim Geraghty [again, sorry] sounds a little peeved at having to point this out: Joe Biden Lies About the National Debt, and Everybody Yawns.

    President Biden, offering an update on the debt ceiling negotiations, [May 8]: “I might note parenthetically: In my first two years, I reduced the debt by $1.7 trillion.  No president has ever done that.”

    As you likely know, this is not even close to true. When Biden took office January 20, 2021, the national debt was $28.4 trillion. The national debt is now $31.4 trillion, an increase of $3 trillion.

    Biden has made similar false boasts and claims during his presidency with metronomic frequency. And it may surprise you that almost every fact-checker has, at least once, called Biden out for these false boasts about reducing the debt. CNN, Newsweek, the Washington Post,, PolitiFact — Biden repeats these inaccurate numbers often enough that just about all of those fact-checkers have felt obligated to come out at one point or another and say, “no, Biden does not have his numbers correct.”

    Geraghty's observation: "Why do politicians lie so much? Because most of the time, there’s no discernable negative consequence."

Last Modified 2023-05-14 10:00 AM EDT