The Phony Campaign

2008-01-01 Update

It's a brand new year, and you'll be happy to know that you will continue to see frivolous and lazy political analysis from Pun Salad, very similar to that you can obtain nearly anywhere else.

The Pun Salad Difference: we're kind of up front about it. No predictions, no endorsements, no micro-dissections of the latest polling data, no effort to get the opinions of the masses, no jumping on the gaffes of our least favorite candidates. Well, unless that catches our fancy.

But we can google with the best of 'em. Let's see how our candidates are playing, phony-wise.

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Ron Paul" phony232,0000
"Hillary Clinton" phony229,000+6,000
"John Edwards" phony192,000+7,000
"Barack Obama" phony184,000-4,000
"Fred Thompson" phony167,000+3,000
"Mitt Romney" phony160,0000
"John McCain" phony153,000-1,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony145,000-4,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony133,000+5,000
"Dennis Kucinich" phony89,800-59,200

Ron Paul still leads, although Hillary is creeping up on him. And John Edwards, our favorite, has moved into third place over Obama. In recent phony news:

  • Our friend Doug at Granite Grok discusses the foreign policy pronouncements of Mike Huckabee, noting a recent story issued by the Iranian news agency FARS. Saith FARS, approvingly:

    In many points [Huckabee's] message on Iran is more akin to that of the Democrats: there is a need for dialogue with Iran, and more diplomacy is needed. He quoted the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, who authored The Art of War 2,500 years ago: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

    Doug isn't impressed that Huck is being perceived as taking up Democrat talking points here; he notes that "happens to play right into the 'Huck is a phoney conservative' meme that has gained traction with each passing day of scrutiny."

    We, of course, continue to be impressed with the gullibility of the MSM, even the Iranian MSM, who hasn't yet heard that Huckabee's "Sun Tzu" quote is a phony, actually from The Godfather Part II, voiced by Michael Corleone.

    I'm not sure a foreign policy guided by pithy one-liners from Francis Ford Copplola would be better or worse than one guided by pithy one-liners from Sun Tzu. Like Doug, I'm hoping we don't have to find out.

  • We haven't, so far, tracked phony hits for alleged candidate Bill Richardson. But Sean Higgins, reviewing Bill's campaign book for the American Spectator, detects real phony potential. Richardson's book is titled Leading by Example; it's pretty much the usual liberal line about energy and the environment, and offers up the usual liberal "solutions" of regulations, efficiency mandates, subsidies, taxes, etc. Sean notes:

    He grants the occasional exception to this rule, though: "I personally like a sport utility vehicle. I'm a big guy and I don't fit really well in smaller cars. I usually travel with security agents and staff. For a while we used the largest hybrid we could find, an Escape that Ford executives bent over backward to get for me in a tight market a few years ago."

    Unfortunately, that vehicle "turned out to be too small for me, my state security staff, and for one or two of my people, so now we use larger SUVs that can hold more people."

    In case you missed it, I repeat: the book's title is Leading by Example.

  • But our phony gem du jour comes from John McCain. I noted a new anti-Romney ad from McCain last night, which quoted from the famed "unendorsement" editorial from the Concord Monitor.

    The Concord Monitor writes, "If a candidate is a phony ... we'll know it."

    "Mitt Romney is such a candidate."

    Fine, that is (indeed) what they said. But Dean Barnett noted a ludicrous moment in a Sunday interview show:

    Appearing on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, John McCain also visibly tensed up when asked about Romney. Stephanopoulos mentioned McCain's latest ad which makes great sport of citing the Concord Monitor's proclamation that Mitt Romney is a phony. Stephanopoulos played some footage of Romney waxing indignant over the ad, and then asked McCain for his response.

    "Welcome to the arena," McCain snickered. "I didn't say those words. Those were the Concord Monitor's words."

    "Well wait a second," Stephanopoulos interrupted. "You paid for people to see those words calling him a phony. Do you think he's a phony?"

    McCain: "I paid for the ad to put up the words of the respected newspapers here in the state of New Hampshire and I think that's perfectly appropriate. Look, we're not going to get in a back and forth with Mitt Romney. We're going on with our campaign. I'm talking about the future ... We're moving on ... Frankly the voters of New Hampshire don't like this kind of negative campaigning, and they reject his negative ads."

    Stephanopoulos: "So you think he's a phony or you don't?"

    McCain: "No, I think he's a person who's changed his positions on many issues and the voters know that and they'll decide that, and I'll continue to quote from respected newspapers if necessary."

    Congratulations, Senator McCain. That's a really phony reply.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:16 AM EDT