The Phony Campaign

2008-02-04 Update

We got rid of another two rows in our phony table, those for Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards. Senator Edwards was our most reliable go-to guy, phonywise, and he will be missed.

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Ron Paul" phony257,000+51,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony219,000-14,000
"Barack Obama" phony170,000+2,000
"John McCain" phony164,0000
"Mitt Romney" phony143,000-6,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony116,000-9,000

  • Ron Paul jumps out to a big lead once again. But it's not all due to an increased perception of Ronulan phoniness. For example, Juliet Eilperin, blogger extraordinaire for the Washington Post was recently at a McCain campaign event where a Ron Paul rally broke out. She spoke to one Todd Haupt ("who lost his real estate business last year and now sells health drinks"):

    … Haupt -- a registered Republican who lives in St. Peters, Mo. -- made it clear that he sees McCain as a phony.

    "McCain is another President Bush. He's not what he says," he said, ripping into one of the senator's most frequent linguistic habits. "I hate when he says, 'My friends.' McCain is not my friend."

    Todd has a low threshhold for phoniness. More power to him.

  • The LA Times quotes former President Clinton trying rather desperately to tap into the isn't-partisanship-awful rhetoric that's previously been Senator Obama's exclusive shtick:

    "We have to find a way to choose without division," Clinton told congregants at Brookins Community AME Church in Leimert Park. "To disagree without discord. To celebrate the shattering of all these phony categories that have kept Americans apart too long."

    As phony-watchers, we appreciate Bill's newfound aversion to divisiveness, which marks a welcome change from … oh, his entire political career up until yesterday. Bill's awarded double bonus phony points for transparently phony oratory that actually includes the word "phony".

  • And as for the Mrs.: in full "let's see if we can fool 'em twice" mode, she's crying again. Harry Katherine Mam is appropriately cynical:

    She might as well have been wearing a neon sign over her head saying "Women voters, look here for empathy and new, improved, life-like feelings!" I say the tears are just like a talking point; she keeps repeating them for newcomers to the race.

    Pun Salad's motto—well, one of them, anyway—is: "When in doubt, assume phoniness."

  • But what about Saint/Senator Obama? Well, Steve Chapman is getting whipsawed; his fatal mistake was to pay way too much attention to what Obama was saying on the marijuana issue:

    On Thursday, The Washington Times reported that in 2004, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Obama came out for decriminalizing marijuana use. That usually means eliminating jail sentences and arrest records for anyone caught with a small amount for personal use, treating it more like a traffic offense than a violent crime. But in a show of hands at a debate last fall, he indicated that he opposed the idea.

    When confronted on the issue by the Times, however, the senator defended his original ground. His campaign said he has "always" supported decriminalization.

    It's a brave position, and therefore exceedingly rare among practicing politicians. Which may be why it didn't last. Before the day was over, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying he thinks "we are sending far too many first-time non-violent drug users to prison for very long periods of time" but "does not believe that we should treat offenses involving marijuana with a simple fine or just by confiscating the drug." Recently, he had told a New Hampshire newspaper, "I'm not in favor of decriminalization."

    Anyone else reminded of that old Miller Lite commercial with Billy Martin? "I feel very strongly both ways."

  • And Clayton Cramer is even less forgiving of Obama on gun issues:

    He was here in Boise over the weekend for a rally, and emphasized that he is not trying to take anyone's guns. He's a liar.

    The link goes to a page that includes the Obamanian quote: "I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities." Doing that without taking anyone's guns? Senator, that's phony!

  • Ah, but can we let Mitt Romney go unscathed here? No. Read the Instapundit on Romney and savor Glenn's usual understated conclusion: "I'm beginning to question his sincerity."

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