A Political Puzzler: Is Romney a Secret Super-rich Billionaire?

I don’t usually write about politics because I have burned out after years of caring too much and voting for people who never got on the ballot, much less elected. Also, too much of what passes for political discourse ends up just being two or more people trying to convince each other that they’re wrong. Boring and unproductive.

But this post isn’t about politics.

It’s about a search mystery that I stumbled on today, and I welcome anyone who can explain what happened and why.

It started when I went to do some research for one of the halloween costume ideas I’ve been toying with: a fancy-dress socialite representing the fictional, or real-but-secret, “Billionaires for Obamney” association.

This would be based on the folks I saw years ago who marched in a parade or something as “Billionaires for Bush OR Gore.” A little arch sociopolitical statement and a lot of fake fur and entitlement — what’ s not to like?

But first, I wanted to do a quick search and see if anybody was already using that name, and if so, what they were saying. Maybe I could snag a few bon mots for my character to toss out like some many pennies for the peasant children.

So I typed billionaires for obamney into my search engine of choice, DuckDuckGo. No real hits, meaning this wasn’t one of those ideas that everybody else had been talking about while I obliviated.

But wait — what’s that second result?

Okay. That’s kind of weird. But maybe that’s not Mitt’s real site! The first result, after all, is for a satirical Cafe Press shop selling poorly designed swag and not the website of an actual lobbying group.

Doing a quadruple-check showed that actually IS Mitt’s website, though.

Maybe this is a DDG quirk of taking some snippet completely out of context. Let’s see what Google says:

I started to get  nervous, like I was getting  a glimpse of the wizard behind the curtain. My conspiracy senses started tingling — or is that just what they wanted me to think was tingling?!

Time to get the word from the horse’s mouth. What would a search of Mitt’s own site reveal?

I left the address bar showing on this one, since the super-rich billionaire search phrase didn’t repeat on the page itself.

Pushing to the very limits of my webpage knowledge, I went back to Mitt’s main site and did a “view page source,” then a ctrl+F for super, rich, and billionaire. Maybe there was tucked-away metatext saying something like, “!Mitt Romney is not a super-rich billionaire” or the like.

But no.

And now, I am simply mystified. Where are these results coming from?

Now it's your turn

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