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The senator's attempt to convince the public that he is not interested in running for a second term is ______ given the extremely ______ fund-raising activities of his campaign committee.
A. futile .clandestine
B. sincere . . visible
C. specious . . apathetic
D. disingenuous . . public
E. straightforward . . dubious

I checked the transcript. The answer is D. But I doubt it. I think "A. clandestine" would be much better than "D. public", since we are talking about lying to the public here.
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Dear Jeff999,

If his fund-raising activities were «clandestine», they would not conflict with his attempt to convince the public that he is not a candidate.

His attempt to convince the public that he is not a candidate would therefore not be «futile».

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

Goldmund
A futile attempt to convince the public means the attempt has no chance of succeeding. Clandestine operations have an unknown effect on those chances. In fact, if the fund raising is clandestine (done in secret) the senator may in fact succeed in convincing the public of what he is saying.

Oops, Goldmund, I was writing at the same time. Took me longer to put the period down.
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Thank you.

But clandestine operations can be exposed, right?

In my viewpoint, the senator was trying to lie to the public that he wouldn’t run for a second term, because he hoped this trick would help him win the election. However, his underground fund-rising activities were unexpectedly exposed, so people know that he was lying, which causes his trick to be busted.
Jeff, you could certainly develop a story around it.

But the sentence might then have been written, 'The senator's attempt to convince the public that he is not interested in running for a second term is futile given the exposure of what has been extremely clandestine fund-raising activities of his campaign committee.'
Emotion: smile But don't you think "public" sounds not that rational?

Since the fund-raising activities were public, why did the senator still have to lie to people? It is obvious he is going to run the next term, and he knew exactly that people knew he is going to (since the activities were public), but he still attempt to lie. Is the senator insane? Unless the senator thought his fund-raising activities were still unknown (but actually exposed), he would try to lie.
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It's just something politicians get away with too often. Are you familiar with the phrase: 'Pull the wool over [someone's] eyes'?
I am. It means to deceive or to conceal the truth. hmmm, talk about the brazenly public liar here.
In one form or another, to one degree or another, it floods the airways here during any political campaign.
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