Chris Christie can scream at all the teachers he wants to without hurting his standing among the wingers. In fact, it probably helps among the wingers. So does all the mean stuff Romney people said about him in Game Changin’ II: Electric Bugaloo.
What could hurt Christie is spending too much time on the librul MSNBC network with noted RINOs like Joe Scarborough. Steve M:
My guess is that in 2016 he’s either going to win the nomination as a wingnut or lose it as the bipartisan huggy bear he’s turned himself into in the ads running relentless on local TV right now. He’s a few inches to the left of the GOP crazies right now, and I think he’s going to inch rightward after he wins — although he may spend too much time listening to Morning Joe pundits and stop before he goes all the way to the right. In which case he’ll lose.
I was wondering the other day when it was that Joe Scarborough became the king of all things independent centrist bipartisan, all things Halperinian, Burkean, Fournierian. After all, back in the day he was all about having quacks explain to us how Terri Schiavo was doing fine, how her husband might have tried to kill her, and so on. Then I realized that Operation Schiavo Freedom was led by serious people as much as by wingers. Halperin and Ambinder in 2005:
Simply saying that “Congress has no business here” does nothing to get those butterflies out of our collective stomach when we see the image of a smiling, very alive, woman in her hospital bed.[….]
Once again, clearing away the personal part, the Republicans are on the offensive and the Democrats are on the defensive. That’s a Notable fact.
The real danger in Christie’s palling around with establishment media elites isn’t just that wingnuts will see Christie chuckling with Mika and decide he’s an east coast phony, it’s that Scarborough and Halperin have terrible political instincts. They’ll have him cutting Social Security, keeping unfortunate brain-dead people on life support for years, and supporting all the other stupid, unpopular shit that everyone outside the “Morning Joe” greenroom opposes.
Overton Window. Morning Joe is the only show that can plausibly sit in the Broder throne since it’s on the liberal MSNBC, but features plenty of Republicans. Balance!
No other network can do it.
bored with Obama, the media turns its gaze to the exciting events of two and a half years from now.
The Tea Partiers have long memories (faulty, but long), so what they’ll remember come the 2016 GOP primary season is that Christie said nice things about and worked with Obama. He might as well be Huntsman or Hagel as far as they’ll be concerned. My money is still on Huckabee, if he wants it, he’ll be next in line. Santorum, as crazy as it sounds, is probably also a favorite because, again, the Republicans always pick the guy who is next in line.
I’m surprised about the negative stuff that’s just now appearing about Christie:
Has all this been a huge secret?
ETA: No joke intended.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Chris Christie automatically makes everything bipartisan by the huge gravitational pull he is able to exert on the other bodies in his orbit.
Not if you lived in Jersey.
If Christie somehow gets the nomination, we’re going to see so much Obama-Christie hug time.
The ads write themselves:
(Deep, serious voice): Barack Hussein Obama was the worst President America has ever seen…
(Montage of Darrel Issa hearings, and #Obamaquester hashtags)
And yet, who is his best friend?
(Montage of Christie and Obama on date)
Chris Christie worked with Obama.
Can America work with Chris Christie?
Vote Santorum/Gingrich/West/Perry/Other insane wingnut
Christie is just not going to play outside of the east coast as he is a rageoholic and that rudeness just isn’t appreciated in the rest of the country. Of course, the beltway media likes this asshole who berates his constituents as the media mistakes assholeness for being “macho”. Also, the guy is grossly obsese and is likely to keel over a month into the primaries. For those who say the lap-band surgery will solve his weight problem, lots of patients gain all their weight back plus some with the lap band or have other serious medical complications from the surgery,
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
No. What’s happened is some pie-in-the-sky leftie ponywisher is trying to muck up what should have been a bipartisan coronation of King Christie.
Christie’s centrist creds seem to be based primarily on the fact that he passed up an opportunity to let his state drown so that he could flip Obama the bird.
It’s a low bar these days for the GOP.
He’s every bit as anti-choice as a Mississippi Congressman.
You’re not emphasizing the “faulty” part enough, I think. They ran Romney last time despite his pro-choice, pro-gay, Obamacare-inventing credentials.
Huckabee = the base thinks he’s soft on crime and soft on immigration and the elites are afraid he’s a stealth not-completely-capitalist, so I don’t buy it.
Santorum. Yeesh. He’d be their nuttiest candidate since Goldwater. (Doesn’t mean I think they couldn’t do it, mind you).
Unless there is some kind of sea change like Dems REALLY screw up, or the GOP evicts the Tea Party… no that won’t work, how about the Tea Party abandons the GO… no that won’t work either…. Hmmm….
Christie is toast.
apparently his biggest accolades comes from the MSM who don’t see him treat the President as some kind of usurper in public . In other words, he was civil in public about the federal aid that his state received post Sandy and that apparently is a step up when compared to the rest of the Republican Party. His policies/politics are still stridently Republican, but NJ is still apparently hung over from the insider bacchanalia that was the Corzinne Governnorship and is willing to forgive equal transgressions from Christie because of the wonders of the self-identifying decision making electorate….
I don’t know how Huckabee could possibly win anything given the parole/subsequent mayhem problem he has. I don’t think he could be nominated or elected dogcatcher.
I did not think it was possible, but over the last month or so Morning Joe has actually gotten worse.
Joe is a jackass’s jackass. And, just what is Mika’s role? Enabler? Colmes had more fight than she does.
@KG: Also, Huckablee doesn’t appear quite as crazy as other winger candidates. Although, of course, he is.
I think Christie vs. Cruz could be the election that finally fractures the Reagan coalition.
Christie is a conservative who’s not completely insane, so the baggers don’t like him. Ted Cruz is a nutjob who led a shutdown of the government because “fuck you Obama! argle bargle!” and has made himself a rock star to the far right. I don’t see either of those egos settling for #2 on the other’s ticket.
Steve M. has been killing it lately. Bipartisan huggy bear is just awesome.
Santorum would be their nuttiest candidate EVER. Goldwater was more extreme relative to his party’s and the country’s politics of the time, but he would be a scion of moderation compared to Man on Dog if he was a GOP politician in this era (although he probably would have been teabagged out of his Senate seat by now).
Yeah, that could do it for sure.
It hinges on a couple things, like Cruz not completely self-destructing in the next few years like all these Not Romneys did in a few weeks… and, IMO, on both of them having enough of the Big Money behind them to enable them to last through the primary. Only way I can see that happening is if you have a breach among the big donors with the 100% batshit ideologues like the Kochs supporting Cruz, and the slightly more pragmatic donors (presumably based on Wall Street and otherwise in Christie’s neck of the woods) supporting Christie.
Yawn, Fat Bastard Christie. The new Scarah Failin. Now with more tonnage.
Bloggers gotta blog about something and when ball juicers like muckymux and Troll Doug need to get in their post quote they will get more mileage out of yet another pathetic “is he gonna run” post as anything else I guess.
Also, since when did anyone take Halperin serious post “This is good news for John McCain”? Also why does that always wrong fuck still have a job after being suspended from MSNBC for calling a sitting president “a dick”?
@askew: Plus they are even crankier with the new restrictions on their diets. Imagine a crankier Chris Christie?
@askew: I don’t get why the asshole thing sells. Seriously, who as the last blatant asshole elected president? I mean, McCain is probably the closest we’ve seen as a nominee in a while, and he is more of a “short tempered passive aggressive” type.
As for Huckabee, there are a few reasons why I think he’d win. First, he’s from the South. Second, he’s a “true” Christian for a good chunk of the base. Third, he’s run for president before, won a few states, and hasn’t been completely scorned. Fourth, he’s had the Fox New rehabilitation going for him the last 8 years or so.
ETA: what I’m saying about Huckabee is that he would satisfy a lot of the tribes that make up the GOP base, particularly in early primary states. He could win Iowa and South Carolina and then be off and running from there.
I prefer Charlie Pierce’s name for ‘Morning Joe.”
‘The Daily Squint.’
W had his moments. but, Nixon.
He’s got the “Shaq” endorsement so there’s no stopping him now. He’s like a runaway freight train (only slightly less massive).
@cleek: And right before him, Johnson.
Christie is the Giuliani of the next election cycle.
Most of the media establishment is based on the eastern seaboard. Consequently, they assume that the rest of the country shares their fascination with the dominant political figures from that region. It’s like in sports, when they assume that everywhere else stops what they’re doing for Yankees-Red Sox.
Mike in NC
Sure, but when they call George Will or Sean Hannity, they know their calls will be returned.
PS: Why is Christie suddenly the GOP darling for 2016? Did Ted Cruz fall off the face of the Earth? Fickle media.
Don’t misunderestimate the power of the faux-Daddy Conservative (TM).
@KG: Well, everyone knew that Richard Nixon was not much of a human being– certainly not, compared to Humphrey. And LBJ was… I’m at a loss for words here.
As for what Greater Wingnuttia thinks about Christie, all I have to do is look for the NewsMax push polls. Right now, Someone Has a Book to Sell about him.
@muricafukyea: And Durfs gotta keep on Durfin’. But hey keep it up they’re gonna realise your brilliant political acumen yet!
Or maybe you want to go back to trolling me under yet another nym. I’m good either way.
@KG: GWB was the fratboy kind of asshole: great at parties, fond of giving insulting nicknames to strangers, friendly if you overlooked his dickish qualities. But not the kind who drove everyone in his vicinity to hate him.
His father was very much not a blatant asshole, though he had his nasty side.
@cleek: W had his moments, to be sure (then again, most everyone does at one point or another), but in 2000, he never seemed like the type that would cuss someone out or even use the “bless his heart” line.
Nixon was before my time, and while I’ve read a lot about him, it didn’t seem like he was an asshole in 1960. Maybe by 1968, but even then, I don’t think we really saw it until he was in office. I remain of the opinion that the 1960 election had a major psychological impact on Nixon that fundamentally changed him. But I could be wrong about it. I could be entirely wrong about that.
@KG: Huck has a four dead cops in Washington that he’s indirectly responsible for problem. And he knows it. Plus sweet sweet Fox cash for babbling wingnut talking points is easier than running for office.
@MattF: fair enough on LBJ. Though would LBJ ever have been president if not for Lee Harvey Oswald?
@Matt McIrvin: my view of W might be shaded by the fact that I was a senior in college during most of the 2000 election. Being 22 years old, I didn’t necessarily see his sickish qualities as terrible because, well, that’s how life is for 22 year olds.
I wish this was true but fear that it isn’t. Rudy! failed to gain traction in the primaries because of his social liberalism. That won’t be a problem for Christie. The Obama-hugging thing will be a problem for him but nothing a few expletive-laced tirades against liberals couldn’t fix.
I just don’t think the extreme right-wingers are going to have much of a problem with Christie. Keep in mind, the last two cycles, the GOP nomination process has given us people who would be considered relative moderates (relative being the key word).
Frankly, a Hillary-vs-Christie matchup would be pretty interesting. It would be a lot closer than Hillary-vs-Cruz, in any case.
And still most of them manage to trip over it.
@KG: You might want to look at Nixon’s antics before he became VP. His ‘pink lady’ campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas would be a good place to start:
@KG: To be fair, Bill Clinton wasn’t far off from that personality type either. Though I get the impression that in his case, the dickish qualities were some combination of unbridled horndoggery and a short temper.
Whenever I hear Huckabee I think of a guy in my dorm in college. He’d make the most outrageous, out-front insane political pronouncements in a soft, calm, normal, reassuring voice, and damned if they didn’t sound almost reasonable. He could do it with anything — extraterrestrial sightings, past-life regression, whatever. He did it as a joke, but I think Huck means what he says … and he, too, sounds reasonable if you don’t stop and listen to the words. Scary.
“relentlessly.” Damn, I can’t type.
Someone I have mixed feelings about who would nevertheless be great fun to pair with morning Schmoe, and better yet would jump at the chance and is already in MSNBC’s stable would be Ed Schultz. Ed would take great joy in verbally smacking Schmoe into a rhetorical bloody pulp every morning, and wouldn’t shy away or back down from sharply challenging Joe’s bullshit. It would be even more fun if Rachael Maddow was the female not-so-sidekick (she’d be a kick all right, right smackl in Joe’s butt).
Of course, Joe and the producers at MSNBC know that, which is precisely why Joe has Mika and Willie as his sidekicks instead of Rachael Maddow and Ed Schultz.
Dream matchup which is even more impossibly unlikely, but which would be world-class fun:
Sean Hannity vs Rachael Maddow.
I’d even be willing to buy pay-per-view to see a couple of evenings of that. It would be like a sharp-clawed fearless cat versus a yappy small dog who’s all bark and no bite.
And I knew Halperin was a wingnut bootlicker, but I forgot that that extended to the Schiavo case.
Yeah, but they have to steer waaaaay to the right during the primary campaign, which bites them in the general. Christie is going to have to find some way around that.
He could at least avoid the mistake of choosing a photogenic far-right running mate just to generate some buzz around convention time, which both McCain and Romney did. (Come to think of it, George H. W. Bush did the same thing and won, though the general consensus was that it didn’t help him at all.)
Excellent article. I laughed when I read this part:
I cannot imagine what Obama must have been thinking. You know he can play the political game much better than the average politician and he had to be wondering if there was not something going on that he was unaware of because some of the decisions those guys made were beyond explanation.
@Tractarian: I admit that no one ever went broke overestimating the loathesomeness of the republican base voter but I still don’t think Christie is a shoo-in by any means. He is such an enormous asshole and he can’t really stop himself from lashing out at everyone around him. Sure, it helps him when the person he is attacking can be seen as “other”–whether thats gays, women, teachers, muslims or whatever. But on the campaign trail I think he will litter his stops with enormous insults and gaffes to the rubes and religious types who expect to have their egos stroked. And I really think that the gender gap in the way men vs women perceive him will make Romney’s gender gap look diminutive.
Yikes! That is scary. I know that I am 100% bitchier when I am on a diet.
@Flukebucket: That’s why the big dog said he was “lucky as a dog with two dicks”!
@Tractarian: One thing to consider against Christie, though, is this: has anyone ever seen him try and sell an idea? He comes across as being impervious to having them.
Christie is a lot like Giuliani, and made his reputation the same way — comes across an ass with a HUGE temper, then the one time they’re reasonable to everyone (9/11, Sandy) they look that much better for it. Neither one ever had an idea, or something that sounded really inspirational, and it’s tough to win the presidency without the appearance of those qualities.
There is a certain personality type in the right circumstances that can be successful and it seems to have a home here in the Northeast — ‘a-hole’ reads as ‘no-nonsense’, ‘lack of compassion’ reads as ‘tough’ in the right light. Typically it’s given enough room to breathe if the job is considered almost impossible to begin with — mayor of NYC, governor of New Jersey. It’s difficult, though, to have those be thought of as presidential qualities. It’s tough to hate everyone enough to get to run the country.
@KG: “who was the last blatant asshole elected president?”
LBJ – and he had Goldwater as opponent.
Not sure he was blatant. Maybe Truman. Silent Cal Coolidge? Hoover?
Woodrow Wilson was possibly a stuck-up asshole.
This far out, it’s kind of hard to tell what “next in line” will end up looking like. Santorum may fit the pattern of the last couple of election cycles, but by the time the rubber meets the road in 2016, Paul Ryan could look like he’s next in line instead, by dint of his VP slot on the last ticket. Or “next in line” could refer to an entire faction, if the Teahadis manage to wrest enough control of the base to have a generalized effect on the primaries. In that case, Ted Cruz might be the one who’s “next in line.”
As for Christie, count me among those who don’t think his Jersey schtick will play away from the East Coast.
@aimai: You made me realize a possible path for Christie – to be a super asshole towards Democrats. Republicans love that shit. If he took his assholishness to the next level, he may win over all the Teabaggers.
Still get crushed in the General, but hey, that still guarantees a trip on the Grifter’s Circuit.
in 2012 when one of the Midwest Governors said that maybe the GOP should back off on the Christian Lifestyle issues, he was kicked down HARD. This is the only way to beat that attack – frontal assault. It may work.
I think if the crazy far right unites on one guy, then that one guy will beat the money that will be behind Christie. The 2008 and 2012 GOP primaries never had a united crazy to defeat Romney and McCain. Cruz may have worked this out.
Nixon was alway a craven ratfvcker, but (IMO) the 1960 election convinced him that, while “everybody” in politics was secretly just like him, the Liberal Media wouldn’t punish a successful ratfvcker. He went from being a sneaky, sniveling little “My opponent is a pinko, right down to her underwear” weasl to unleashing a more-or-less public cadre of ratfvcking underlings, because that’s what the “nattering nabobs of negativism” respected. Badly as he damaged our country’s political processes — and I think not holding full South-African-style Truth & Reconciliaiton committees to flush all the CREEPster toxins out is at the root of most of the worst of our politics over the last 40 years — he did even more damage to the public media, because the lazy bastids decided they were better off assuming “everybody did it”…
@Cacti: Oh, my lord, yes. I was working my way up a mountain trail in Montana when I met a very un-outdoorsy guy in a Yankees cap coming the other way. I made a feeble joke about standing back to let him pass on the narrow trail despite his being a representative of the EE. He smirked and said, “Sox fan, huh?” I politely explained that actually the entire country, not just the Boston metropolitan area, actively hates the Yankees. He literally blanched — he had clearly never thought of this.
Please to google Helen Gahagan Douglas.
And didn’t we just have this discussion about Huckabee’s (non)electability last week? Or is the two hours of sleep I’m going on creating hallucinations?
@Mike in NC: “Why is Christie suddenly the GOP darling for 2016?”
Because he is going to WIN an election, in strong contrast to what Cuccinelli is going to do in Virginia.
Tangentially on-topic, Mr. Pierce’s latest appraisal of Joe Scarborough’s daily frat party, or as he has it, “The Morning Whorehouse”:
While Pierce’s principal target here is Grifter-for-Christ Ralph Reed, his description of Mika and Halperin’s banter, “like watching a seal and a goat recite Shakespeare” is a pearl of great price.
@aimai: Yep, not enough Jesus, and not as disciplined and whitebread as Mitt to get around that. I can’t imagine him getting through the primaries without pissing off evangelicals with some equivalent of a Jersey crotch grab. The Obama hug is probably enough to kill him.
@hoodie: I am not sure. Remember the speech that Charlie Pierce wanted Mittens to give to the GOP? The one where he says “I am it, shut up.” Naturally Mittens did not have the courage to give that speech.
I think Christie has read that one, and is planning to run on it. So that if he wins the GOP nom, he will owe NOTHING to the crazy christianist wing.
@Anne Laurie: All the way back in the 1970s with Watergate fresh in recent memory, I remember constantly hearing “Nixon just did the same things all politicians do; the difference is just that he got caught.” From self-declared liberals, even.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
I’m holding out for Double Wide: Game Change 2016
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Rand Paul and Grand Paul prolly practice dueling and seconding with each other.
To be fair, Nixon followed LBJ so it would have been easy to be a liberal and come to that conclusion.
@catclub: Well, if IRC Charlie Pierce’s Mitt didn’t have to actually give that speech, it was obvious to everyone. And Christie can give it or not but he can’t increase the evangelical and republican base. The bigger an asshole he is the less he will pull Democrats, women, and democratic leaning independents. He’s a niche market. He hasn’t hit the limits of his marketing appeal but he will pretty soon.
I am not a kook
I would probably deck the random asshole on a hiking trail who starts making comments about what I’m wearing.
@I am not a kook: That seems a bit extreme.
@KG: Nixon had a ruthless asshole problem going back to his earliest “Pink Lady” campaigns and his association with Joe McCarthy, who the GOP was still ashamed of in the ’60’s. My grandfather (born in 1902) was a seriously died-in-the-wool Union Club Republican who only voted against Nixon three times because he didn’t live in California and didn’t have more chances to do so. He was far too polite to call him an asshole, but he wouldn’t have argued with someone else who did on the merits.
Agreed, gawd knows I had my share (indeed, some would argue more than my share) of, hm, short term personality disorder moments when I was 21, 22. The problem with W – okay, one of the problems – was that in many ways he never grew out of that asshole frat boy persona, and that on top of having major league daddy issues.
Anyone who hasn’t listened to the episode of This American Life that discussed Christie’s work as a US Attorney shoudl do so immediately.
I’m sure that in the lead-up to the 2016 elections, the folks over at Reason who only care about civil liberties when a Democrat’s in the White House, will be insisting that Chris Christie is the obvious libertarian pick.
@dedc79: an excerpt:
No, I disagree with you. He was a bad guy. Once you find someone who is that basically amoral, then whether or not he was actually able to do it, that debate, which I have one opinion of and the defense has another opinion of, and maybe you have a slightly different opinion, who cares? I mean at the end, who cares? I don’t have a crystal ball. And I don’t know if this had fallen apart, what Hemant Lekhani. Lakhani would have done next.
So the question is, confronted with those realities, as an American law enforcement, what do we do? Do we ignore it, because we say, eh, maybe he could, maybe he couldn’t. Let’s see. Let’s see if he does. I’m just not willing to take that chance. And I think most Americans would say the same thing. Hemant Lakhani was willing to sell missiles to a person he believed to be a terrorist. Who expressly said he was going to use them to kill innocent people.
And so there are good people and bad people. Bad people do bad things. Bad people have to be punished. These are simple truths. Bad people must be punished, and so, he’s not just a guy with four beers in him at the corner bar, who says, yeah, if I could get a missile and I’d sell it to whoever if could make a buck. That’s not who we’re talking about here.
So let’s not minimize him either. He’s not Osama Bin Laden. But, you know, let’s not make him Elmer Fudd, either. All I know is that he’s not the kind of guy I want coming through Newark airport. He’s not the kind of guy I want in this country. That’s the kind of guy I want in federal prison. So that’s where he’s going to go.
And, at the end, that’s the success of the Lakhani case.
@Cacti: As someone who’s lived in California most of my life, this is painfully obvious. The village isn’t just about class and race, but also region.
The Schiavo case sickened me to no end. Why I am not surprised that an imbecile such as Halperin took the wrong side on that issue. And yet, he had the audacity to call the President the d-word.
Shorter Halperin: Terry Schavio is GREAT NEWS for McCain!
There isn’t a single issue Halperin can’t fuck up.