Sometimes I get Bai-curious, because he’s less obnoxious than the other keepers of the flame of conventional wisdom, but I have to wonder now if he’s on the Christie payroll:
BAI: — [H]e’s the best pure retail candidate in the field. And that’s why I think “The Union Leader” endorsement does matter at this point, because I think the establishment does have to congeal somewhere and he’s got a lot of strengths as a candidate.
Bai also believes this was an amazing zinger:
Christie, in NH, with one my favorite lines in a while, on entitlements. "I said to Huckabee, 'Where's the money coming from, dude?'"
— Matt Bai (@mattbai) December 1, 2015
I’m guess Bai thinks it was a great line because Christie said “dude”, which is groovy hepcat slang, and more importantly because it involved cutting entitlements, which may be the Village’s number one fetish. It’s safe to say that the cutting entitlements is not reg’lar Americans number one fetish and that most would not know why this was such a cool thing for Christie to say. Atrios once wrote of the far right:
I’ve written before that I think part of the problem that conservatives/Republicans face is that their mythology has become a bit too complex for mere mortals (people who don’t listen to Limbaugh and read The Corner obsessively) to comprehend. They reference rogues’ gallery of enemies and various “bad things” that most people have never heard of.
Serious centrist pundits now face the same problem: their mythology has become too complex for most voters. That’s one of the many reasons that their opinions matter less and less.
I think Christie’s biggest problem within the GOP primary is that he comes across sort of like he’s “Trump Junior” in his wingnut bloviations. Why go with a pale imitation when you can the real fat, racist blowhard himself?
I’m glad Christie is the NH pundit pick because that knocks Kasich out. He had the potential to be a problem in Ohio, which I see as one of the stronger states for Clinton.
It’s December 2nd.
Trump is running first.
This tickles me.
We never got if off on that revolution stuff. What a drag. Too many snags.
Oh glob. Back to fawning over Christie for awhile. Is he even popular among rank and file Republican voters? I thought they all blamed him for Romney’s loss. But he does like to insult teaches and veterans, so that’s a plus.
I don’t know why but that’s one of my favorite songs to use in posts.
Jeb Bush is running out of answers
12/02/15 09:22 AM—UPDATED 12/02/15 09:25 AM
By Steve Benen
As Rachel noted on the show last night, Jeb Bush raised a few eyebrows at a campaign event in Iowa yesterday, speculating about a possible running mate. “Should I be elected president,” the Republican said, “I would have my vice president, I think she will be a great partner.” Smiling a bit, Bush joked, “Did I say that out loud?”
I suspect this is part of a clumsy strategy to get people thinking about him as an electable general-election candidate, who’ll be only too pleased to go up against Hillary Clinton with a Republican woman on his ticket.
Will this have the intended effect? It’s hard to say for sure, though it’s hard to blame the guy for trying – nothing else is working for Team Jeb. NBC News had an amazing report yesterday documenting the presidential candidates’ spending so far, and Bush and his allies have easily outspent every other campaign operation in both parties, but to no avail. The Florida Republican remains stuck in the mid-single digits in state and national polling.
Of course, there’s another way to look at this: Jeb may be hovering around 5% in the polls, but imagine where he’d be if his campaign and its allies hadn’t already spent roughly $29 million on his behalf.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Bush backers expected the Paris attacks to refocus the race, giving Jeb a possible boost as the public looked for mature, steady leadership. But with fresh evidence that Paris hasn’t improved Bush’s standing at all, there’s “a fresh round of hand-wringing and second-guessing” about the candidate’s future.
It was, but now they’re being offered real red meat racism, and they don’t need to settle for merely implying how people with darker skin are evil and deserve to suffer.
Why are political reporters such chumps? They aren’t funny or insightful, and still they appear to think they’re just awesome. I feel like 99.44% of the non-troll commenters on any random liberal-leaning blog are way funnier, way smarter, and probably way better looking than this field’s designated stars.
I think Bai’s analysis is spot on: Christie had a moment, a precious moment. Probably an entire nanosecond.
Rank and file Republican voters love the idea of cutting entitlements … as long as it’s other people’s entitlements that get cut. Their own entitlements are sacred.
Another Holocene Human
@Hal: He got nasty on a NJ police union leader and even the horrible RawStory commentariat wasn’t having it.
Hey, that strategy worked great for President McCain in 2008, so why not recycle it?
The Union Leader’s record of endorsements is not something that puts fear into ANY of Christie’s
opponents. I think they were Buchanan fans, also, Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich, Pete Dupont.
@FlipYrWhig: Bad as the Beltway blubbers are they are still better than the Indian media who won’t hold Modi’s feet to the fire but instead are content to take selfies with him.
So Jebbie’s signalling he’s gonna choose Graham?
Given the effect his spending has had so far, he’d probably be at – 5%.
I think they actually harm peoples’ sense of security with this. It amazes me that they don’t get it. Chris Christie identified “economic insecurity” as an issue in 2016. Then he goes out and threatens the ONE actually reliable fall-back people have.
68%! Karl Rove used to say that a “70% issue” was political gold. Attacking SocSec is worse than that. It isn’t an “issue”. It’s an actual ability to survive when they can no longer work. I think they should be called out as horrible bullies for threatening it. That alone.
Bai is just doing the contrarian cha-cha-cha. It’s an occupational hazard.
OT, I just discovered the ‘eight i’s dot com’ site:
What does “retail candidate” mean?
Bai is a centrist? The hell you say.
@Kay: Kasich is doing a bang up job knocking himself out. Paper tiger.
@Punchy: A retail candidate is a candidate who is good at retail politics, i.e. going to state fairs and random diners to talk to “real” voters (carefully screened of course). It involves shaking hands, patting babies on their head, and, as Bai thinks it applies to Christie, apparently also insulting people to their face.
Does better face to face than on TV. Usually used as shorthand for “more authentic”.
Liberal With Attitude
“Where’s the money coming from, dude?”
How do we know he wasn’t talking about the Defense budget?
Liberal With Attitude
@Mike J: Don’t forget the sun chapped Midwestern Daddy look.
We certainly saw this in the last Benghazi hearings, but this is much less true than many think. Whenever I’m with older consistently-voting relatives I’m always a little stunned by how much they reference Fox News.
Further, when your politics are tribal, there is no need to weave a vast web. Ultimately, when the message always comes back to, “entitlements=giveaways to black people” “democrats=minorities not real americans” there’s no need to ever talk about policy.
My take on why Beltway Media types opinions mean less and less is that we get information from more than 3 channels and 2 newspapers now. We can see the Beltway Media types are full of shit more than they aren’t now and the both-sides-do-it has become really stupid in this era of Republicans jumping off the cliff at the drop of anyone’s hat.
One time Matt Taibbi had some Very Serious Person (David Gergen, maybe?) confused. The latter thought he was Matt Bai, and the non-establishment-approved message MT was giving out didn’t jibe with Matt Bai’s position in the Village.
“I’m guess Bai thinks it was a great line because Christie said “dude”, which is groovy hepcat slang,”
Much like how they swooned over Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “Don’t be economic girly man” during the 2004 convention. That’s right, really impressed by the use of a 15 year old catch phrase
Just One More Canuck
@FlipYrWhig: “Balloon Juice – the Ivory Soap of blogs!”
What the hell is a ‘retail’ candidate?
Mike in NC
Outlaw Jersey Whale should regard the Manchester Union Leader endorsement as a net negative, since 99% of the country have never heard of it.
The television man is crazy
Saying we’re juvenile delinquent punks
Man, who needs TV when we got T. Rumps
Hey, brother you guessed, I’m a bro-dude
Gin & Tonic
@Mike in NC: The Union Leader ceased to be relevant the moment Bill Loeb left this mortal coil on his very well-deserved pathway to Hell.
Bai, like many of the VSPs in the elite Media Village takes it as carved in stone that to be a serious person you have to want to destroy entitlements. As Matt Yglesias wrote in Slate back in 2014, the Powers that Be really, really hate Social Security. http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/12/19/the_powers_that_be_hate_social_security_here_s_why.html Hence one of their biggest problems with Trump is not is racism or bigotry, but his saying that Social Security is off limits. And Christie, more than any other candidate, has come out for “reforming” social security and Medicare. Matt Bai has been firmly in favor of cutting social security for many years, because he all the other serious people, for whom Social Security is not much more than tip money, think it is bad for our economy. https://ourfuture.org/20100826/in-nyt-matt-bai-attacks-social-security
@Frankensteinbeck: America’s dogs breathe a collective sigh of relief as the RW finally tucks their whistles away and heaves it all out into the open.
I lift the following quotes about Ted Cruz from the New Republic about why even the Trump haters prefer Trump over Ted Cruz.
“….Cruz is not a popular guy among his colleagues. This seems to hold true throughout his career. A couple years ago, his freshman roommate at Princeton said he’d rather vote for a random name from the phone book. Today, Matthew Dowd, who worked with Cruz on George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, tells the Times that if you gave veterans of that campaign “truth serum,” they’d rather vote for Trump than Cruz. Another Bush 2000 staffer said: “Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time.” https://newrepublic.com/minutes/124926/even-gop-establishment-wants-nothing-gop-establishment
Being a very old fart, I note that very similar comments were made about Richard Nixon and that being widely disliked did not keep him from becoming President.
There’s a broader disconnect w/r/t Christie and the MSM. The mostly East Coast journalists like him because he’s their closest peer among the candidates. He’s from the NY area, well off but not fabulously wealthy, not a bible thumper, not overtly racist, smart, accomplished (US Attorney), and moderate by modern GOP standards. That makes him a very palatable republican for the MSM. But they don’t seem to get that ACTUAL GOP VOTERS don’t like him and never will.
There is, unfortunately, still room to grow. They haven’t broken out the ‘blacks are animals’ stuff, yet, presumably because they are long conditioned that blacks are the group you’re most likely to get tutt-tutted at if you’re open and blunt, and least likely to get tutt-tutted at if you just barely maintain a fig leaf.
@Mike in NC: Everyone in New England knows about the Union Leader, and people who care about politics know about it.
Not that it’s going to help Christie. The Union Leader endorsement is for people concentrating on winning Dixville Notch, not for people who are trying to win national polls.
@Sherparick: FWIW, Cruz’s freshman roommate (a HS friend of mine) is a Bill Maher-esque libertine-libertarian type who supported John McCain in 2008.
I suppose that Jeb!’s last hope is that he will get another look as a result of the new, last gasp all out offensive against Trump. Stuff like Jennifer Granholm’s op-ed piece that Trump should get out of the presidential race if he really loves America.
One can worry about this, but one difference is that Nixon made a LOT of GOP pols happy in 1966 when he campaigned for them. It is one of the highly memorable bits of Nixonland. He picked off lots of vulnerable Democrats who had been swept in in the 1964 landslide. Ted Cruz has instead much antipathy from the rest of the GOP.
That just struck me as strange. Kind of like an op-ed asking Saddam Hussein to resign, published in the Jerusalem Post.
Good point. Some people don’t understand that “guy I’d like to have a beer with” is useless when it comes to measuring a candidate’s ambition or electability.
At least Jeb? was the first to take note of the fact that 20th Century Fox has been forced to deny that Leonardo DeCaprio is raped by a bear in the upcoming film The Revenant. I think this is important news for us to know.
Ignore the name of the guy who wrote it, but read it anyway. Highly encouraging.
Also cogently presented.
2016 could be bad year for GOP
Martin Longman at WaMonthly pointed it out.
ETA: Avoid the comments there.
It’s hard to say for sure, though it’s hard to blame the guy for trying – nothing else is working for Team Jeb.
The root problem for Team Jeb is that they’re running a candidate named “Bush” in the year 2015.
@Mike J: That also described Bill Clinton in 92 and 96. The longer his 1996 SOTU went on, the more the pundits jeered, and the voters cheered.
I do not discount Trump or Cruz because they’re unlikable. I discount the former because he inspires universal hatred in large voting blocks that currently merely lean Democrat, and the latter because he has openly radical positions and an organizational problem, on top of the challenges facing any generic Republican presidential candidate. Cruz would certainly be a more solid candidate, but that’s a very low bar.
EDIT – These factors only apply to the general, of course.
Another Holocene Human
Terrorists are coming! Quick–dissolve the Labor Department! Assign pro-corporate buddies to NLRB! Give away the Unclaimed Property Fund to Lehman Bros? What’s that you say? Lehman Bros took all the monies and is now out of business?
Paul in KY
@prob50: Anytime your Republican asshole voter can choose between a fake Trump and a real Trump, he/she will choose the real Trump every time.
Updated a great observation by a great President, who I wish could have given his thoughts on Der Donald.
Paul in KY
@FlipYrWhig: They have the job right now. We don’t. They want to keep their cushy job & have a good idea of how to do it.
Another Holocene Human
@Mike J: Whoa, that’s a pretty broad brush there, Mike. I was pretty rabid about Mass politics when I was a Masshole and I couldn’t have told you the name of a single newspaper in NH.
The New Hampshire Union Leader once dubbed “the worst newspaper in America”, by Hunter S. Thompson.
They once had an editorial titled Kissinger the Kike.
At least they don’t refer to gay people as sodomites any more.
Another Holocene Human
@Denali: You laugh, but I wish the MSM would call out Drudge’s Hedley Lamar-esque obsession with rape.
Drudge has a long history of creepy, sexually harassy comments and the most that has really been said is, snicker snicker, guess he’s gay. No, he’s a fucking CREEP. His blog these days is nothing but nonstop poorly coded/formatted racist bilge.
He should not have a seat at the table with normal, law-abiding, civil people. Ever.
@garrick: I mentioned before the conversation I was in with some older conservative voters in which they all started vehemently agreeing with each other about some terrible thing Bill Clinton had done to betray us to China, and I couldn’t even figure out what they were referring to. I think we came up here with two or three possibilities, but they all clearly thought they knew what it was. I presume Fox News was the vector.
There was a rumor at some point in the nineties that the Chinese had contributed to Clinton’s electoral campaign. Maybe that’s what it is.
These idiots talk about money as if we were not the richest (by GDP) country in the history of the world. And one of the top by GDP per capita. There is plenty of money there. Our nation is sloshing in wealth and power. It’s just that the wealthy don’t really care about sharing that wealth. This isn’t Somalia. Also – the defense budget. Always plenty of money to be had there…
Or rather, the money is going to come from the modern robber barons of corporate and financial America.
We go to higher tax rates and add about 10 income brackets, and dramatically lower the estate tax caps, and the money will be there (not to mention the economic growth that will come from focusing on middle class, rather than upper class, growth).
Someone else may have already said this in this thread, but it bears repeating anyhow: Social Security and worker’s comp and unemployment are not “entitlements.” I’ve paid serious percentages of every paycheck I’ve ever got in my life into those things and if I need them, I’m not getting a “handout”; I’m getting my own money back. None of these rightwing morons ever suggests cutting the budget by, you know, reducing the ridiculous mountain of money going to make bombs, do they? Greedheads is the kindest thing I think of to call them.