Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Christie, we don't want to know ye....

Doesn't that jacket sort of remind you of C-Plus Augustus and his Presidential socks?

I'm hardly the first to notice, but despite the conviction of Chris Matthews (who was absolutely petulant this week with a "guest" on his show who wouldn't affirm Matthew's gospel that Chris Christie is the Republicans Great White Hope and a shoo-in for the White House should he choose (Hah!) to run), but let me say what I was going to say earlier:  Chris Christie will never be President of the United States.

Not because he yelled at a teacher; but simply because he yells.  His answer to anyone who challenges him is:  "What do you people want?!"  That's not the answer of a statesman.  That's not the answer of a President.  This is not the behavior of a leader of the free world.  Anodyne and dull as he was, Mitt Romney inspired more confidence in his ability to take the stresses and pressures of the job than this.  Christie can't help himself.  I don't know what he thinks about what he's doing at times like this, but it is his political doom.

It will sell no better beyond the confines of New Jersey than Rick Perry's braggadocio about how Texas doesn't need the rest of the United States, especially them bureaucrats in DeeCee!

Three years ago, per Crooks and Liars,  Alex Pareene was saying Christie's bullying would win him supporters across the nation.  I don't think so.  I think JMM is right:  "He's a quintessential Northeasterner with a coarse version of the region's regional edge in a party dominated by the South."  Paul Theroux was just on NPR the other day talking about how very polite people in the South are.  We may like belligerence in Jim DeMint or Ted Cruz, but that's because they are belligerent Southerners (they do it politely, and to the right people; never to individuals.  Cruz has even apologized to some groups for the stupid things he's said.  Christie is proudly unapologetic about his bullying.)  Christie is a belligerent Yankee, and that sells about as well outside New Jersey as "Don't Mess with Texas" sells outside of Texas.  (We think it's funny, 'cause it's an anti-litter campaign by the state.  The rest of the country thinks we're serious, and misses the joke.  Draw your own conclusions vis a vis Gov. Christie.)

Yes, as Charlie Pierce noted, Christie is out as NJ governor as sure as 2014 is coming.  But he's not getting any nearer the White House than a public tour.  Stick a fork in him, he's done.


  1. I think Chris Christie will do well out west. People in my parents' neck of the woods (they moved out to the edge of the Mojave desert) like Christie's belligerence. His "post-partisan" image also plays very well out in the west: even people who might be upset at his antagonism to the Tea Party will forgive him that because he represents to them the same thing as the Tea Party -- a reaction against an "Eastern/Hollywood elite". And the one thing not in your face about him is his social conservatism, which tracks well with the social conservatism of many in the desert -- in spite of their loud protests of being libertarians, they are conventional in many ways and want convention to have the force of law. But being libertarian in orientation, even if they doth protest to much about it, they don't like overt social conservatism too much necessarily.

    I would say that being a bully does play well for Republicans (GW Bush's 2004 campaign essentially boiled down to "who do you want leading us in a time of war: someone who bullied and misled the nation into a war or someone who was bullied and misled into supporting that war") -- but I agree ... you have to have the right touch when you do it. There is a difference in tone between Bush/DeMint/Cruz and Christie. However, it's a difference that I think is meaningless out west. I sometimes feel that Southern California (once you leave LA County) is pretty much the South without the accent or the good food, but it's also the South without good Southern manners. And that does make a difference in terms of what kind of Republican bully can swim upstream in the Western vs. the Southern GOP. The South may dominate the GOP, but in the West they like all sorts of bullies, and there may just be enough Yankees and Westerners left in the GOP to affect the primaries.

    Between that and the media's love of Christie (which may hurt him though in the primaries where GOP voters would think the media liberal and assume a media darling is too liberal for them), I wouldn't count Christie out quite yet.

  2. Rmj, I hope you're right, but I'm not so confident as you. Christie's combination of bullying tactics and conservative "values" might play better with Tea Partiers than you expect.

  3. I don't think Christie plays well beyond the Tea Party, although perhaps he works well in Western states.

    Then again, CA has more electoral votes than the rest of the "West" combined, and CA ain't goin' GOP anytime soon; not in POTUS elections.

    Texas may well elect a Dem for governor, so it might not like Christie, either. If Texas falls, Christie doesn't have a prayer.

  4. He is a media creation, a Jersey boy Vladimir Putin.

  5. Maybe Christie will lose his temper one too many times during the campaign. He obviously has a short fuse.