Don’t Give Your Heart Away

Let’s assume you’re a Republican governor who wants to be president. You realize that, for all the bluster and bullshit of the last couple of years, that Obama is the odds-on favorite to get a second term. What would you do to position yourself for 2016?

Well, first, you wouldn’t run this time around. You realize you’ll have to appear reasonable to win in 2016, and you don’t need six months of Neanderthal debate responses on your record four years from now. You’d hope the weakest of the weak sisters running would win the nomination, but since that didn’t happen, you need to put a torpedo into Romney. He’s a real threat, for a couple of reasons. First, you aren’t part of the Mormon/Bain/NeoCon mafia that would ascend be in charge during his administration, and, second, there’s no other political office that would keep you in the limelight until 2020, which is a political eternity away.

So, you give the weakest possible convention speech in support of Romney. Then, you attend church every week, hitting your knees and praying that you get another opportunity to smother Romney with a pillow. Lo and behold, the Blessed Virgin Mary answers your prayers by sending a gigantic storm straight through your state. And you do the opposite of what a good Romney surrogate would do: you appear on every morning show singing the praises of President Obama. That gives every Beltway Centrist instant wood, fucks Romney, and helps you by setting you up to be credible when you turn around and blame Obama when everything isn’t perfectly cleaned up a few days, weeks or months after the storm (you’ll pick the time that’s best for you.)

This is just a long-winded way of saying that, whatever else he is, apparently including “likeable”, Chris Christie is a very shrewd politician who is ruthless in his pursuit of the Presidency, and unless you see every goddam thing he does in that context, you’re missing an essential truth about the man.

(BTW, just to be clear – I don’t think Christie prayed for a storm, just an opportunity. God works in mysterious ways, and provided him with the perfect storm and the perfect opportunity.)

119 replies
  1. 1
    Paula68154 says:

    Agree completely.

  2. 2
    Misterpuff says:

    I don’t think Christie can run the TP/wingnut gauntlet and survive due to being an Easterner, but I’m looking forward to Corndog Nirvana.

  3. 3
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    co sign

  4. 4
    tjmn says:

    Would Christie have the stamina to run a presidential campaign? If he starts losing a lot of weight…

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    Pataki is on Soledad lying his mothefucking ass off about what Romney said about FEMA.

  6. 6
    Applejinx says:

    Yep. Obama’s only defense against this is to crank up the federal aid until New Jersey is a poster child for the effectiveness of government disaster relief. Which is exactly what Christie needs to be re-elected- and exactly what Obama needs to make the case that Democratic rule is best.

    I’m telling you, their interests coincide all the way to 2016- when Christie can run for President as the good old school Republican respectable opposition- and lose.

    But let him try- and in so doing, push the Overton window wildly left in search of Blue Dog votes.

    Peak Wingnut happened when Christie realised he had more to gain by breaking ranks with the entire GOP power structure, than standing with them. He always did go off the reservation when something pissed him off, and now he gets to parlay that into a whole new power structure and throw the teabagger crazies he despises under the Romney bus which is full of canned soup and getting in the way of emergency vehicles on the Jersey Turnpike…

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    apparently including “likeable”

    Well, he’s got the cranky old white guy vote sewn up.

    Personally, I think Christie’s abrasive personality will turn off voters, but what the hell do I know? I thought Romney’s complete absence of a personality would kill him, but he’s still going to get 48-49% of the goddamn vote.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    Stick the dagger in deep, Chris.

    Mitt deserves nothing less.

    Actually, make it a stake – that’s the best way to kill a Vampire Vulture Capitalist.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Giuliani was popular after 9/11 and he did nothing for the evangelicals and tea party folk who run the Republican Party these days.
    Christie understands the need of big government and FEMA during times of disasters, Romney doesn’t.

  10. 10
    Robin G. says:

    Christie has, I think, seen for quite awhile now that appeasing teabaggers will not be the road to national success in 2016. He’s positioning himself really well here; from an objective standpoint it’s pretty impressive to watch. I halfway agree with Cole; watching Christie stick it to FOX and the like IS genuinely enjoyable, but I don’t think for a moment it’s motivated by anything but self-interest. (That’s more a politician thing than a rightwing thing, admittedly.) He’s benefitting in our eyes from being graded on the steepest curve ever.

    All that being said, if he doesn’t lose weight he doesn’t stand a chance. I say that without necessarily passing judgement. It’s just the reality of television and politics. Americans don’t like unattractive fat people. It’s considered a character weakness.

  11. 11
    Valdivia says:

    I just got here last night and I am already tired of the Republican bullshit. Bless the great firewall and the lack of tv while I was away it kept me sane this past month.

  12. 12
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Amazing to think that the most revolutionary political movement these days is to appear moderate and reasonable

    Even if it is just pure political maneuvering. Fuck it, if it actually helps people in his state I’m for it. So tired of the pillaging of the poor and middle class that I’ll support almost anything that doesn’t directly throw them under the bus, even political machinations posturing as wisdom.

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    Four years is an eternity in politics. Remember when it was “inevitable” that 2008 would be a battle royale between Hillary Clinton and Rudy 9/11?

    I don’t doubt that Christie would love to run in 2016, but for starters until the fever breaks in the GOP base, he’s going to have to Mitt Romney himself to have any hope of surviving the primaries.

  14. 14
    cmorenc says:

    ex-Governor Pataki is on Morning Schmoe trying desperately to spin Romney’s negative remarks about FEMA into something completely other than the plain meaning of Romney’s words, which were that spending money on disaster relief and a federal agency dedicated to such was immoral and unjustified considering the tremendous burden our national debt posed for future generations. Pataki tried to claim that: a) FEMA wasn’t where the money came from anyway, it came from Congressional appropriations; b) Romney was making a generic comment about the national debt, not criticizing storm victims.

    Romney, Pataki et. al. are such a pack of slimy weasels, the troubling thing is that there are enough Americans who are either stupid enough to be taken in by them or else willfully inclined to overlook their depraved mendacity, thinking they really don’t mean this shit they’re saying but are somehow more comfortingly competent to be put in charge of things.

  15. 15
    aretino says:

    Christie is just looking after his re-election prospects in 2013. He governs a strongly pro-Obama state. And in any case it is tough to win that gubernatorial election with a president of your own party in the White House — New Jersey almost always leads the mid-term backlash.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    @Raven: I hope Soledad isn’t letting him get away with it.

    As for Christie, I think this is a very good analysis. While I think he’s doing all the right things by his state through this crisis — and this, obviously, is far and away the most important thing right now — I don’t expect this experience to turn him into Jerry Brown overnight. He’s still going to be the loud, obnoxious, and at times insufferable and trailer-trash asshole he’s always been, and when the time comes, I’ll be happy to launch as many rotten veggies at him as I can get my hands on. In the meantime, I’m equally happy to give him his due, and if in the long run he manages to shift the GOP even slightly away from its foaming-at-the-mouth raging lunacy, that’s all good, no matter how fucking obnoxious he is.

  17. 17
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Applejinx:

    Well, Obama doesn’t actually need to defend himself against it, really. For the moment, he can hold Christie’s coat while Christie sticks the knife in, and use the other hand to hold a big bucket of popcorn while he watches it play out. Romney’s being talking all this bullMitt about working with Democrats, and now Obama can spend the few days before the election being all chummy and bipartisan with Christie in the face of a disaster.

    If Christie doesn’t do something else to knock himself out in the meantime, and if the Republicans realise they have to make a solid move back to the centre, then it’ll be for Clinton and Schweitzer* to sort this out in 2016 – with Obama’s help.

    *Maybe I’m the only person who thinks of him, but as a governor of a generally Republican state, I figure he’s got good middle-of-the-road appeal.

  18. 18
    LGRooney says:

    I disagree partly with the assertion that he isn’t part of the neocon mafia. Rove has been an essential part of his ascent. You could argue that they will abandon neocon positions very quickly if they prove to be toxic politically but Rove was on board with that crew long before 9/11 so I wouldn’t expect it to be just a matter of political expediency.

  19. 19
    Fouten says:

    Why are we even talking about 2016 now? This is how trap games happen.

  20. 20
    Nylund says:

    This might all very well be true, but it’s one darn cynical way to look at our country.

    And you know what? If that’s what Christie is doing, but if it’s also what aligns the stars so that the people of NJ get all the help they can, so be it.

  21. 21
    Tyro says:

    I really, really dislike Chris Christie, but I realize that he is a very, very shrewd politician. I realized this when he turned down the “opportunity” to humiliate himself by giving the Republican response to the SOTU back in 2011 (?), which never helps the person giving it (exception: Sen. Jim Webb).

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I think it’s a lot simpler: Christie cares about Christie. The only time he will even think about Romney is when it helps Christie.

    In other words, 2016 will be 2012 with a wide Republican rather than a filthy rich Republican.

  23. 23
    shortstop says:

    @Ash Can: This, through and through.

  24. 24
    cmorenc says:

    Christie’s recent actions under discussion may just be an instance of where being the good servant of duty and integrity to the public good of New Jersey and the being the cynically calculating ruthless politico are closely compatible with one another. This of course doesn’t mean they won’t diverge (and sharply) within a few months or even weeks after the immediate storm crisis dies down and Obama wins reelection, but for now Christie legitimately sees his proper role as governor of New Jersey (and interests toward winning reelection to that office) as putting what’s needed to help his citizens FIRST, and what might help Romney and the current national GOP tactical approach a very distant, low priority. Conveniently for Christie, being temporarily semi-on board with Team Obama serves his citizens well as well as positioning him well with the general public in 2016. Christie’s problem is that he’ll have to figure out a way to get past the Tea Party knuckledraggers in the GOP in the primaries, which has proved the graveyard of candidates unwilling to drink their kool-aid (see: John Huntsman).

  25. 25
    jayackroyd says:

    @Misterpuff: Um, Romney?

  26. 26
    Laura says:

    @Robin G.:

    Americans don’t like unattractive fat people.

    Uh, correction, unattractive fat WOMEN. When has being a fatty ever stopped a man from anything?

  27. 27
    Anya says:

    I am temporarily joining the civilized world. Man, does it suck to be without electricity.

  28. 28
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I think I wrote this post ten times or so in comments over the last year

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    @Applejinx: I’d bet that your analysis is pretty much on the nail. The only thing I’m not too sure about is whether he actually can emerge as a party leader in the long run. There are powerful people with vested interests in keeping the batshit-crazy cranked to 11, so Christie’s move would signal Peak Wingnut if and only if Christie manages to eventually wrest control of the party from the lunatic faction (or at least enough control to be able to call some of the shots).

    @Robin G.: Considering what American voters have swallowed up to this point, I don’t think Christie’s dimensions would matter that much. Where they could make an appreciable difference is if they interfere with the energy and vitality it takes to maintain a presidential campaign schedule. It’s grueling work, and I could easily see him wanting to lose some weight just because of that.

  30. 30
    Jim Pharo says:

    I’m on board the “likability” thing w/ John, et al., though I find his appeal ill-suited for public life. Nonetheless, it’s clear he has big ambitions. What I don’t see is how he survives the GOP nominating process. He seems about as likable as Huckabee, but less inclined to simply throw his legacy in NJ down the crapper (as R-Money has done in MA).

    I think Christie will occupy a space rather like Giuliani’s: press favorite, perennial bridesmaid.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Spot on. Absolutely spot on.

    I’d never ever vote for this man, and unlike John,I don’t like him at all. But he’s playing this situation very smartly, IMHO.

    Belafon is right, too. It’s all about Chris Christie, as far as Chris Christie is concerned. Just like as far as OvenMitt is concerned, it’s all about OvenMitt.

  32. 32
    Scott says:

    I think there’s maybe a couple other things in play as well. First, he want’s to keep that federal money coming right now, and pissing off Obama might damage that.
    Secondly, I believe he hates Romney with a passion.
    And, not for nothing, but if Cole likes him, regardless of his policies, think of how many other folks feel the same way. I would not doubt his prospects in 2016.
    Provided he doesn’t keel over from a heart attack, of course.

  33. 33
    AA+ Bonds says:

    SMH at that Cole post about how straight-talking fascists like Christie are refreshingly eager to tell us about their horrible social-Darwinist fantasies (how brave!)

  34. 34
    Hoodie says:

    Christie is being his usual asshole self here, it just happens that his asshole agenda results in a good outcome for a change and Christie, unlike other Republicans, is smart enough to not let compulsive Obama hatred to get in the way of smart politics. He wants Romney and Ryan out of the way, and what better way to put a shiv in both of them than extolling the virtues of a federal response? This election is shaping up as the attempted reconstitution of the confederacy, and he’ll run against that as a long-term losing proposition. He positions himself as the old-style republican that can win back parts of the northeast and the rust belt, as well as new immigrant demographic groups. He’ll be acceptable to the neanderthals in the South because he’s an asshole, and that’s what really matters to them. Guiliani was lazy and too NYC centered for that crowd. Other than health issues associated with his weight, the biggest impediment to him in 2016 is the possibility of a Hillary run, as she can exploit a gigantic gender gap, but is acceptable to a lot of males.

  35. 35
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I rank Christie around Rick Perry when it comes to the potential global and national danger of putting him in the top position in the U.S. government

    Christie would stubbornly drive us all to our deaths if it meant he didn’t have to back down in public; he is perfect Nazi material

  36. 36
    AA+ Bonds says:

    People who happen to talk like you but actively, viciously oppose your values are only likable people to you if you are unsure of your convictions

    Much better to admire them as operators than pretend that they are swell people

    I admire Newt Gingrich’s gusto for designing the playbook now used in all national campaigns but if he came up to me in public I would spit on him

  37. 37
    Kane says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t see Christie “blaming Obama when everything isn’t perfectly cleaned up a few days, weeks or months after the storm.” It’s just not politically sound when he has made it clear that Obama has given him everything that he has asked for.

    If Christie were to run in 2016, there will surely be issues for him to highlight where he differs with the outgoing Obama administration. If anything, working with Obama now will give him cred to argue that he isn’t an ideologue. That’s kind of his shtick – he’s the modern-day Maverick McCain.

  38. 38
    Ash Can says:

    @Nylund:

    if it’s also what aligns the stars so that the people of NJ get all the help they can, so be it.

    Absolutely. I for one truly believe that Christie, for all his many and sizeable flaws, genuinely cares about what’s happened to the people of his state and wants to get shit fixed. If he sees political gain in it, well, he’s a pol; there’s no way thoughts like those aren’t going to enter his mind. But if he were doing what he’s doing with only himself and his political future in mind, there would have been some kind of tell by now. As it is, with the exception of his too-public bitchiness with the mayor of Atlantic City, he’s been hitting all the right notes.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Another thing…if Christie is to have any shot in 2016, he has to be reelected in 2013.

    Doing one of those stupid Bobby Jindal things in the middle of the most media celebrated storms in recent history is not to do that. Rmoney can go pound sand…Chris Christie puts Chris Christie first.

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kane:

    If anything, working with Obama now will give him cred to argue that he isn’t an ideologue.

    That’s a problem for him, still, with the drooling idiots who are the teatards. Working with that ni*CLANG*? He must be a ni*CLANG* lover!

    The racist stupid is fully in charge of the GOP base.

  41. 41
    PreservedKillick says:

    Chris Christie doesn’t have to be president. Doubt he could be – and I bet he knows that.

    It could be far better to simply be kingmaker, which he could certainly swing, if the cards fall right.

  42. 42
    General Stuck says:

    I’m in the camp that if Romney loses, all hell gonna break loose in the GOP and an intraparty civil war will take place, and who knows how that will turn out.

    The 27 percenters are more than 50% of the GOP, and that has left them with an elected caucus marching to the tune of Norquist, Limbaugh and Hannity, among other extreme minded folks. Simply as a matter of numbers.

    But folks like Christie and Jeb are smart enough, and not rabid wingnut enough to know they can’t win, or it is very hard to win with hard right policy prescriptions. Right now they are enjoying a 3 to 5 percent cushion due only to Obama’s race, but are still losing.

    It will be very difficult for the ordinary wingnuts, that many are quite conservative, but practical on an applied politics level, to wrest control from the southern nutters that has their own agenda. Mostly of resentment and entitlement they were raised with.

  43. 43
    MikeBoyScout says:

    BINGO!

    However,less we forget, (LOOKING AT COLE) Ruth’s Chris Christie has made his home in the political party of psychopaths.

    He’s no bipartisan middle of the road politician. He’s just a more likable version of Rmoney/Ryan/Boehner/McConnell.

  44. 44
    WarMunchkin says:

    Where did this idea come from that Christie is a moderate? He is not. He is a hardcore Republican who killed an important public works project for no other purpose than to ideologically stick it to Democrats. This guy is a rock solid conservative and has made his entire brand out of being an asshole, even if he says nice things about Muslims sometimes.

    I don’t get the selective memory exhibited in this and the last thread. Stupidest shit since peak wingnut.

  45. 45
    Robin G. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The racist stupid is fully in charge of the GOP base.

    It is right now; I’m not convinced it will be in 2016. As a number of people have discussed (even Romney’s campaign, IIRC), this is the last national election of the Angry White Male. There just aren’t enough of them anymore. And as far as the primary goes, the sparrow-eating teabaggers with their daddy complexes will naturally gravitate towards the biggest, most powerful asshole they can find, regardless of politics. Right now, that’s Christie.

  46. 46
    beth says:

    @Ash Can:

    Exactly. I grew up in NJ and spent a lot of time down the shore. Seeing those pictures of the devastation and hearing that the town I spent childhood vacations in was demolished hit me in the gut and made me weepy. I don’t know how you can look at something you’re so connected to and feel nothing. Christie seemed to be showing real emotion when he talked about how the place he took his kids to this summer was gone. I felt the same way about Guiliani after 911 – I couldn’t stand the guy, personally or politically, but I felt like he’d been deeply affected by what he saw that day. Of course, time passed and he went back to being the asshole he is today and I suspect Christie will do the same thing.

  47. 47
    JPL says:

    @Anya: Where do you live?
    I haven’t heard from a friend in Stuyvesant yet and assume that it will be days before she is back on the grid.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    @Kane: I can see him easing back into the Obama-bashing after a couple of months, maybe even a few weeks. Voters’ (and others’) memories are short, and he could start by doing the “it’s all great but I’m a little disappointed with (fill in the blank)” song and dance, and move on to the “you know, this is something the feds kind of got wrong.” From there, the logical progression is to “Obama should have known better,” from which it’s only a short step to “Obama should have known better, that incompetent moron.” And by this time, the memories of him and the prez being buddy-buddy are long gone down the memory hole anyway.

  49. 49
    AA+ Bonds says:

    To me, there is an entire business culture in America based around people like Christie acting like belligerent assholes and other people backing off and saying, “He’s a great guy, really straightforward”

    This culture is, paradoxically, responsible for Mitt Romney’s candidacy for the President – because you don’t actually have to be straightforward to achieve these results – all you need to be is aggressive or passive-aggressive

  50. 50
    General Stuck says:

    I got yer Romney compassion right here

    McCay Coppins reports the last-minute decision by Romney high command to suspend politics while Hurricane Sandy raged sent aides in Ohio scrambling to convert a scheduled victory rally into an apolitical “storm relief event.”

    “But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it ‘did donate supplies to the relief effort,’ but would not specify how much it spent.)”

    For whatever reason, this does not surprise me at all.

  51. 51
    Floppy_Doggy says:

    Chris Christie is very schrewd, and must be watched at all times.

  52. 52
    Tanna says:

    I thought this from the beginning.

  53. 53
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    Where did this idea come from that Christie is a moderate? He is not. He is a hardcore Republican who killed an important public works project for no other purpose than to ideologically stick it to Democrats

    But he acts out his personal agenda rather than being intimidated by the Fox crowd. Using McMegan’s calculator, that adds up to reasonable fellow that Cole can work with.

  54. 54
    Raven says:

    The plan was for supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies to the event, and then deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman. To complete the project and photo-op, Romney would lead his crew in carrying the goods out of the gymnasium and into the Penske rental truck parked outside.

    But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it “did donate supplies to the relief effort,” but would not specify how much it spent.)

  55. 55
    gnomedad says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’m in the camp that if Romney loses, all hell gonna break loose in the GOP and an intraparty civil war will take place, and who knows how that will turn out.

    You mean they’ll take time out from impeaching the Mooslim who stole the election?

  56. 56
    Maude says:

    Monday night Christie was on a NJ radio stations and listened to people whine and ask stupid questions. He was fine with them and had answers.
    Christie is an odd mix.

  57. 57
    GregB says:

    Beltway shitheels: Mmm Christy and Obama are sooooo bipartisan.

    Fap, fap, fap….

    But yes, it appears that Chris Christy is one of the smartest, least insane Republicans on the national scene.

  58. 58
    General Stuck says:

    As the stomach churns, while reality sets in

    But the epidemic may also play a role in the presidential campaign, now that state records reveal that a Massachusetts regulatory agency found that the New England Compounding Co., the pharmaceutical company tied to the epidemic, repeatedly failed to meet accepted standards in 2004 — but a reprimand was withdrawn by the Romney administration in apparent deference to the company’s business interests.

    “It goes all the way up to Mitt Romney,” said Alyson Oliver, a Michigan attorney representing victims of the outbreak.

    Romney got some splaining to do.

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    @gnomedad:

    Multitasking

  60. 60
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

  61. 61
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Robin G.:

    It is right now; I’m not convinced it will be in 2016. As a number of people have discussed (even Romney’s campaign, IIRC), this is the last national election of the Angry White Male. There just aren’t enough of them anymore.

    There are enough of them that a Deval Patrick candidacy will be handicapped 3-5 points just because of the color of his skin. Back-to-back black guys? Better to re-run Hillary or campaign or that nice O’Malley fellow, amirite?

  62. 62
    Schlemizel says:

    I said it in a thread here yesterday – Crusty the Clown has the money for his gastric bypass all saved up & has an excuse in mind. All he has been waiting for is to be sure the Willard couldn’t possibly win. Look for Crusty to become scarce for a couple of weeks next summer & then begin a “health regimen” that will melt pounds amazingly fast. It will be proof of his hard core determination and will power!

  63. 63
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: Oh yea, I’m sure he’ll “splain” it just like he is his FEMA stance.

  64. 64
    JPL says:

    @General Stuck: He won’t have to explain.

    edit.. beat the the punch by the Raven.

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

    It won’t matter. The documents will do the talking, and is another perfect metaphor to highlight the big issue of what should government be. And this time, a direct line straight to Mitt Romney with dead people to answer for.

  66. 66
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: Matter, in the next 6 days? Come on.

  67. 67
    Capri says:

    I don’t get the people that think Christie can’t be president because he’s overweight. Or that he won’t have the stamina to campaign. Sure, America might not “like” fat people – but a huge % of “real” Americans are fat. It’s like someone saying 6 years ago that America would never elect a black person.

    If Romney’s campaign has shown us anything, it’s that the most rigid Republican ideologue will fall in line behind their candidate. The primary field this year was full of nut jobs and dreamers because no sane person would run against Obama, not because they were the only candidates that passed through the tea-party vetting process.

  68. 68
    Kane says:

    Hurricane Sandy is not Obama’s first rodeo. And despite how the Beltway media wants to portray it, Christie is not the first Republican governor to praise Obama and his administration for their response to a natural disaster.

    In the past four years, President Obama and his administration have dealth with the natural disasters of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires all across the country. And in each case, they have responded admirably before, during and after each disaster has struck to provide aid and assistance.

    How do we know that President Obama and his administration have responded admirably? Well, for one thing, the governors of these states (many of which are red states) have glowingly praised President Obama and his administration for their response. We also know that if Obama and his administration had not responded well to these natural disasters, Republicans and the conservative media would have made sure that you know about it.

  69. 69
    redshirt says:

    The Wingnuts will lose their influence the minute the big money boys find them to be detrimental to their making more money. Is that soon?

  70. 70
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

    Matter, in the next 6 days? Come on.

    There is a small but important group of voters who don’t make up their minds till the last minute. In a mostly even race, it could matter with their votes. But what I meant was in general, Romney can’t talk himself out of this one so easily, with a clear paper trail.

  71. 71
    Punchy says:

    campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart

    Yikes…the stupidity! If they had instead gone to a bunch of local, independent grocers and told them that “Romney supports small buisnesses like yours!”, they may have converted a few hundred votes. Instead, they go to Walmart.

    Fucking dumbasses…..

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Raven:

    Holy shit.

    The Red Cross says “no actual goods. Send something fungible, like, you know, money, so we can apply it in the most efficient fashion to have the greatest impact.” And what does OvenMitt do? Can’t send money…that would be bad. No, we’ll spend money here to create a photo-op because there won’t be enough shit to put in the fucking truck for the photo op.

    These people all need to be killed. They are too stupid, too selfish, too sociopathic to live.

  73. 73
    Applejinx says:

    Whoa.

    The Romney response to NJ’s devastation is a bus full of FAKE useless?

  74. 74
    drew42 says:

    Cole’s fluffing of Christie was eerily similar to all the Giuliani fluffing that occurred after 9/11.

    Any minimally competent politician comes across likeable, even avuncular, when doing press appearances during a major catastrophe under his watch. Just talk about your plan of action, be serious, and don’t do or say anything stupid.

    Not to mention, these are Republicans in heavily Democratic areas — like Romney in Massachusetts, they have no choice but to accommodate and compromise.

    But Christie (and this has nothing to do with his physical appearance) has an awful pubic personality and way of speaking, and actually says a lot of dumb things when he doesn’t hold himself in check. He’ll have about as much success in a Presidential run as Giuliani did.

  75. 75
    GregB says:

    @Capri:

    Sadly Christy won’t have the luxury as running as the first fat-American President.

    Taft beat him to the punch.

  76. 76
    ExurbanMom says:

    This. This. 1000x.

    And this is why our esteemed leader Cole is wrong about Christie. He’s a shrewd politician and a bully, not a likeable guy.

  77. 77
    General Stuck says:

    @GregB:

    I read once where they custom made a huge bathtub just for Taft to bath his 300 pounds of blubber. Maybe it’s still in the WH basement.

  78. 78
    Anya says:

    @JPL: Manhattan, NY

  79. 79
    pillsy says:

    @Capri:

    I don’t think Christie’s weight is his biggest handicap, if for no other reason than because he could possibly do the Mike Huckabee thing and lose it. His biggest handicap is that he’s an asshole who revels in being an asshole. Ugly, as they say, goes right to the bone.

  80. 80
    GxB says:

    CC is a shrewd opportunist. Making political hay whenever and wherever possible, and like all before him, exploiting the selective, short term attention span of the electorate. Part of his “centrist” appeal comes from his standing up to the Christianists, the rejection of the Muzlin bashers, his “straight shooter” approach (superficial as it may be) and I don’t recall him proclaiming to have guzzled down the Norquist Kool-Aid (could be wrong here.)

    His biggest hindrances are his size/health, his anger and hostility (granted a big plus to many RW assholes but I can’t see it winning over many on the fence) and his general poor political optics (schlumpy appearance, snide comments, vitriol and pettiness with opposition, general lack of tact.)

    But what I really see taking him down is best summed up in that old parable of the scorpion and the frog trying to avoid drowning in a flood – he can’t help his own nature.

  81. 81
    Chris says:

    @Misterpuff:

    I don’t think Christie can run the TP/wingnut gauntlet and survive due to being an Easterner

    Romney did.

    @Mark S.:

    Personally, I think Christie’s abrasive personality will turn off voters, but what the hell do I know?

    It depends on which voters you’re talking about. The abrasive personality, the fact that he directs it at the less fortunate liberal constituencies (unions, public employees, people who depend on government, etc), and the fact that he seems to truly enjoy wallowing in it, will go a long way towards the getting the teabaggers to love him and forget about his other sins.

    It’s like the first debate between Romney and Obama; nobody cared that Romney walked back on half his conservative positions, they all went wild that he was putting that nig[CLANG!] in his place.

    For the rest of the voters, I don’t know. The mainstream media will push ever-living shit out of the story that he’s finally a moderate Republican, not like those icky teabaggers and religious righters, and prove it by playing the clips of him thanking Obama again and again (while ignoring things like his veto of gay marriage). How many moderates that’ll work on, I don’t know, but definitely a few.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You know, I think the reason these idiots send canned goods is because, if they send money, the Red Cross will spend it on hookers and blow.

    Because that’s what they would do if someone sent them money for a cause.

    It’s always projection with these vile assholes. Always.

  83. 83
    1badbaba3 says:

    I think Chris Christie has a lot of guts.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @Hoodie:

    He’ll be acceptable to the neanderthals in the South because he’s an asshole, and that’s what really matters to them.

    This. EXACTLY. Thank you, that’s what I should’ve said.

  85. 85
    MosesZD says:

    Chris Christie is a very shrewd politician who is ruthless in his pursuit of the Presidency…

    Uh, no different than Obama… His career has been the same. Clinton was the same. McCain was the same. Reagan was the same. GW Bush the first was the same…

    Really, except Eisenhower and Bush II, I can’t think of a politician who has been elected President (within my lifetime) that hasn’t been that way…

    Water is wet. Thanks for letting us know.

  86. 86
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    The only civil war that I can see happening in the GOP is elites vs base – there are no “moderates” left and haven’t been since 1994, in any meaningful way. So, the only way Christie and Jeb and the rest can get any traction against the teabaggers is if they can convince the big money to follow them instead of continuing to astroturf the “base.”

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    I for one truly believe that Christie, for all his many and sizeable flaws, genuinely cares about what’s happened to the people of his state and wants to get shit fixed.

    Ocean front property in Wyoming to sell you. We should talk.

    The union busting, the promise never to raise taxes, the killing of several badly needed public works – no, the man doesn’t give a fuck about what happens to the people in his state, any more than any other Republican. He just happens to live in an unfortunately blue part of the country and, unlike most of his fellow wingnuts, he’s smart enough to realize he has to make himself likeable to them in order to stay in office.

    But no, I’m sorry, the man is a conservative thug like all the rest of them, as many in this thread have said.

  88. 88
    beltane says:

    @Chris: And there are very few elites compared to the vast hoardes of teabaggers. If anything, I can see some kind of regional split forming in the GOP as people like Christie will appeal just fine to northern teabaggers while leaving the true confederate base of the party cold.

  89. 89
    beltane says:

    @Chris: And there are very few elites compared to the vast hoardes of teabaggers. If anything, I can see some kind of regional split forming in the GOP as people like Christie will appeal just fine to northern teabaggers while leaving the true confederate base of the party cold.

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @drew42: “He’ll have about as much success in a Presidential run as Giuliani did.”

    I agree. Giuliani was bad as a national campaigner, but Christie is far too liberal on the things that matter in GOP primaries – abortion, anti-sharia, agenda21, evolution.

    I think the anti-sharia aspect is most likely to bite him in the ass with the GOP. On the 2007 National review cruise – which ended up in Alaska, and found Sarah Palin – a prime concern was that Europe was being taken over by Muslims.
    That crazy has legs.

  91. 91
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    And there are very few elites compared to the vast hoardes of teabaggers.

    Yes, but the elites have all the money, power and connections that it takes to actually run a party, plus control of the media machine – not to mention the non-trivial portion of the GOP base that will follow wherever they go because “hey, they’re rich, they must know something we don’t!”

    If anything, I can see some kind of regional split forming in the GOP as people like Christie will appeal just fine to northern teabaggers while leaving the true confederate base of the party cold.

    As a long process, I can see that happening.

    The Democrats used to be the regional, Southern-only party. Attempts to be competitive in the rest of the country eventually led to a wing of the party that rejected everything the original, Democrats in the South stood for, which took over to become the new Democratic Party. It’s possible something like that could happen to the GOP in the long run.

  92. 92
    rea says:

    Credit where crredit is due. Christie–only 95% evil, not 100%

  93. 93
    BruceK says:

    Christie won against Jon Corzine because Corzine was effectively a crippled candidate (through self-inflicted moral wounds, I’ll grant). He’s no lock for re-election in 2013. The national GOP plan of derailing the recovery to stick it to the Democrats is one Christie can’t afford to follow; if Jerseyites get the idea that Christie’s sacrificing his constituents to his own ambitions, then a year from next Monday, they’ll throw him out on his ear and he’ll have “sabotaged his own state’s recovery from the Storm of the Century” on his record – and can you name one GOP hopeful waiting in the wings who’d hesitate for a heartbeat to use that against him?

    No, Chris Christie’s political survival depends on the storm recovery efforts succeeding.

    Add to that the fact that if the Tea Partiers run the table and start governing in a reactionary, eliminationist style, Christie’s scheduled to be the first one stood up against the electoral wall when a moderate state starts looking for a scapegoat, and all of a sudden an apolitical, helpful exchange with the President in a time of crisis can look like a political lifeline.

  94. 94
    General Stuck says:

    @Chris:

    – there are no “moderates” left and haven’t been since 1994

    Sure there are, they have either registered independent for now, or mostly stayed quiet from being outnumbered by the mouth breathing tea tards. But they are there, blended with the wall paper. A better term to describe their viewpoint would be “pragmatic”, at least for winning elections and gaining power, over the dogmatic impulses of the uber conservatives.

    One thing that motivates the GOP as a whole, is not winning elections to sate their desire for power over their arch enemies the democrats and liberals. And time out of power has usually caused them to suppress their individual passions for what their party should be about, such as they are, and congealing into an integrated party working for the same ends.

    They are doing that now, to a degree, but the question is, is it enough for this election. If not, the moderates, or pragmatists are going to come off the bench to demand a widening of the GOP tent, especially with minority voters that they must have a sizable slice of into the future to win elections.

    Right now, they are only marginally held together in a shared hatred for Barack Obama, that is keeping them competitive with more white votes than normal. But this is PBO’s last election.

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    As a force within the party, I don’t see any moderates. There was some talk immediately after 2008 about how the GOP would have to become more moderate; never happened, instead the party reinvented itself as even more stubbornly conservative, unwilling to compromise and prepared to charge off to the right based on the deluded notion that Bush and McCain failed because they hadn’t been conservative enough.

    I don’t expect much difference after 2012.

  96. 96
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @General Stuck: Dammit, media, here’s your meat. And you can’t have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat.

  97. 97
    General Stuck says:

    @Chris:

    I don’t expect much difference after 2012.

    I didn’t say that I knew who would win such a civil war, just that it will happen if Romney loses, as I think he will. I do doubt into the near future, the pragmatists/moderates will gain back control of the GOP, but if not, they are going to be weakened and split from within, even more than they are. Without a black commie POTUS to rally around beating. We will know soon enough how that will go.

  98. 98
    danimal says:

    Late to the party here, but Mrmix nailed the dynamics perfectly. Cole’s fluffing isn’t entirely wrong, there are a lot of Republicans who can sit down and make a deal, but they have chosen a strategy of obstruction to defeat Obama. Without an Obama to beat, the GOP will devise other frustrating and annoying tactics, but they will probably find it is in their interests to get some of the accumulated junk of the past few years behind them.

    Self-interest is the key. Christie’s praise of Obama is just one example of why the next few years won’t be a replay of the past two years. The GOP has very little leverage over a reelected President Obama on tax and budget issues (aka fiscal cliff). They will deal because they have to deal.

    Most GOPers are evil and just play stupid (but this is far from an ironclad rule). You can deal with evil better than you can deal with stupid.

  99. 99
    MazeDancer says:

    @Capri:

    Totally agree that Christie’s weight will not be an dealbreaker issue. 1) As said upthread, he’s a man. So it makes him not ugly but more imposing. It literally, adds “weight” to battling guy image. 2) Americans are fat, as you noted. And will be happy to vote for a fat guy to get back at all the constant attack at the less than visually perfect.

    Watching Christie being fierce all over the TV, people aren’t thinking first about his weight. He doesn’t look hampered by it. He hasn’t slept in days, clearly, and still raging strong. His passion is clear. Eventually, people get used to seeing him, so his accent and forcefulness trumps his size.

    And by 2016, if the NY Times keeps running those articles about research showing it’s not weight, alone, that is unhealthy and that fat people can be fit, too, then, again, there are more fat voters than thin. And they are tired of being ridiculed. While the near eating disorder level of not eating it takes to keep weight off gets applause, despite their 24/7 obsession. (Remember that NY Times Magazine article about how non-stop “can’t have anything” attitude it takes to keep weight from returning for most people. Body doesn’t want to starve, so metabolism slows while you starve it.)

  100. 100
    Tripod says:

    His administration has been less than forthcoming about the scale of the infrastructure devastation in northern NJ.

    As in, there won’t be any commuter rail service to Manhattan for months.

    This moron refused a bunch of ARRA infrastructure money for the Hudson approaches and is now desperately clinging to Obama for his political life.

  101. 101
    Alex S. says:

    Christie will have to face Cory Booker in 2013, I think. I was surprised that Booker didn’t save a kitten from drowning, or something like that, in the past days. Anyway, Christie certainly isn’t one of the pod people, like, say, John Thune. So he could definitely mount a viable candidacy. He could probably deliver New Jersey, unless the Democrat is Hillary, or maybe Cuomo. He’ll probably have to face Jeb Bush and Huckabee, maybe Portman. If there is still the kind of combustible republican temper that gave us the Tea Party and angry townhall meetings he’ll have good chances.

  102. 102
    blingee says:

    “That gives every Beltway Centrist instant wood”

    And wrong way Cole apparently. Could a post from Cole saying “let’s just give up and let Rmoney win…” Be far behind? There’s still a few days so we shall see

  103. 103

    @JPL: You forget something, which I hope someone down thread mentioned. Christie still has to run for re-election is Governor in ’14. Bungle this, and the U.S.S. Christie is sitting on the bottom of the figurative sea.

  104. 104
    Seth Owen says:

    A lot of people keep talking about Christie’s weight and how Americans won’t elect a “fat” guy. Hello, four years ago we elected a black guy. I don’t think personal appearance is determinative in this process — political talent is. Unlike nearly every other GOP pol you can name, Christie does have charisma. That’s a lot more important than a few extra pounds.

  105. 105
    blingee says:

    @Seth Owen: Hello, Sarah Palin!

  106. 106
    priscianusjr says:

    Mistermix, let me just say thst I am shocked . . . just shocked . . . at the degree of cynicism displayed in your post today.

    I see nothing but sincerity in Mr. Christie’s desire to be president, and in his conviction that Mitt Romney is a dick.

  107. 107
    priscianusjr says:

    @Capri:

    I don’t get the people that think Christie can’t be president because he’s overweight.

    I agree with you. One look tells you that Mr. Christie is a man of considerable substance. The American people elected William Howard Taft, and he weighed over 300 pounds.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @General Stuck: “But this is PBO’s last election.”

    Well the rules say he cannot be elected President a third time, but can you imagine the outrage if a popular Barack Obama ran for VP in 2016?

    If Dick Cheney can run under a figurehead, why not Obama?

  109. 109
    pluege says:

    please try to make sure your colleague Cole sees this. Apparently he’s really easily fooled by snake oil salesmen. christie is a pig – flatout, and incredible lowlife. He could give a crap about anyone other than himself. He’s a megalomaniac, humungous insecure scum bully of the rudy guiliani ilk. Anyone believing otherwise is a fool.

  110. 110
    pluege says:

    please try to make sure your colleague Cole sees this. Apparently he’s really easily fooled by snake oil salesmen. christie is a pig – flatout, and incredible lowlife. He could give a crap about anyone other than himself. He’s a megalomaniac, humungous insecure scum bully of the rudy guiliani ilk. Anyone believing otherwise is a fool.

  111. 111
    The Moar You Know says:

    I don’t get the people that think Christie can’t be president because he’s overweight.

    @Capri: It’s not that he’s overweight, it’s that he so overweight that he is obviously physically ill. The man can’t walk a hundred yards, for God’s sake!

    The rubes – teabaggers, racists, idiots that make up the GOP – are fine with his appearance, and will eat up his bullying and explosive temper. He’s just like the abusive, violent father they always wanted.

    But there’s no way that the guy in his present physical condition could handle a national election. And American voters will react quite differently to a fat candidate as opposed to one who is ill.

  112. 112
    Applejinx says:

    Everybody keeps going on and on about the hordes of teabaggers dragging the party rightwards.

    No. The GOP wanted to go rightwards. There have never been that many teabaggers relative to their influence. They have been astroturf from the start. They were invented by a greedy Wall Street guy, and they are the ‘beard’ for the GOP, like a woman being the beard for a gay man in public office.

    There are a lot of people out there who are angry, threatened and stupid, but they’ve never turned out in hordes and they don’t have a consistent agenda. It fractures with things like Medicare, with the pro-rape stuff going on lately, with support for Wall Street and big finance. Romney was not the guy to unify them.

  113. 113
    Aet says:

    I don’t get the people that think Christie can’t be president because he’s overweight.

    Being overweight since childhood, I can tell you that discrimination against fat people is utterly commonplace and relentlessly hostile. I’ve seen it practiced commonly by teachers, doctors, police, and employers, all with smiles on their face and songs in their heart. At a certain point, the way people treat you is probably a more powerful motivator than your own health. Heart disease can only kill you: depression will make you want to die.

    To me, Christie seems like a megalomaniac, but among politicians that’s not exactly uncommon. I’d take a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac with empathy over a Romneybot any day. It’s also smart politics, in the sense that presenting yourself as a moderate republican who can work with democrats is smart local politics.

    But assuming this is all some plan, I still don’t think Christie has a chance in 2016. Either Romney wins and Christie gets bypassed, or Obama wins and the party descends farther to the right. You think they’re not going to be just as crazy if Obama wins _again_?

  114. 114
    Arclite says:

    What would you do to position yourself for 2016?

    Pull a Mike Huckabee and lose 100 pounds? Bill was pretty heavy for a while, and now he’s a vegan.

  115. 115
    xian says:

    @Applejinx: who knew Sandy was the October surprise?

  116. 116
    MRP says:

    Hmm…

    I have always really really disliked Chris Christie and as someone from NJ am really embarrassed that he is the governor. I also agree that he is very ambitious and shrewd and is playing this very well.

    That said, this is an unbelievably cynical post and as someone from NJ it is deeply upsetting. Have you looked at what is happening all over the state?!?! Not only is the entire shore destroyed, there are displaced and evacuated people in every county due to flooding. Moonachie alone had 1000 people evacuated (from a town of 2700) due to 5feet of water that poured into homes. And that is just one town.

    NJ is a small state and the destruction is epic because it is across the entire state.

    Nobody cares about the state of NJ and it is the perennial butt of jokes from people and places who frankly don’t have that much to brag about themselves. Yes, Chris Christie is very ambitious but he also genuinely loves this state. He’s doing right by it — getting it into the national spotlight and getting it the resources it needs.

  117. 117
    kyle says:

    Some post. Political analysis by someone who has no understanding of the Republican Party.

    Ok, Christie has a dark plan to position himself for 2016 by waiting until the very last days of a super-tight race to make the Democratic nominee look as good as possible. This ploy makes perfect sense because:

    1) Republicans actually like the Democratic nominee and enjoy hearing nice things about him.

    2) Republicans have no sense of tribal loyalty and welcome dissent, especially when it comes to matters of partisan advantage.

    3) Republicans have incredibly short memories when it comes to party contests and won’t remember anything about who said what just before the last presidential vote.

    4) Some guy on the Internet named mistermix is about as smart as a turd out of a monkey’s ass.

    I’m pretty sure the first three points don’t pan out. But we’ve got the last one, and that’s enough.

  118. 118
    tkogrumpy says:

    It’s possible mastermix is right, It’s also possible that Christie is a human being.

  119. 119
    halfcynic says:

    @General Stuck: Well, I suppose they might get Hillary to fire up the old hate machine for another cycle…

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