Underestimate Him at Your Own Peril

I’m hating writing this post, because every time I write something even remotely positive about him, you all go ballistic and act like I am in love with the guy and want to have his babies, but because I have little to no respect for your opinions, here goes anyway: Liberals ignore the political acumen of Chris Christie at their own peril.

I just watched him on the Daily Show, and the confidence and likability he exudes is contagious. He leans forward, is aggressive, smiles, is easy with the banter, and even folks who agree with nothing he stands for him like him- see also, Jon Stewart. Sure, in the aftermath of another ass kicking, Republicans were flaming him, but let’s not forget the old maxim- Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. We just watched Southern Baptists and Evangelicals turn out in large numbers for a man they considered a cultist just a few months ago. By 2016, after eight years out of power, if anyone thinks there will be serious opposition to Christie in the GOP, should he do well in the primaries, is out of their gourd.

He’s smart, he’s quick on his feet, he’s likable if you don’t understand his positions on issues (and considering we have a press that never demanded Romney’s tax returns, I don’t expect anyone to be more informed in 2016), and he has a good smile and a direct approach and combative style that Americans gravitate toward. He’s an extremely popular Republican Governor of a very, very Blue State- one that looks likely to re-elect the corpse of Frank Lautenberg in 2014.

Again, I hope to FSM I am wrong and I hope Christie never holds a higher office than Governor of New Jersey, but I honestly think Democrats dismiss this guy at their own peril. He’s talented, and a bunch of liberals making fat jokes ain’t going to blunt that. It’s time for people to take this guy seriously.

179 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    I feel the same way about Colbert running in SC. Literally – exactly everything you just described, except about Stephen Colbert in SC.

    Stewart couldn’t run for shit.

  2. 2
    donovong says:

    Absolutely positively correct.

  3. 3
    txvoodoo says:

    As a fellow fat American, I don’t make fat jokes about him. Instead, I don’t underestimate the toll a campaign would take on him physically. I don’t think he’s up to it, or the presidency.

    I do not in the least underestimate his political acumen or appeal.

  4. 4
    Auguste says:

    Not much to say here other than hell yes, exactly.

    To be reluctantly fair, I felt like he, more than so many Republicans would have, truly cared about his constituents during Sandy. For that reason, I respect him far more than many of the alternatives.

    But hell yes we need to be careful of him in 2016.

  5. 5
    Nemo_N says:

    Liberals are counting on the republican base taking him out during the primaries.

  6. 6
    Punchy says:

    Fuckin christ, its not even 2013 and progs are supposed to be sweating the 2016 election? From a guy pushing 4 bills with bad hair and close ties to a parfuwl Negro who supports the brown terrorists and gubbmint FEMA money….

  7. 7
    Joseph Nobles says:

    He just kicked Obamacare in the nuts, vetoing the New Jersey exchange. He’ll be golden for the GOP primary in 2016.

  8. 8
    Karmus says:

    But he’s FAT, John. And he displays insufficient hatred of browns.


  9. 9
    cokane says:

    I just don’t really see Christie escaping the Republican primary to be honest–too many heretical positions. Obviously, as a general election candidate he would be formidable.

    But it depends on so much. 4 years is a geological age in politics nowadays.

  10. 10
    KCinDC says:

    I’m not going ballistic, but a couple of points:

    First, Jon Stewart? Being loved by Jon Stewart really catapulted John McCain into the White House, didn’t it?

    Second, there’s a big assumption in “should he do well in the primaries”. As you admit, Republicans aren’t fond of the guy after what they view as his turncoat embrace of Obama, so who is going to be voting for him in these primaries?

  11. 11
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I don’t disagree. I think something lots of partisans get stuck on is that they hate a politician so much and demonize them so much that they start thinking “How could anyone like this guy?!” and thus assume that his inherent unlikeable nature will trip him up. Republicans have been doing this with Obama, of course, for years. They think it’s so self-evident that he’s an evil Communist and continually underestimate him and trash-talk him, and he’s responded by beating them in two elections and passing the ACA over their heads, and that’s just for starters. And still none of the right-wing howlers can take him seriously as an opponent. It’s ‘Barry’ this and ‘Obozo’ that while he pantses them yet again.

    And I think the non-policy criticisms of why Christie ‘can’t’ win are pretty hollow. He’s fat? So are a lot of people. He’s from a blue state? All the better for a GOP that needs to appeal to enough suburban Northerners to win. He’s too liberal for the base? So were Mitt and McCain, before the voters fell in line as usual. He’s rude and aggressive? Um, this is a problem for the modern Republican electorate?

    Honestly, I think the thing is that Christie himself might simply decide he doesn’t want it. Everyone pestered him to get into the 2012 race and he said no pretty forcefully. Why would 2016 be different?

  12. 12
    Narcissus says:

    Gettin’ the handwringing started early this time

    I’m still waiting for the second Obama term to start

  13. 13
    28 Percent says:

    Maybe, but if it’s Jeb vs Christie for the ever-diminishing not-completely-insane voting bloc in the Republican primaries, one or the other of them is going to have to lock the other out of the race fast or risk throwing the nod to somebody like Allen West. And in a contest like that, Christie just isn’t in the same league as Jeb.

  14. 14
    👽 Martin says:

    You have to admit, though. You two would make the cutest babies EVAH!

  15. 15
    KCinDC says:

    Also, I don’t understand how berating and insulting people goes with being likable. Is the idea that he’s going to keep that side of his personality bottled up for the next four years?

    Argh, I hate that I’ve let myself be drawn into 2016 election speculation before 2013 has even started.

  16. 16
    SamR says:

    I don’t think Dems are underestimating him. He’s formidable. I’m hopeful that he’s too moderate for the GOP. Our best chance to beat him is to have him not make it out of a primary.

    He’s President Walken, down to the size, intelligence, likeability, and oh yeah, skill at press conferences.


  17. 17
    Face says:

    I for one will tell Cole to go get bent as I happily ignore a clear RINO for the next 4 years. One who, at the current GOP trajectory, couldnt beat Ted Nugent in a GOP primary.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @Joseph Nobles: He lurves him some Muslins and doesn’t hate on teh ghey or browns enough. Plus he’s from Joisey, and I can’t imagine him having much in the way of appeal in the South and Texas. The Northern primaries he might do really well, but he’ll have to amp up the Jeebus talk and get to bashing some minorities here soon.

  19. 19
    Dave Martin says:

    My parents still live in New Jersey, life-long loyal Democrats, proud of being called liberals. When they picked me up for Thanksgiving, I asked their opinion of Christie… and they like him. Unless the Dems can pick an excellent candidate, they’re going to vote for him in 2013 (for re-election). If he can win over my parents, he is someone we have to be concerned about.

  20. 20
    trollhattan says:

    At any time did he tell Stewart to “leave the gun, take the canoli”?

    I’ma not going to worry about Christie running for preznit. I think the Reps are going full wingnut next go, and Christie’s not playing that role.

  21. 21
    Face says:

    Anyone see Christie as a poor mans stunt double for Bobby Bacala (sp?) from the Sopranos?

  22. 22
    mai naem says:

    I don’t think the Dems are underestimating him. You may want to remember,thought, that he wasn’t all that popular before Sandy. And, if Sandy’s stuff is not taken care of within the next twelve months, his ratings will go down. Also, if the Repubs keep on pulling this Todd Akin garbage, he may switch parties. Lastly but not least, he’s fat. I don’t mean it in a Repubs making fun of Al Gore being fat kind of way. He’s going to have to do a lap band surgery or something. I cannot see him doing eighteen straight months of eighteen hour days and holding up at his current weight. BTW, Christie’s got a bit of the more you know him the less you like him vibe too.

  23. 23
    Original Lee says:

    It’s not so much that Republicans fall in line (although that is part of it) as they pick the heir to the throne. There’s a certain “who’s next in line?” feel to it, with shades of tracing the political lineages like royal genealogies. Every now and then (as will be the case in 2016), there is no obvious heir, and things get messy. I think 1980 was another one of those times, and Reagan won, so next was George H.W. Bush, and then Dole, then W. made the case that he was next (cutting in front of McCain), then McCain, and then Romney. I don’t think there is anybody obvious after Romney, although I think Santorum is starting to make the case that he’s next in line. IMO, anybody who didn’t run in 2012 will have a hard time proving legitimate descent.

  24. 24
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    (looks at calendar)

    IT’S NOT EVEN 2013 YET! For Fuck’s Sake, can we at least get through the inauguration before we start talking about 2016!

  25. 25
    👽 Martin says:

    It’s time for people to take this guy seriously.

    Eh. The problem with all Republicans right now is that you have to plot where they are policy-wise, plot where the general electorate is right now (just plunk down Obama, policy-wise), and plot where the teatards who are going to get candidates through the primary are. Now, draw a line from each candidate to the general electorate and see how much variance there is from that line to where the teatards are.

    Christie could be the awesomest guy on earth, but the only way to get to the general is to do the public orgy with Jesus, Grover, Limbaugh, and Hannity and come out of it not looking like a pandering freak. For a guy like Christie, that’s going to look particularly awkward if the public has put the ‘reasonable’ label on him. And keeping that label means losing the primary. He’s got to solve the problem of the GOP being unable to position a candidate that can win the general. Keep in mind, 2012 may have been their best possible opportunity, and they nominated a guy that had marinated in reasonableness for a decade, and they turned him into a freak that everyone hated because every word except for the moochers and looters bit sounded utterly inauthentic.

    In other words, Christie is going to have to be an exceptionally skilled and souless actor to pull it off, unless the GOP goes through some radical changes over the next few years. They’re currently nursing a 12 point gap in voter identification with the Dems – down to 32%. Their tent is small and shrinking, which means there are fewer and fewer rational voters to carry a guy through the primary – 5%, per the law of 27s.

  26. 26
    neil says:

    Actually, I think it’s Republicans who won’t take Chris Christie seriously. Many blame him for Romney’s loss – which is ridiculous and everything, but since when has that stopped them?

    He’s going to be the guy who stood in front of the cameras with Obama – and that’s just not done.

  27. 27
    mai naem says:

    @Yutsano: He does too hate on the ghey. Booker called him on saying that gay marriage should go to a referendum.

  28. 28
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Honestly, if you think he’s too liberal for a Republican primary, well, maybe so. But we were all saying the exact same thing about Mitt at the beginning of 2012. We also said that the GOP will never turn out for a Mormon, because the evangelicals hate Mormons so much, it’s simply not possible. I was personally assured this by people who ‘know how evangelicals think’ or whatever. Well, here we are again. I think the missing piece is that Republicans might not be the well-oiled machine they used to be, but they’re not exactly bad at this. They’ll figure out how has the best chance to beat the Democrat and they’ll fall in behind him. They take this shit seriously.

    One thing that might make a difference is if it does in fact turn out to be just Obama being black and all that’s the primary motivating factor. If, for example, Clinton runs, she still has quite the base in places like Arkansas and Tennessee. Or some other white guy like O’Malley. I mean, it’s ugly to think about, but it’s true. I read a study once that said 2-3% of voters would have voted Democrat in 2008 if it weren’t for Obama’s race. Doesn’t sound like much, but in a Presidential election that’s a lot.

  29. 29
    Hill Dweller says:

    For starters, Jon Stewart likes Bill O’Reilly.

    Unemployment has gone up since Christie became governor(after the worst of the recession), and hit a 32 year high. He got caught lying about the Race to the Top debacle, and inflating costs for the tunnel to NY project so he could end it(costing NJ hundreds of millions). He just refused to set up the insurance exchange for Obamacare to pander to the wingnuts, while asking Obama to pick up the entire tab for his state’s cleanup.

    Christie is every bit as overrated as Paul Ryan. He’s the next Guliani.

  30. 30
    hells littlest angel says:

    Everything John says is true, but I still don’t think Christie could survive in a primary against Paul Ryan, genius, or Bobby Jindal, super-genius.

    And isn’t it odd how Jon Stewart fawns over right-wing shit-heads who just happen to be physically imposing (O’Reilly, Alan Simpson and Christie, for instance)?

  31. 31
    👽 Martin says:

    @Dave Martin: Being a likeable Republican in New Jersey, like being a likeable Republican in Massachusetts is an entirely different beast than being a likeable Republican in South Carolina or Texas or any other state necessary to carry a Republican to the White House. That is the conundrum for the GOP. How do you think your parents would like Rick Perry, because he’s liked as well, and he got flushed out of the primaries for the crime of having a rational attitude toward immigration.

    Christies greatest advantage is that Floridians should love the shit out of the guy no matter what he does.

  32. 32
    kc says:

    He’s not entirely bad, and he certainly seems 20 times smarter than every other Republican pol.

    What I don’t like is the way he can be such a colossal asshole to people who really don’t deserve it.

    He was pretty good in that interview.

  33. 33
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m not certain what group he plays to outside of New Jersey. He doesn’t suffer fools, and there are a lot of those. I can’t see that act playing well in Iowa town hall debates 1-12.

    I can also see Bush gathering up all of Christies donors before long. He’s not going to run without money and he’s not actually connected to the other parts of the wingnut welfare club to tap anything there. Do you see Adelson or Friess or someone like that bankrolling him? They want nut’s nuts and Christie doesn’t do that.

  34. 34
    Dork says:

    Christie is another Guliani. A popular R in a very D location due to a one-off dusaster. Yet one who had to go so far right to pick up teh crazies in the primaries that he looked fake and stupid. Wont work in 2016, when the party willl be so far right that Huckabee will look like Che and DeMint will be seen as a moderate…

  35. 35
    Balconesfault says:

    I’m not sure Christie hasn’t earned at least a short term reprieve given his conduct during Ike. There’s some goodwill there, and the Dems are going to look like shitheels if they start flaming him right now.

  36. 36
    joeyess says:

    I agree with everything our blogmaster said. Aside from the fact that the GOP base is so bugfuckery nuts that they’ve scratched the skin off their arms and are now etching the words “Not Conservative Enough” on their ulnae, they did indeed flip for Romney the moment he began the Lying Tour. Romney proved to them that he was a member of the tribe when he so brazenly repeated provable falsehoods and when the GOP base saw his lies pissed off liberals, well, they fell right into line behind their new standard bearer…… Mormon or not.

    They’ll have long forgiven Christy for The Hug and Christy not disappoint when he gives the country exactly the lecture it deserves. Conservatives love that. Some regular folks do too.

    We’ll see.

  37. 37
    hells littlest angel says:


    …Ted Nugent in a GOP primary.

    That would be awesome.

  38. 38
    Jon says:

    @Nemo_N: This. I can’t remember reading an article saying he’s a political idiot. But if he has to start talking like a right winger extremist to get the nomination like Romney did, then, well,things are different.

  39. 39
    👽 Martin says:


    they did indeed flip for Romney the moment he began the Lying Tour

    Not really. I mean, they still failed to get him elected, which means that there were GWB voters that ran from him. And in the end his fundraising was crap. Yeah, he had his billionaires, but he was ultimately cash-starved because the base didn’t open up and they kept him on a pretty short leash. He was constantly walking back statements that weren’t insane enough, even during the general.

  40. 40
    moderateindy says:

    I too think he is a very good politician. The Repubs already showed that they will vote for the guy that they believe has the best shot at winning. After 8 years of being out of power that particular proclivity will only increase. His chances of getting through the primary depends on whether or not the GOP continues it’s accelerated lurch towards Randian insanity, or if they slowly pull back from their current trajectory. Of course there is always a chance that they go completely off the cliff and the wingnuts decide to start a third party if the Republican establishment starts to moderate. Can you imagine the results of the Tea Party actually becoming a political party?
    But the truth is he is really, really fat. Morbidly obese. While I don’t think that will keep people from voting for him, if he doesn’t lose a large sum of weight, and improve his physical condition, I really don’t believe that he will be able to stand up to a truly grueling schedule that is required of a presidential candidate.

  41. 41
    RadioOne says:

    is placing a few caveats on the potential for him getting the GOP nomination and then winning the Presidency in 2016 really underestimating him at our peril?

  42. 42
    👽 Martin says:

    @hells littlest angel: No, Chuck Norris in the primary would be awesome.

  43. 43
    Dork says:

    @Balconesfault: What did Christie do during Ike? Didnt that hit Texas?

  44. 44
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    @KCinDC: I don’t understand how berating and insulting people goes with being likable.

    Mostly, he aims his fits of temper at reporters. And Newt proved over the last year that a Republican actually gains popularity for bullying the press.

  45. 45
    MattR says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    He’s the next Guliani.

    You beat me to the punch.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is the issue, seriously now, that not enough people are talking about the political prospects of Chris Christie? He’s a longstanding favorite of the cult of the savvy. The people who liked McCain like Christie for the same reasons they used to like McCain. Sense of humor, no bullshit, not a Bible-thumper. We’ve been down this road before. It’s pretty much the only road they have, if the objective is to find One Decent Republican. Old story, not a new one.

  47. 47
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Also, Christie = Rex Ryan.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    mai naem says:

    If the Dems nominate HRC, the Repub crowds are going to bring up all the old ugly Clinton stuff and they’ll add in the Obama is a Musleem Ni-Clang! Kenyan born crap just for good measure. Well, I don’t see how Christie deals with that and keeps both the general electorate and the Wingnut Whackjob crowds happy.

  50. 50
    jheartney says:

    @Hill Dweller: Exactly, Guiliani is the correct reference. Remember when Rudy, Hero of 9/11 was the Guy to Fear, cuz the wingnuts would see past the fact that he was a big-city ethnic with ghey roommates because he’d win their hearts by being the biggest asshole on the block? All the lefties shaking in their boots about how strong he’d be in the general? Somebody forgot to tell the wingnuts.

    In 2012 Huntsman was the one Chicago didn’t want to run against, and they were probably right. Actual moderate, smart, decent amount of experience. The wingnuts hated him, and he came in last, behind jokes like Herman Cain and the Newtster.

    It’s WAY early to be even thinking about it, but if you must, don’t lose sleep over Christie yet. Remember who it is votes in the Republican primaries, and also who controls all that money. Christie not likely to be their guy.

  51. 51
    Hill Dweller says:

    @joeyess: Far more people voted against Obama than voted for Romney.

    Again, Christie has not been a good governor. His approval ratings have risen post-hurricane, but that will fade.

    Christie didn’t do himself any favors by pissing off Obama(again), who is providing the funds for the cleanup, by refusing to set up the insurance exchanges in Obamacare. If the cleanup doesn’t go well, which will depend largely on the money from the federal government, Christie will get hammered.

  52. 52
    Del says:

    Wait, I’m supposed to see him as a threat because John Stewart, the “outsider gadfly” who never sees a problem he can’t blame on both sides and feel superior to, likes him? Eh, I’ll take my chances.

  53. 53
    katie5 says:

    @KCinDC: @Quaker in a Basement: He aims most of his temper at everyday people. You just don’t read about it in the press. And he’s incredibly petty to gov employees who upset him. Sure, he’s loveable bully. And lots of New Jerseyans fancy themselves as tough guys. But they’re mercurial about governors and quick to blame them/boot them for bad economies. I don’t think he’ll last any longer than any of the others.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:


    They’ll have long forgiven Christy for The Hug and Christy not disappoint when he gives the country exactly the lecture it deserves. Conservatives love that. Some regular folks do too.

    I think this gets to the key think that John likes about him: he’s managed to sell his biggest negative- that he’s a giant flaming asshole- as a positive- that he’s a straight shooter who points out uncomfortable truths. Yes, he does occasionally call out the craziest wing of the Republican Party, usually when they turn on him. But he’s still a typical Republican thug who expects the weakest people in society to take it in the shorts whenever something goes wrong.

  55. 55
    Mandalay says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    And I think the non-policy criticisms of why Christie ‘can’t’ win are pretty hollow. He’s fat? So are a lot of people.

    But people who run for president are never fat. They can’t be; voters find it really icky. Even fat people don’t want a fat president. Huckabee had ditched about three tons of blubber when he ran in 2008. And Christie is beyond fat. He is really, really obese. Lots of photo ops for mean-spirited Democrats during the campaign.

    And as far as other non-policy criticisms go, he has a really mean streak and a really short fuse. He’d be telling people to go fuck themselves during the primaries as soon as the going got rough. He is a nasty fat time bomb.

    He’s too liberal for the base? So were Mitt and McCain, before the voters fell in line as usual.

    No. It was completely the other way around. Severely conservative Mitt “self-deportation” Romney fell in line with what was required of him by the Republican base during the primaries, which later became a noose around his neck.

    He’s rude and aggressive? Um, this is a problem for the modern Republican electorate?

    It’s not the Republican electorate he is trying to win over in the election campaign – it is everyone else. His rudeness and aggression will be serious liabilities.

  56. 56

    While I agree with the general sentiment of Cole’s post, I don’t see anyone of any consequence who is underestimating Christie. It’s pretty clear that the president considers Christie to be a serious person. He is not beloved in the Village, not yet anyway, but they can be pretty capricious. So, sure, don’t take him lightly. But what does that mean? It’s not like I have any capacity to influence the outcomes.

    Four years out is when people decide to run. Christie’s first hurdle is getting re-elected. The second is winning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada.

    If he runs for re-election, he should be asked often and with some vigor, “Are you running for president?” If nothing else it will drive him up a wall.

    Assuming he wins re-election, how long will he pretend to be governor before he hits the campaign trail? When he gets to Des Moines, he will find that the other candidates have been there for two years.

    His main strength is and will continue to be that the Republicans really do not have credible, electable national candidates.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    Naw, John, barring some disaster, the 2016 Republican nominee is going to be Rick Santorum. It will be “his turn”, since he was the guy who won the GOP primary voters’ hearts in 2012, even as their authoritarian leaders whipped them into line for Willard ‘Who?” Romney.

    If Christie is gong to run in 2016, it’ be as a Democrat, and semi-recovered authoritarians like John Cole will be the first in line to hail him as “way better than that dried-up old pol Hillary, or those untested Candidates X, Y, and Z”.

    (Fair warning, Cole, if you try that on even as a joke, I will track you down to Morgantown or the ends of the earth — which I figure for the next township over — and murder you in front of Lily. Who will be traumatized. So don’t even think about it.)

    Seriously, folks: Christie’s not considering a national run until he’s switched sides, because all those folksy traits that make him attractive to centrists like Cole are the mark of the beast to modern GOPers. I would bet a whole package of store-bought cookies on that.

  58. 58
    Corner Store Operator says:

    Isn’t this exactly what everyone said about McCain for years until he had to run and win a GOP primary which means you have to basically become a dick?

  59. 59
    joeyess says:

    @👽 Martin: @Hill Dweller: All I’m saying is that the GOP’s base is crazy. Remember how much fun we had on November 6? The schadenfreude was oh so sweet…….

    Well, they love sticking it to “libtards” so much more than we love sticking it to them. If our schadenfreude was as sweet as theirs, our sugar levels would be catastrophically, perhaps fatally high.

  60. 60
    amk says:

    Preemptive hair on fire, cole ? jon stewart lurvs many repubs including bill o’ racist. So ?

  61. 61
    Mandalay says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    He got caught lying about the Race to the Top debacle

    He did indeed, and compounded the problem by never apologizing. Democrats can smear him with his own shit over that if he runs for president. Real sleazy (lack of) character issues that voters will be able to understand easily.

    Christie is every bit as overrated as Paul Ryan. He’s the next Guliani.


  62. 62
    28 Percent says:

    @Original Lee: See, that’s where I think it’s gonna be Jeb “the smart one” Bush in 2016. He’ll run and the Repubs will see him as the guy they always wanted and who coulda saved them in 2008 and 2012 if it wasn’t for the damage W had done to the “brand” – they’ll identify with him over that. And it’s a long time between now and the next primaries, but he’s positioning himself for it already.

  63. 63
    ChrisNYC says:

    I think his achilles heel is the “I am so impressing myself with my awesome schtick CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Am I booked yet on Today tomorrow? I’m gonna kill on Today. Matt loves me.” vibe. He’s almost starlet giddy. Clinton was never like that, nor Obama, nor GWB. I think it’s a bad sign of someone who doesn’t really get the game and would have a hard time with the whole long long slog.

  64. 64
    joeyess says:

    By 2016, there will be a whole lot of people that were 70, 71, 72yrs old who voted in 2012. And there will be a whole lot less of that demographic in 4 years.

  65. 65
    amk says:

    @Anne Laurie:


    centrists like Cole

  66. 66
    Eric U. says:

    I don’t disregard any republican politician. Republican daddies are really popular with the idiots who run our national media. I remember thinking that Reagan was an idiot that could be disregarded in 1976, and then suffered through 12 years of his miserable administration later. If me taking him seriously in ’76 could have somehow kept him from getting elected, my life no doubt would have been a lot better

  67. 67
    moron says:

    You could have attributed *all* the same positives to Rudy Giuliani. Christie has a remarkably similar profile to Giuliani in 2008 — former US attorney, relatively liberal on social issues, Republican executive of a strongly Democratic constituency, and possibly could have had considerable strengths as a candidate in the general election if he had somehow been able to win a GOP primary.

    All the same liabilities are there too: Mostly, that he’ll have huge obstacles winning a GOP primary, but not limited to that. He has the exact same gratuitous mean-asshole vibe that Giuliani was never able to get rid of either. There’s something about both of them
    that signals a deeply screwed-up personality, that neither of them does well at veiling with wholesome normalness even at the level that, say, Romney could. Not that he wouldn’t be dangerous: Everyone always knew there was something seriously wrong with Nixon too, before he got elected, and he won anyway because the circumstances were right.
    But for the most part, I don’t see why anyone should take Cristie in 2016 more seriously than Giuliani in 2008.

    Christie = Giuliani minus the 9/11 hero mystique.

  68. 68
    johio says:

    I’ve really wondered if Romney needed to move so far to the right to win. The slate of candidates was so weak last year and he had so much money, that I wonder if he had been brave enough to hold further to the left on immigration and abortion (not taking liberal positions, just something less knuckle dragging than he took), if he could have stll won the nomination and been far better off for the general.
    This doesn’t mean anything for next time since the Republican field seems likely to be much stronger, of course. Still, I think Romney’s biggest weakness may have been a complete failure to assess the weakness of his field and therefore overcorrecting right off the cliff.

  69. 69
    SatanicPanic says:

    Dude, Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated for his 2nd term yet, do we have to talk about this already?

  70. 70
    RILnyc says:

    Who ignores and/or underestimates him? Maybe you do. No one I know does.

    That said, the first four primaries are IA, NH, SC, NV.

    Christie can make it through one of those.

  71. 71
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    As I’ve said before, we can hope for the GOP to implode into annihilation, or we can be realists. If Christie makes it through the gauntlet of the primary (and a DeMinty-fresh wingnut welfare system) then it actually suggests that the party might be in a situation where something akin to normal politics can take place, where one party isn’t denying the direction of the sunrise.

    All of which is to say, if Christie is the GOP candidate in 2016, American politics is probably — in the broad scheme of things — in a better position than it is in 2012. Which isn’t a terrible thing, because a batshit GOP is not good for the body politic.

  72. 72
    Gretchen says:

    @ChrisNYC: He’s not just fat, he’s in very poor condition. He was helicoptered in to one of his kids’ ballgames, and he needed a car to pick him up and drive him across the field. A guy who can’t walk across a field isn’t going to run for president for long.
    And Romney masked his liberalism with lots of lies. I can’t see Christie having the patience to do that. His schtick is “this is what I think and I don’t care what you think”.

  73. 73

    I’m hating writing this post

    Maybe because it’s completely superficial bullshit with no real empirical basis?

    The thing that really stands out here is Christie being at the bottom of the pile. Although his cooperation with President Obama in relation to Hurricane Sandy doesn’t seem to have hurt him with Republicans in New Jersey, these numbers suggest it has caused some irritation with him outside the state. His favorability with folks describing themselves as ‘very conservative’ is only 42/31, with every other person we tested over 60%.

    Christie leads Rubio 35-5 among GOP moderates, but there just aren’t many left

    They have no bench. None.

    Now, like some other good people have said, can we at least make it to the innauguration before we start fluffing 2016 contenders?

  74. 74
    hitchhiker says:

    Well, I think the best thing we can do to help ourselves is keep talking about how much we love him, and how awesomely real he is, and how little he cares about the usual Republican hot buttons . . . ad nauseum, creating a strong and lasting impression that he’s really a Democrat.

    That would hose him good in the primaries.

  75. 75
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    The Repubs already showed that they will vote for the guy that they believe has the best shot at winning.

    But they also, by tradition, nominate the runner-up last time. And I don’t exactly know who that is from 2012, given that every wingnut had a brief moment of glory before being crushed by the Romneybot, although Santorum is quantitively in that position.

  76. 76
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Obama took Ohio by three and one half percent. He won Florida by less than one percent. As great a campaigner as he is and with the benefit of incumbency many of his by-state margins were pretty narrow even though he was running against a candidate with all of the charisma of a kitchen sponge.

    Barring a near-miraculous re-taking of the House in 2014 I think that the Dems will have a tough time holding on to the presidency in 2016.

  77. 77
    GregB says:

    Christie/Gellar 2016!

  78. 78
    columbusqueen says:

    I certainly don’t underestimate him, but the weight is a major issue–it’s not the way it used to be, when the seriously rotund could win the White House (Taft, anyone?) OTOH, if Christie starts losing pounds come 2014-15, it’ll be a good sign he’s running.

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    The New York Times reviews Christie’s appearance on The Daily Show.

  80. 80
    MattF says:

    I don’t disagree, but Christie’s got one major problem: Republicans just don’t like him very much. Don’t forget, winger-world is an alternate reality– what looks good to us looks bad to them.

  81. 81
    columbusqueen says:

    Barring a near-miraculous re-taking of the House in 2014 I think that the Dems will have a tough time holding on to the presidency in 2016.

    Depends on whether the wingnuttia rule the GOP roost by then.

  82. 82
    Anne Laurie says:


    That said, the first four primaries are IA, NH, SC, NV.
    Christie can make it through one of those.

    I’d predict two — Nevada will look at him and see a casino boss; NH will look at him and see a self-centred prick, and the home of the Free State Project loves self-centred pricks.

    But I still say, if Christie’s running in 2012, he’ll be running as a “reasonable” Democrat, courting the centrists.

  83. 83
    Geoduck says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Even though he was running against a candidate with all of the charisma of a kitchen sponge.

    Counter-balanced by the fact that he himself was, you know, blah. A white guy with the same personality and record would have crushed Romney even more thoroughly.

  84. 84
    cokane says:

    @Anne Laurie: this.

    People need to remember that the regular primary voters want to feel like the candidates have paid their dues to the party. McCain paid his by running in 2000, then bowing out. He was rewarded in 2008. Romney, very strategically bowed out early in 2008, and was rewarded equally for it. Voters in Iowa, NH, Nevada, and South Carolina don’t forget that. Also Santorum should play strong in Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada. Christie? NH seems good for him, but not the other ones.

    I also think Christie is going to have a harder time putting on the “severely conservative” mask that Romney donned. He’s just a different kind of personality than Romney.

  85. 85
    CW in LA says:

    I idolized Jon Stewart for years. I’m convinced he’s fully aware of how loathsome Rethugs are, even the ones he curries favor with. However, he can’t bring himself to say so because then they won’t come on his show. And even thought the result would be a much better show, he wouldn’t be Important any more. He’s allowed himself to be co-opted for the sake of access, much like the press he built his career on justifiably ridiculing. Not that he doesn’t still make plenty of excellent points, but he’s put his gonads away in the Village’s central depository for such things.

    PS: I for one fully intend to underestimate Gov. Christie. So there.

  86. 86
    MattR says:

    @Elizabelle: From that NY Times review

    Explaining his attitude, the governor said, “If you are an idiot, I’m going to call you an idiot, and if you don’t like it, then stop acting like an idiot.”

    This may sound good at first blush to some people but IMO it will wear thin pretty quickly with some of them as they realize that his definition of an idiot is anyone who disagrees with him about the issue at hand.

  87. 87
    Joel says:

    I don’t underestimate Christie at all. He is bellicose, however, and hasn’t had to face the fire of a major campaign. It’s not like he’s whitewashed like Romney.

  88. 88
    hells littlest angel says:

    I don’t see Christie surviving the Iowa caucuses. Doesn’t that involve eating things like deep-fried cheese?

  89. 89
    Joel says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The closest tipping point state was Pennsylvania, which Obama won by 5.4%

    That is not especially close in modern elections.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    I don’t think it will be Cristie in 2016 for many of the reasons already stated.
    Batshit crazy conservatives(that’s all of them) are thinking about this as we speak. No we can’t wait to see how things go for a while before we start to worry. It’s too important to our nation that we don’t screw this up. We have to have a good run for at least another 2 terms after Obama just to recover from the last time we gave them the keys. And who is that going to be? Who are the outstanding 2 or 3 possible dem candidates? Hillary doesn’t work for me in 4 more years than she did 4 years ago. Who else is there? Because it doesn’t matter who republicans run if we don’t have a strong candidate.

  91. 91
    👽 Martin says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Barring a near-miraculous re-taking of the House in 2014 I think that the Dems will have a tough time holding on to the presidency in 2016.

    Depends a great deal on how the next 2 years play out. We have some seriously promising things lined up: manufacturing revival, housing prices are recovering, jobs are returning, Obamacare will be in full effect, gay marriage will no longer be a wedge issue, immigration may be a least diminished as an issue, Afghanistan should be done with, Arab spring will be much further along.

    Obama was running on promise of continued improvement, but Dems in 2016 should be able to run on a promise fulfilled. That’t not necessary a big advantage (didn’t help Gore) but it should be an easier job than the one Obama had this round.

  92. 92
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    That is not especially close in modern elections.

    When I see an important state like PA won by a single-digit margin that troubles me. I guess it’s just my natural pessimism.

    OTOH, what am I worried about? By 2016 I’ll be close to 70 so I’ll probably be more concerned with gumming my food than who’s president.

  93. 93
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Double-Digit margins are reserved for states like Utah and Hawaii. PA in particular has gone blue every year since ’92-at some point we ought to stop worrying about it.

    The thing about the electoral map is that Dems have multiple paths to victory in any given presidential race, while the Repubs have to go 10 for 10 on a variety of swing states, because winning Mississippi and Alabama by enormous margins doesn’t make up for the fact that New York and California are out of their reach for good.

  94. 94
    👽 Martin says:

    @MattR: Actually, the problem is Christie’s schtick appeals to douchebag sympathizers. Remember, Cole was a frat boy and tanker. And there’s more than a few of these around the country, and particularly in places like NY and NJ and in the GOP.

    But it’s a limited population and outside of that population vastly more people simply despise douchebags. People aren’t indifferent to it, they just don’t like it at all.

  95. 95
    👽 Martin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: And in 4 years, states like Arizona and Georgia and even South Carolina are going to look like Nevada. If Dems can get their state organization in shape, Texas may be in play as well.

  96. 96
    keith says:

    His weight is no joke – the man is in poor health. Did you notice how much he was bulging out of his suit? His ability to serve four years without a heart attack is a serious and legitimate factor when he runs for president.

  97. 97
    LosGatosCA says:

    I’m thinking Rudy ‘with gay roommates’ Giuliani.

    He’s got some skills, but he has no base in the conservative Republican TeaBaggers.

    OTOH, if Jim DeMint starts doing fundraisers for him at Heritage and he starts looking like Al Roker – I’ll worry, a little.

  98. 98
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    That is reassuring. I need reassurance because the political landscape I’m seeing these days often makes me wonder if I’m not suffering from Advanced Liberal Getoffmylawnism (I’m in my mid-sixties).

  99. 99
    Rathskeller says:

    I refuse to care about GOP candidates for 2016. Christie has political skill and obvious ambition, and good for him. But a million things could happen between now, including the chance that this mean, choleric fuck dies of a stroke while yelling at someone.

  100. 100
    Lumpy says:

    Chris Christie may be charismatic, smart and talented, but he won’t end up on top after a GOP primary campaign. He’s a (relatively) Liberal, East coast politician. 4 years is not enough time to reset the biases of the national Republican base. I expect that there will still be plenty of dead-enders who won’t get excited enough about a Christie campaign to secure a win. And if Obama has a successful term, the prognosis will be even worse for the GOP in 2016, IMO.

  101. 101
    Triassic Sands says:

    December 7, 2012. A date that won’t live in infamy. And neither is it a time to either dismiss or worry unduly about Chris Christie. Democrats don’t get to choose the Republican nominee, but four years before the next election it seems a little early to be wringing our hands over possible GOP nominees, especially given their record for self-destructing.

    I’m not sure what difference taking Christie seriously now (and who isn’t, by the way?) will make in 2016.

  102. 102
    karen marie says:

    @SamR: I don’t mean to pick on you, dear, it’s just that your comment is a concise demonstration of CW bullshit.

    Christie is a more plausible candidate than Herman Cain!, Newt, Bachmann or Santorum, but in 2016 he’ll be selling the same boatload of shit they’ve been flogging the last 30 years. If Christie runs and manages to win, I would attribute it more to the incompetence of his Democratic opponent’s campaign than to any brilliance attributable to Christie.

    If you convince yourself and others that something is inevitable, it will probably in fact happen. Don’t do Christie’s and the media’s heavy-lifting beforehand, don’t give them any help fixing the narrative.

    Just like Mitt, in order to become the Republican candidate, Christie will have to publicly embrace all that is crazy and offensive in the GOP — the party that casts principled votes against rights of disabled people. I just don’t see that happening again in my lifetime (given my age, that’s not such a long window but hey).

    (edited for clarity)

  103. 103
    Baron Elmo says:

    Naw, John, barring some disaster, the 2016 Republican nominee is going to be Rick Santorum. It will be “his turn”, since he was the guy who won the GOP primary voters’ hearts in 2012, even as their authoritarian leaders whipped them into line for Willard ‘Who?” Romney.

    Mike Huckabee will knock Santorum out of the box with minimal effort if he chooses to run – and personally, I’m betting he only sat out the last election to avoid going up against Obama. Huck appeals just as much to the bible thumpers as Santorum, but his persona is much more affable. Rick is too much the moral scold, and that even turns off a lot of right-wing Christians.

    What makes Huckabee so interesting as a presidential candidate is that the fundamentalist base loveloveloves him, while the 1% Repubs hate his guts, ‘cos he, almost alone among conservatives, claims to believe in compassion for the poor. If he’d run in 2012, that long-overdue war between the Falwell Army and the Randians for the “soul” of conservativism might have erupted for real.

  104. 104
    Applejinx says:

    Guys, come on, Obama is building up Christie for a reason. I approve.

    Christie is ramming the overton window of the wingnuts hard to the left on things like the virulent, hateful prejudice against brown and Muslim people they’ve got. His bullying obnoxiousness is awesome in that context, more please.

    In a primary, he’s got to go against the healthier and Bushier JEB! who has a Hispanic wife- again, ramming the racist-window hard left and causing vital cognitive dissonance where it’s most needed- and he’s got to go against Santorum, and it would be lovely to see this fat bullying prick go off on Santorum. Santorum is SO extreme on some religious American Taliban issues that we could get some Christie tirades against the creepy fundamentalist bullshit that no Democrat could get away with. I want that. I want a ‘Republican’ laying some of that crap to waste, scorning it viciously, saying that isn’t America in the least.

    If Huckabee runs, apparently he can define Christie as an asshole on social issues? All to the good. Same deal regarding the fundamentalism- pretty sure Christie would be good and harsh about that stuff, especially as it reflects on Muslims and other faiths. He seems personally offended at some of that religious intolerance. Useful.

    They will fight like Kilkenny cats, and the Democrat (any/all Democrats) will sit back above the fray looking reasonable. Cole’s out of his mind- Christie is a best case scenario, even if JEB! doesn’t try to run and it’s all about the Santorum remaining after the reaming the Republicans got in 2012…

  105. 105
    Applejinx says:

    @Baron Elmo:
    The fundamentalist base is leaning hard away from compassion. Read ‘Slacktivist’… I’m not convinced Huckabee automatically beats Santorum with them, because Santorum is hateful, and a lot of those guys have REALLY been losing their way. Plus, how can Huckabee claim to be the heir if he’s been sitting this stuff out? Santorum has a much better claim to be ‘next’.

  106. 106
    mai naem says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The demographics favor the Dems. Not a guarantee by any means but I don’t see how you can say that now. There’s Obamacare,which if its implementation is done halfway well will deliver a nice fat chunk of votes for the Dems. Don’t forget, it’s called Obamacare. Also, I doubt the Dems will have a black nominee, at least for the top spot. It might end up meaning a drop in AA turnout but it should also mean some white votes. the Repubs could make some inroads into the Hispanic vote if they nominate a Hispanic but I still think the Dems get credit for an immigration bill. Also, a few more Sandys will probably have more of an impact in the 2016 election and the Repubs don’t even believe in climate change. Maybe HRC can get Gore to be her veep and Jeb can get Ben Quayle to be his veep. Clinton/Gore vs. Bush/Quayle.

  107. 107
    bob h says:

    I don’t think the remarks about Lautenberg are appropriate. Just being that old doesn’t make you a corpse, and he is very active in behalf of liberal causes.

    Christie at the end of the day is a NJ goombah who will never be President. I still have a bookmark to a column of yours entitled “Why Perry Will Be the Nominee”; this seems to be in the same class.

  108. 108
    alizonia says:

    He’s a bully and women don’t like bullies.

  109. 109
    rob! says:

    Oh John, you are just in love with Christie and want to have his babies.

    There, done. Okay, next thread!

  110. 110
    hoodie says:

    @Applejinx: This is probably an accurate assessment, assuming Christie can even contemplate the rigors of a presidential campaign with his obesity. Christie also has a giant boulder in his way with the initials HRC, assuming she actually runs. If she does, she will walk through the Dem primaries and will have gobs of money to go against a Repub nominee who is either a winger or a Christie or Jeb! who has been sullied by the Repub primary process, because the teabaggers are not going away any time soon. HRC announcing will probably coincide with a lot of Repub candidates deciding to spend more time on “working outside the system” for $$$$ like Creme DeMint.

  111. 111
    1badbaba3 says:

    We thought we knew batshit crazy in ’06. But then came ’08 and with it ” A Nation of Whiners” (did he really just say that? Out loud? On the record? Holy crap!), “The fundamentals of the economy are strong”, and Sarah motherfucking Palin. We thought that would be peak wingnut. Ha! In a matter of six years they’ve gone from being the Daddy Party to bigfootin’ and goosestepping all over everyone for the Fatherland. If they are proudly and openly being Nazi fucks now, where the fuck are they going to be four years from now? Chris Christie, not unlike Mittens, would have been perfect in 2000, but now they are exactly the kind of Republican the Big Money has been purging from the party with a religious fervor since 2006. See Arlen Spector among others. Four more years of Metrosexual Black Abe Lincoln will likely drive them totally into Crazyville (and open insurrection). And there is no figure large enough (no pun intended – but funny nonetheless) to bring them back. Like Romney, Christie will barely be tolerated in the South, but there will be no love. Likewise, The Huckster in the North. They are split and they are doomed. Obama is doing them like a wishbone, and after he gets done with them they’ll be begging for 27%. Goddamn Magnificent Morans.

  112. 112
    dan says:

    Don’t fear Christie. New York would be lucky to have him. He’s more liberal than Cuomo.

  113. 113
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I never understand these “You underestimate X at your peril!” posts. Unless one of us is a David Axelrod, it really doesn’t make a damned bit of difference how we feel about the guy. If we don’t write him off as unelectable, will Republicans vote differently in their primaries than if we did? If he gets nominated, do you think people won’t fight the guy tooth and nail without three years head start?

    The only thing to be done now is to define the guy as a gluttonous prick, and he’ll do a fine job of that all by himself, thank you very much.

  114. 114
    Mothra says:

    When I think of Christie, I think of him basically telling a women “I’ve got your job right here” and grabbing his crotch [not literally, but the underlying meaning was clear] in an appearance with Romney. We’ve established that the GOP has a problem with women, and it’s not going to be enhanced by that kind of behavior.

    It’s been pointed out to me that Christie seems to have trouble managing his anger-the pressure of a national campaign might bring that out pretty clearly.

    I’m not saying we should write him off-just that he telegraphs messages that won’t play well nationally.

  115. 115
    scottinnj says:

    @bob h:

    Also, too I think there is a very good chance Lautenberg will not run for re-election which will open the door for Cory Booker. I dont see any serious Dem opposition to Booker and he should win the Senate seat in a cakewalk in NJ. Booker has said he will decide soon if he is going to run for Gov and I think he will decide the Senate is the betterlace.

  116. 116
    Cuppa Cabana says:

    It’s not just about “liberals making fat jokes.” Christie really is about three cheeseburgers away from morbidly obese. When was the last time we had a fat president? That might be unfair and prejudiced and we might be a country of lipophobes (ironic, since about 2/3 of us are overweight or obese), but it’s also true that we don’t want to have a beer with a fattie.

  117. 117
    gene108 says:

    I reserve judgement on Christie.

    He’s riding on a high from actually doing his job after Sandy.

    Bush, Sr. looked well nigh unbeatable after Desert Storm.

    Who knows what can shake out between now and 2016, let alone 2013’s re-election campaign.

    Christie’s biggest strength is the pain he’s inflicted on NJ has mostly been on the poor, so middle class folks don’t have a direct reason to loathe him.

  118. 118
    Gindy51 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Christie = Rex Ryan = smart Luca Brasi, no thanks. We already had Fredo (twice) and I don’t want any more Godfather characters for president.

  119. 119
    khead says:

    C’mon Cole. Admit it.

    You like the guy because he’s gonna be the only candidate with a tire swing that fits you and/or Tunch.

  120. 120
    HelloRochester says:

    I love when Christie’s on Morning Ho because Mika clearly swoons. Like a woman chucking her panties at a Tom Jones concert swoons. I totally agree with JC on this one.

  121. 121
    Alex S. says:

    @Original Lee:

    These are things I think about for fun. In my opinion, there were 3 contenders for ‘next-in-line’ after 2008: Romney, Huckabee and Palin. Huckabee could have won the nomination if he had run. He would have been a better Santorum, but he would have needed some support from big business. Palin took herself out, so it had to be Romney. However, there’s also the Bush dynasty which makes Jeb another contender. So it sort-of has to be him in 2012. But again, there is the former VP candidate, in this case Paul Ryan, and the runner-up of the primary contest, Santorum.
    It’s true that Christie does not belong here. The dynastic thinking of the Republicans is really interesting. McCain was next in line because of his 2nd place in 2000 (and because Cheney didn’t run). They also said that it was Dole’s turn in 1996 (he was VP candidate in 1976, too). George H.W. Bush was VP, and Bush II was a member of the Bush dynasty. Reagan was 2nd in 1976, became nominee in 1980 and blocked the liberal candidate, Rockefeller from running (who died just one year later, maybe his health was another reason for declining to run). And of course, Nixon was Eisenhower’s VP.
    The only one who doesn’t fit in there is Goldwater whose nomination defeated the liberal GOP and whose free-market grassroots movement succeeded at keeping Nelson Rockefeller from the nomination.
    This all really demonstrates that these hereditary rules arose with movement conservatism and it probably shows that you have to be a part of the movement to lead the GOP. You need to show that you have worked for the cause.

  122. 122
    sherparick says:

    Obviously a very talented politician, although before Sandy, his popularity in New Jersey had faded somewhat.
    Policy wise, he would be a typical Republican (tax cuts for “the job creators” and starve the “beast” to encourage the 99% to show proper deference to their betters and work 80 hour weeks on a 20 hour a week salary (you know, the Walmart “model.”)

    He would certainly be the golden boy of the Karl Rove wing of the party. But I think he would have real issues with Jim Demint and Rick Santorum, Neo-Confederate, John C. Calhoun pro-slavery, wing of the Conservative Movement. And from what I see this winter, this is the wing that is still driving the party.

  123. 123
    brantl says:

    Good opposition research on Christie is going to kick him right back into the closet.

  124. 124
    El Cid says:

    Just saw it — Christie may be the most human-appearing Republican I’ve seen on TV for a while.

  125. 125
    Legalize says:

    I don’t doubt his political acumen. I doubt (a) that he can get through the Teabagger primary; and (b) that he can keep up through the rigors of a national campaign.

  126. 126
    wonkie says:

    I think an Randian anti-worker social issues moderrate is just what the Republican party leadership will be looking for in a candidate. They can read the pols. They know that anti-abortion and anti-gay messages just don’t work for their party the way they used to do.

    As for “likealbe”–the real unifying factor for the Repubican base is the desire to choose a candiate that is not likelable to normal people. Republicans like bullies. They like the sound of jack boots in the background. IF they can find a hater candidate that can communicate the hate to them but tone it dow for other people, well that’s the best candidate of all. Like Saint Ronnie who wentout to smite all those poor people on behalf of the Republicans but did it behind a big smiley face demeanor.

    I think Chistie would be be a very good choice for the Republican party. The base will like his essential meanness, the media will fall for the so-called straighttalker schtick, indedpendent voters will fall for the media’s presentation of his as a new Repubican, Christie himself will be comfortable doing or saying whatever it takes.

    Taft weighed 300 pounds and that didn’t stop him from being President.

  127. 127
    Chuck says:

    If Booker does run for Governor and beats Christie (and honestly, I don’t see how this would be unlikely mush less impossible), wouldn’t this all be moot?

  128. 128
    Cacti says:


    Taft weighed 300 pounds and that didn’t stop him from being President.

    And how many fat Presidents have been elected in the television age?

  129. 129
    jon says:

    All I know for certain is that if the Republicans can’t win a big blue state, they’ve got no hope. The Electoral College kills all hope for the GOP (not that a national campaign wouldn’t have made them lost more states if there were more places than “swing states” where actual campaigning goes one.) Either California, New York, or New Jersey would be needed. What’s the most likely? None of them. But dreamers gotta dream, so who knows?

    I’m far more concerned about who will run for the Democrats in 2016. And in other elections in 2014. Worrying about the big guy can wait, because if he runs against nobody, the fat man can win.

  130. 130
    Matt says:

    Here’s the thing, though: beyond the folksy exterior, the man’s a policy MORON. I don’t see a need to take him seriously because if he was put forward as a national candidate either people would figure that out (and he’d lose terribly) or they wouldn’t – in which case we’re UTTERLY FUCKED as a country anyways…

  131. 131
    quannlace says:

    He just kicked Obamacare in the nuts, vetoing the New Jersey exchange

    Yeah, just read that. Thanks, Christie, any liking for you after Sandy just went up in smoke. Nice to know you only care about us New Jerseyan’s when it makes a good photo opp.

  132. 132
    wonkie says:

    Being a policy moron has nver stopped a Republican from getting elected or from being adored by the press courtiers. And the fat really is a nonissue. It’s Democrats who get demeaned by stupid irrelevant stuff, not Republicans.

  133. 133
    Sourmash says:

    @Original Lee: 1980 was without an heir? Reagan nearly took out Jerry Ford in 1976, and when he gave his speech at the convention, lots of people said they had nominated the wrong guy. No, Reagan was definitely the next in line, it’s just the Poppy had the Northeast moderate Repub vote (remember when?) and they worried about St. Ronny, thinking he was a nutjob and appealed too much to the Jeebus freeks. Turns out he was Prince Charming after all…

  134. 134
    priscianusjr says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Everyone pestered him to get into the 2012 race and he said no pretty forcefully. Why would 2016 be different?

    Possibly because Obama isn’t running again and there’s nobody left like Romney whose “turn” it’s supposed to be in the GOP? Many people think that is the reason Christie didn’t try it this election.

    Also, when you think about Christie, think about Huntsman. If one’s viable, so’s the other. If one’s not viable, neither is the other.

  135. 135
    lacp says:

    @Chuck: Does Booker have any traction in south Jersey? Granted, I’m looking from across the river in Pennsylvania, but it appears many times like north and south Jersey are two different states.

  136. 136
    cmorenc says:

    Christie would be formidable as the GOP nominee in a general election, but he’ll have severe problems winning primaries within his own party. The GOP Primary electorate is full of voters who won’t have forgotten Christie’s simultaneous warm embrace of the hated Obama and cold-shoulder to Romney only a week out from the November election, even though their own political marriage to Romney was entirely one of convenience, not of love. Plus, they’ve already reluctantly gone along with the argument that Romney should be the nominee because he’s the most electable: they may not willingly aboard that reasoning a second time, despite the counter-example of nominating ideologically attractive but un-electable Senate candidates.

  137. 137
    WarMunchkin says:

    I don’t think I’m going ballistic, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t take Christie’s political acumen seriously. Only a good politician would be able to yell at voters for a living and be worshipped for it.

    I think your post uses a straw-man (liberals don’t take him seriously). I agree, however, that if Christie were to get the Republican nomination, he’d win the nation in a landslide. I also think he’d get the Democratic nomination handily, if he switched parties.

  138. 138
    Paul says:

    He once defended a Muslim judge as a I recall. With that in mind I doubt he would ever win the GOP primary where their own version of fake Christianity apparently is uber alles.

    And I can imagine plenty of commercials will run where Christie took a helicopter at government expense to his son’s softball game. Tea baggers at least pretend to hate that stuff.

  139. 139
    KCIvey says:

    @jon, how does New Jersey count as a big state? It has only 14 electoral votes. Maybe you mean Illinois or Pennsylvania?

  140. 140
    cmorenc says:


    Also, when you think about Christie, think about Huntsman. If one’s viable, so’s the other. If one’s not viable, neither is the other.

    GOP primary voters are going to gravitate toward candidates who have true-conservative fire in their bellies, or at least candidates who have bellies that are full of fire, and less toward civil, even-tempered technocrats who have many of the correct political orientations on paper. In a sane GOP primary world, your logic would prevail, but it’s not, and just because Huntsman can’t hunt within his own party doesn’t necessarily mean Christie can’t successfully belly up to them.

  141. 141
    priscianusjr says:

    @Ruckus:Hillary doesn’t work for me in 4 more years than she did 4 years ago.

    Me neither, and for the same reasons. Despite the fact that she’s been a good secretary of state.

  142. 142
    Chuck says:

    @lacp: I’m looking across the other river up north, so you may have a point. I just think it’s way too early to underestimate, or overestimate Christie.

  143. 143
    Lojasmo says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Ohio and Florida were close

    and Obama would have won without either state, or virginia.

  144. 144
    LAC says:

    @Narcissus: yeah. I wonder what the point of this post. Water is wet, the sun is hot, Christie could be a contendah in 2016. And?

  145. 145
    Lojasmo says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Before 2008, the most recent double digit spread in PA was the Nixon/McGovern race.

  146. 146
    EconWatcher says:

    I wouldn’t count Christie out for the nomination because, somehow or another, despite the insanity of the Republican primaries, they have lately ended up picking their most viable candidate.

    McCain long had cross-over appeal to Democrats, and he was their most viable candidate in 2008. Hard as it is to believe, the Mittster was almost certainly their most viable candidate this year. (You could argue Huntsman, but I don’t know that he would have stood up to heavy exposure better than Romney.)

    So even if the base doesn’t like him, he could make it to the nom on electability grounds.

  147. 147
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Jon Stewart is the hipster Broder. He is as much in thrall of comity and bipartisanship, and both sides do it, as any Beltway punditubbie.

  148. 148
    Aurona says:

    Speaking as a woman – this is not the guy I want as my next president. I have dealt with these guys all my life and see him as a retrograde artifact of the last century. He’s an arrogant dynamic asshole who is a total turnoff to my femaleness; I use the term “You can smell the testosterone from here” when I speak of the non-cuddly and obnoxious Mr. Christie. This is a guy thing he’s got and is a total turnoff to this woman at least. No votey from me.

  149. 149
    Zifnab25 says:


    how does New Jersey count as a big state? It has only 14 electoral votes.

    Virginia is considered a sizable state and its only got 13. North Carolina has 15. It’s not a deal-breaker like NY, CA, TX, or FL. But I wouldn’t sneeze at it, either.

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Jon Stewart is the hipster Broder.

    Oh please. David Broder wouldn’t say half the shit about Israel that Stewart does. He wouldn’t be caught dead lobbying directly for 9/11 relief workers or dispelling bullshit about tax hikes or ever consider the media-at-large anything but a blessing from heaven. Stewart dedicates no less than 10 minutes a day to laughing at the clowns on FOX and taking apart their bullshit talking points. That alone makes TDS a public service worthy of veneration.

    Stewart isn’t Broder. He’s today’s Edward R. Murrow. He does silly interviews and tries to stand a bit above the fray. But he’s never beyond hard words aimed at powerful people and he’s far more likely to highlight the guts of important world events than concern-troll his audience about pop-political bullshit.

  150. 150
    Sterling says:

    It’s time for people to take this guy seriously.

    Take him seriously and do what? Liberals can’t stop the guy from running. Whatever his schtick is now, he’ll be sounding like a giant douchebag in mid-2016 because every republican candidate has to run the same kind of campaign. You’ll be calling him an arrogant asshole then, so why bother talking him up now?

    I feel like I’ve stepped onto the set of Morning Joe for a big helping of Christie wanking.

  151. 151
    Paul says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Well said. I will never forget the show where Stewart took a FoxNews clip where they hammered ACORN and Stewart ridiculed the rest of the media for having missed the story. And no, he wasn’t being ironic or facetious. And to this day, I have not heard an apology from Stewart.

  152. 152
    Cassidy says:


    they have lately ended up picking their most viable candidate.

    I think this election may have killed that truism, though. The money boys always pick the viable one after the marks talibangelicals get their pound of red meat in the early primaries. Considering how much money they threw into this election, I’m not so sure they’ll be willing to do that again. It cost them a lot to keep the GOP candidate afloat and they got nothing inreturn.

    @Lojasmo: Did you ever come up with that list of names I was asking for?

  153. 153
    Joel says:

    @Anne Laurie: I love the fact that even the blog front pagers take the chance to rip on Cole every once in a while (in good fun, of course).

  154. 154
    Brachiator says:

    Liberals ignore the political acumen of Chris Christie at their own peril.



    McCain long had cross-over appeal to Democrats, and he was their most viable candidate in 2008. Hard as it is to believe, the Mittster was almost certainly their most viable candidate this year. (You could argue Huntsman, but I don’t know that he would have stood up to heavy exposure better than Romney.)


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Early on in 2008, everybody just knew that Rudy 911 was the most viable GOP candidate. And ultimately you cannot separate McCain from the anchor that drug him down, Sarah Palin.

    The more Mitt spoke, and the more that people got to know him, the less they liked him, as was borne out in the election results.

    You cannot even say that Romney was the best of a bad bunch; they were all rotten in different ways.

  155. 155
    Keith says:

    As a GOP candidate, I could actually live with CC as president. He’s overly abrasive, true, but he can also be a pleasant person (him and Stewart fawning over Springsteen was my favorite part of the interview). He can also talk reasonably, such as his explanation as to why he vetoed the state-run ACA exchange (he doesn’t know what the costs to the state will be). Finally, I strongly believe that he will not let the party’s base lead him around; CC has a strong personality that would force them to follow him rather than vice versa. Basically, he’s the GOP’s anti-Romney.

  156. 156
    Keith says:

    I live in New Jersey. Christie is not particularly popular here. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party in this state is a joke and we sometimes elect Republican governors as a result.

  157. 157
    General Stuck says:

    LOL, why yes Virginia, I do plan to ignore the blustery asswipe called Chris Cristie, for at least the next 3 years. Whether he runs for president is out of my control, as is what comes out his big fucking mouth.

    The GOP has many incantations to go through before they put up a candidate for 2016, and what comes out the other end of that metamorphisis will determine more than anything for what to worry about, or not. And that would go for Mr. Christie as well, whether he matures enough to temper his populist emo, or still runs around going personally nukular at the slightest provocation. In either case, I will not worry my precious bodily fluids for one second, for now.

  158. 158
    Nate says:

    Christie can’t win conservatives because some liberals kind of like him. The comparison to Rudy Giuliani is apt.

    Assuming he survives his legal problems, Scott Walker is your 2016 GOP candidate. He’s been sufficiently dickish to liberals on topics important to us, and he’ll blow out Iowa early and maybe New Hampshire.

    In the end, the teabaggers don’t really care about issues per se, they just want someone who they think will piss us off. That’s the sole MO of the modern Republican Party. Santorum doesn’t piss us off as much as make us laugh, and Christie is too well-respected among the Jon Stewarts.

  159. 159
    KG says:

    Christie didn’t run in 2012, therefore he’s not next in line. You don’t get to not run and then be considered next in line unless your last name is “Bush”; and even that exception may no longer be part of the rule. That there’s the rules of the GOP.

    Look, every modern GOP nominee had to run at least twice before being nominated, except for GWB and Ford (who is a very special case). Romney lost to McCain in 2008, McCain lost to GWB in 2000, Dole and GHWB lost to Reagan in 1980, Reagan lost to Ford in 1976. That’s about the point when the primaries started to matter more than the convention for nominating purposes.

  160. 160
    LanceThruster says:

    Gov. Christie would do well as I feel, policy-wise, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The base lurvs them some stealth goppers.

  161. 161
    Joel says:

    “Liberals ignore… at their peril”

    Is the perfect headline for a Slate piece, bee tee dubya.

  162. 162
    Original Lee says:

    @28 Percent: He’ll have to make the case that it’s “his turn”. I agree with Anne Laurie: Rick Santorum is next in line. Santorum currently holds three of the cards necessary for his full house – he’s full-on anti-abortion Christian, he arguably came in second to Romney, and he’s on the mailing list for the latest conservative talking points. He just needs money and some fine-tuning, he’s good to go. Jeb Bush has potential as a VP, IMO – he speaks Spanish, he’s been governor of Florida, he’s a Bush, etc.

  163. 163
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Zifnab25: I never said that Jon Stewart is without any saving graces. He does indulge in the both-sides-do-it rhetoric a lot. In general he is much nicer to his Republican guests, even the ones like John Yoo and Rumsfeld, he was quite disrespectful to both Obama, calling him a dude and Pelosi. He is always willing to give Republicans the benefit of the doubt, when they so clearly don’t deserve it.

  164. 164
    Original Lee says:

    @Alex S.: I had forgotten that Reagan was in the mix for 1976. Ha!

    I agree with your three top contenders for 2012, although I distinctly remember saying to friends that it would be Romney once we hit 2009 (and they hated hearing about it).

    IMO, the top three for 2016 are Santorum, Ryan, and Jeb Bush. I’ll even go out on a limb for a Santorum-Bush ticket.

  165. 165
    Original Lee says:

    @Sourmash: I had forgotten about that. I was 12 in 1976.

  166. 166
    charon says:


    I have a really hard time picturing anyone named Bush, especially Jebby, accepting the number two slot.

  167. 167

    The bar is set so low for a “sane Goper” that even a tremendously husky gentleman like Christie can jump over it.

  168. 168
    Pontious Pilates says:

    I’ve been saying this for years. Several friends of mine in NJ are not Republicans – but they actually like and vote for him. Republicans like a big daddy to tell them what to do – And the pure force of wind that will come out of Christie’s world devouring pie hole in the Primaries will blow the other nitwits and lightweights off stage AND get the republican sailboat moving again. He will tell them all to sit down and shut up – and they will – because they beg to be ruled by an iron fist.

  169. 169
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @👽 Martin:

    You have to admit, though. You two would make the cutest babies EVAH!

    I lol’ed.

  170. 170
    Joel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Frankly, any public appearance for John Yoo that isn’t an arraignment is a disgrace.

  171. 171
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Naw, John, barring some disaster, the 2016 Republican nominee is going to be Rick Santorum.

    While I generally agree with the last runner-up theory to Republican nominating politics, Santorum will never be the candidate. Rick Santorum only appeared to come in second to Romney because all the other candidates proved to be a worse alternative to Romney and Santorum was the only person left. There’s a reason he was gravitated to last.

    A 2016 field that includes Huntsman (runner-up Mormon!), Huckabee, Jeb Bush and Christie won’t give a second look to Santorum and may provide a difficult path to the nomination for Christie. Huckabee will be the inside guy for the evangelical vote and the others will have to split the rest of the vote. If Huckabee declines to run again, I think Jeb Bush picks up most of the evangelical vote.

    Chris Christie, despite John’s lavish tongue-bath, is in the same precarious position as Giuliani in 2008. That is, a candidate that is well-liked and respected by most Republicans, but without a natural Republican constituency.

  172. 172
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    And I should note that I’ve predicted every candidate correctly on both sides going back to Clinton in ’92.

  173. 173
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    One wildcard in ’16 is where do the Paultards go? If Ron Paul isn’t running, who picks up this bloc of Republican voters? Does Gary Johnson run again for the Republican nomination in anticipation of picking up these votes? Does Rand Paul pick up the mantle and run every four years for the next 20 years?

    Does Paul Ryan throw his hat into the ring in 2016 as the last grizzled veteran of a Republican presidential campaign? And does he catch fire with the Paultards? My Paultard friends hated him this time around, despite all his Galtian rhetoric.

    Can Christie position himself as the glibertarian choice, since he isn’t necessarily defined as a candidate like the others at this point?

  174. 174
    Kane says:

    He leans forward, is aggressive, smiles, is easy with the banter…he has a good smile and a direct approach and combative style…he’s smart, he’s quick on his feet, he’s likable

    If those who like Chris Christie actually presented a logical and coherent argument as to why Christie is even remotely qualified to be president of the United States, perhaps others would take them and him more seriously.

  175. 175
    Sawgrass Stan says:

    Christie shines only in comparison to Any Other Republican. Go look up Krugman’s takedown on him– he needlessly refused stimulus money for a badly needed Jersey-=Ny tunnel, effectively ending the project for our lifetimes. Also, way way back when he was a prosecutor, he successfully prosecuted a Muslin’ Terrorist, despite no real evidence of guilt. That’s one of the things he ran on to get where he is today. He’s a grandstander, a classic pol. He’s very very good at it, too, and John’s right in saying Dems dismiss him at their peril.

  176. 176
    Jeremy says:

    I don’t the buy the inevitablity of Chris Chritie as the Republican nominee. 2012 was the longest and most physically grueling political campaign cycle in human history. Morbid obesity is a serious medical condition and no morbidly obese man could have made it through that… and 2016 is gonna be even longer. Tell me again how a middle-aged man, set his nature, with an obviously very low tolerance for stress, completely transforms his lifestyle (he’s beyond diets) in two years (because that’s when it will be starting, not four)?

  177. 177
    Davis X Machina says:

    @Kane: Christie’s the fightin’ leader America needs to take the war to our real enemies — public employees, especially unionized ones. If there once was a Bull Moose party, then there can surely be a crab bucket party.

    Not a god-botherer. Not a neo-confederate. And not a helmet-haired pretty boy.

  178. 178
    Ian says:

    I think the smart ones do. I fully expect Hillary to run and win.

    By 2024, either the Republican Party will be to the left of Chris Christie, or it will be a regional party. Demographics pretty much demand it.

  179. 179
    brantl says:

    @Nate: Long before that Walker’s going down for something criminal, mark my words.

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