Old Folks Boogie

Most folks realize that we are all heading for our second taste of non-existence at a constant rate of one day per day (don’t give me none of those event horizon/Protoss portal/twins paradoxical time bending maundering, either  you denizens of  ‘con and SciFi channel) .

Titian_-_St_Jerome_-_WGA22838

What’s more — and I’ll admit this may be the fifty-something me talking, so feel free to challenge this presumption in the comments — I’m guessing that most of us recognize certain rewards that accrue as we successfully complete each circuit ’round the sun.  Losses too, of course, and more of them as the decades past (I’d love to reacquaint myself with my knees of twenty years ago, and certain summers, and the people now gone always and most of all).

But I wouldn’t want to give up what I’ve learned, the stuff I now know how to do, the way I come at the world with enough understanding to help me act each day with at least a bit more capacity than I had in my happy, high energy, dumb 20s (or 40s).  What’s more I value evidence of that kind of accumulated judgment in folks who seek to lead me and my country (and world).  I don’t think I’m entirely alone in this.*

Which is why I read this in today’s NYT with such…well…

Glee.

Jonathan Martin’s piece on the GOP’s emerging strategy for dealing with the presumptive Hilary Clinton juggernaut is in fact a masterpiece of subtle knife work.  I join with many here in frustration with the Grey Lady’s op-ed page, and its lean towards unexamined establishment assumptions in some of its journalism, and the Style page and all the “trends” crap that shows up there, in the magazine and elsewhere can go DIAF. But the paper still boasts the deepest bench of journalists and some very smart observer/analysts (to compensate for the BoBos and the MoS’s), and Martin here shows what can be done with artfully presented absolutely straight reporting.

The shorter: Clinton is old. She’s oldy-oldy-sere-ancient-and-by-the-way-did-I-mention-she’s-an-antique?-old is the new line of attack that that the usual-suspects GOP choir seem to think will propel one of their new, fresh faces to the top prize.

Apparently those new faces are Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobbie Jindal (no, really! Don’t laugh) and Chris Christie.  And the case being made for these stalwarts (in order: Mr. bring back apartheid lunch counters, bundle o’nerves reaching for his water bottle, Kenneth the Page, and the fanboi of that Demo-Socialist Bruce Springsteen and unofficial 2012 Kenyan Usurper running mate) is that such youth and vigor will so contrast with Hilary Clinton’s wrinkles and general decreptitude so as to sweep away any niggling doubts on substance.

It’s the branding problem again, of course:  if you believe that, then there’s no need to attend to any doubts about what the party would sell with any of these pitchmen — and here’s where Martin’s piece turns into such a nicely thrust stiletto.  He mentions in passing the fact that if anyone views Obama’s relative youth and lack of experience as a negative, that won’t enhance the chances of  anyone less seasoned still, and I think that’s fair enough.  But the real wounds come from simply his straight reporting: these guys ain’t got nothing.  Those that aren’t already roadkill (Bobbie Jindal? Aqua Buddha, please) have no more than Rand Paul’s claim that he’ll ride to victory powered by marijuana farmers and those for whom electoral politics begin and end with the NSA.  That’s some folks, I’ll grant you…but I don’t think they’re enough to withstand that portion of the electorate mobilized by the quote with which Martin ends his article:

The radio host Rush Limbaugh, echoing his commentary from her first presidential run, asked his audience in April whether the American people “want to vote for somebody, a woman, and actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”

Yup, says Rush. American ain’t gonna vote for a non-hawt female.  Just can’t happen. Nope, no way, no how.

Did I mention how happy I am that the Republicans are already letting their freak flag fly on this one?

Just to recap:  The current Republican party’s strongest demographic is older white folks.  Some of those will be pissed off at the dismissiveness of age, experience, accumulated knowledge and competence acquired over a long haul.  Younger people too, I’d guess; the idea of letting someone four years into playing senator on C-span after a career as a self-accredited eye doctor anywhere near the launch codes is, frankly, pretty scary to a lot of folks up and down the demographic ladder.

Now add this thought:  the Republican party is desperate to overcome its gender gap.  And here it seems to be making  its case by asserting that the presidency shouldn’t go to a women it views as getting less attractive by the day — because she grows older one day per day.

Damn!

What can I say?

Proceed gentlemen.*

*What about Obama v. McCain, then?  Well, just to get this out of the way…(a) actual policy choices are what I look at first, and if one soundly beats another there, that’s the game, for my vote at least.  And (b) to paraphrase a quote from James Michener’s DFH novel, The Driftersthere’s a subset of old farts who may say they’ve got fifty years of experience when what they really have is one year, repeated fifty times.  McCain in a nutshell, IMHO.

Image: Titian, St. Jerome, betw. 1570 and 1575.

 

 

 






112 replies
  1. 1
    Katie5 says:

    I can’t tell what’s more of a barrier to success in politics: sexism or racism.

    (One could add ageism but it’s strongly correlated with gender.)

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    The shorter: Clinton is old. She’s oldy-oldy-sere-ancient-and-by-the-way-did-I-mention-she’s-an-antique?-old is the new line of attack that that the usual-suspects GOP choir seem to think will propel one of their new, fresh faces to the top prize.

    It’s easy to guess what’s up with that: McCain lost to Obama, McCain was old, McCain’s age was brought up as a point against him (especially once Palin was introduced into the equation), so therefore, all they have to do is attack Hillary Clinton on the same grounds and she’ll fail too.

    Same basic principle as how every black Republican was hailed as “ooo, he’s gonna be our Obama!” for a few years.

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    They can’t help themselves. Watching Turkey Waddle McConnell, who looks more like Bea Arthur than Hillary Clinton could if she wore a Halloween mask, make a “Golden Girls” joke about Hillary was like watching them sing their own death song. I still think Christie’s their strongest candidate if a) he wants it b) he can survive a primary, neither of which Im’ sure of, and I’d say the odds are pretty strong he can’t keep his essential nature (boorish misogynist bully) on a psychic leash all through a presidential campaign.

  4. 4
    Kiril says:

    I’m far more concerned about the passel of assholes that surround her than anything else.

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    Yup, says Rush. American ain’t gonna vote for a non-hawt female. Just can’t happen. Nope, no way, no how.

    … and that would be another case of It’s Always Projection, this time inspired by once-starlet Sarah Palin, whose fading from the center stage of the American right wing in the last year or two just happens to have coincided with the fading of her looks.

    When the only thing you pick your female candidates for is their looks, it’s not surprising that you’d think that way, and they most definitely pick them that way.

  6. 6
    LanceThruster says:

    I so do not want to vote for HRC.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/20.....ich-women/

    I hope I have a better choice.

  7. 7
    Chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I agree.

    He’s got a delicate needle to thread. I’d say that Christie’s “boorish misogynist bully” persona is by far his biggest selling point with the Republican base, which no matter what their misgivings about his policies, will cheer wildly for anyone they see pushing weaker kids into lockers. On the other hand, his East Coast roots and occasional bouts of non-craziness (accepting Obama’s hurricane relief, the couple of Muslims he’s appointed to positions) will be played up like there’s no tomorrow by the MSM as it celebrates it as proof of his Very Serious Moderate nature.

    The risk, of course, is that if he overplays the bullying he’ll turn off the moderates and if he overplays the moderate image he’ll turn off the base.

  8. 8
    Robert says:

    It’s spelled “SyFy.”

    /pedant

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    @Kiril:

    I’m far more concerned about the passel of assholes that surround her than anything else.

    Me too. I hope she learned some things about advisers from working in the first Obama administration. The folks she had working on her primary campaign didn’t give me a lot of confidence.

    And don’t forget how she was the presumptive candidate in 2008. Along with Giuliani.

  10. 10
    JCT says:

    @Chris: Don’t forget his homophobe bonafides – they are for real. And will not go over well with moderates. Christie does not muzzle himself well, on the National stage he will come across as the asshole that he is and it just won’t play well. Any hint of assholery vs a woman in particular will not play well.

  11. 11
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    After all, Reagan won on account of his youth.

  12. 12
    rda909 says:

    Wait. Martin is at the New York Times now?!? The guy who brought flowers to Cindy McCain at the infamous bar-b-que,
    http://www.mediabistro.com/fis.....ain_b10746

    and arguing with President Obama when the president crashed a press conference just to say “Hi” at the beginning of his presidency?
    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....17831.html

    More failing upward for republican water carriers. As long as he keeps ignoring the ridiculousness of today’s republicans, and trying to divide Democrats (a Hillary piece is the old stand-by for this), then he’ll go far. The NYT becomes more and more irrelevant…

  13. 13
    Stella B. says:

    The GOP has been trying to dismantle the New Deal for 75 years and the Great Society for 50 years. They may have younger candidates, but their ideas are old, old, old.

  14. 14
    Katie5 says:

    Speaking of sf, Tom, why don’t you have Kim Stanley Robinson on your Virtually Speaking show? His book, 2312, may win the Hugo award this year. It’s got all sorts of cool stuff on class, family structure, as well as geo-engineering in a post-post-climate change catastrophe.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    @Chris: The media will be creaming themselves at the thought of a non-Southern Republican being president. Especially one from as close to their own home as NJ.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rda909: He’s also married to Betsy Fischer, John McCain’s media relations coordinator senior producer of Meet The Press

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @Robert: That’s just the wrongest of wrong. I know they changed the name. It was a stupid change. The current spelling is stupid and does nothing to improve or enhance their brand or the channel. It just makes it look like they can’t spell.

  18. 18
    srv says:

    How can all you PUMA haterz pine for the old Clinton? She has aged a bit, but not as much as Bill. Wondering if Bill will reach the stage where he’s a bit of a liability.

    Perhaps you’re just going through a mid-life political crises here.

    Chris Christie has the tummy band and will be at fighting weight in 2016. He might need some hair transplants. But if the guy can get elected in NJ, then he is going to draw better in the coastal elitospheres than the socialcons. But he’s going to have to play hard to the right for a few years.

  19. 19
    gogol's wife says:

    @Kiril:

    Yeah, that hasn’t changed. I hope we can come up with somebody whose name isn’t Clinton.

  20. 20
    gogol's wife says:

    @srv:

    If Chris Christie is elected President I will eat my hat.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Stuart Stevens, the top strategist for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign

    I’m terrified. This guy is Mark Penn class fucktarded.

  22. 22
    rda909 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Now that explains a lot!

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    @Robert:

    It’s spelled “SyFy.”

    And pronounced like syphilis?

  24. 24

    @Kiril: Yeah, she does hire some really terrible people. It’s probably the thing that most soured me on her in 2008.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @Chris:

    It’s easy to guess what’s up with that: McCain lost to Obama, McCain was old, McCain’s age was brought up as a point against him (especially once Palin was introduced into the equation), so therefore, all they have to do is attack Hillary Clinton on the same grounds and she’ll fail too.

    I’m not so quick to dismiss concerns about Hillary’s age. They’d be easier to hand wave away if she hadn’t already had some non-trivial health problems while serving as SoS.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    Funny how the more elderly Republicans (Bush 1, Bush 2, Dole, Noot, Reagan, Cheney, McCain, Romney, etc., et. al.) are all unmentionable. Why is that, you think?

  27. 27
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    It’s really starting to sink in that, starting next week, a bunch of people are going to be sitting in a classroom and assuming that I know what I’m talking about.

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @srv: I can still mock PUMAs and support Hillary Clinton, even with all her flaws and the awful people around her (they must have learned to keep Lanny Davis at arm’s length, though Michael O’Hanlon has been popping up a lot on my TeeVee of late, which I do not take as a good sign). And Bill Clinton already was and will probably continue to be something of a liability– in the last six months he has very publicly had ego-stroking circle jerks with Romney, McCain and Christie. Bubba ain’t over nothing, and like Republicans, he can’t not indulge in his worst inclinations in public. I think his speech at the Charlotte convention was his strongest moment in the last ten years, and only because it was built up so much by the media. And as immune as I am to the Clinton charms, that was a great ad lib about Ryan’s ‘brass’. Other than that he didn’t say anything that hadn’t been said before, he just had the advantage of fond nostalgia on the part of his audience.

  29. 29

    @srv:

    Chris Christie has the tummy band and will be at fighting weight in 2016. He might need some hair transplants. But if the guy can get elected in NJ, then he is going to draw better in the coastal elitospheres than the socialcons. But he’s going to have to play hard to the right for a few years.

    I don’t think most of the midwest and west will tolerate his assholishness (which is pretty moderate for NY/NJ, but plays really poorly in a lot of the country). People fucking hated Cheney for that. Winning primaries in the northeast isn’t how you get the GOP nom. The south will hate him. The midwest will hate him. He’ll have to draw the worst primary challengers in half a century to pull it off.

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m not so quick to dismiss concerns about Hillary’s age. They’d be easier to hand wave away if she hadn’t already had some non-trivial health problems while serving as SoS.

    Agreed. While I don’t think they are a complete impediment to her winning the election, they are an issue. Just pretending they’re not or saying “Reagan was old too!” isn’t the best way to deal with it. That’s head in the sand stuff. Like it or not, an older woman is not the same thing as an older man in the public and political sphere.

    I read somewhere that there’s a history of presidents who are elected after a president from the same party has served two terms only serving one term. Like Reagan had two terms and then Bush I served one and then Clinton won. Wouldn’t surprise me if that happened this time around, should Hillary or another Dem win. The Dems need the strongest possible candidate who has the best shot at holding the WH for two terms.

  31. 31
    kc says:

    No wonder Limbaugh can’t stay married.

  32. 32
    feebog says:

    These guys don’t have clue one. In the first place, to very young voters, anyone approaching 50 is an old, and the distinction between say, Rand Paul at 53 and HRC at 69 to a first time 19 year old voter is negligible. In the second place, as Martin observes, their bench stinks. It’s not that the bench is thin, there are plenty of candidates, but they all suck. Rubio is a lightweight who will never be ready for prime time. Rand Paul will expose himself as Crazy Uncle Liberty with hair, and Chris Christie, he really is a boorish asshole whose act will get old real quick. Jeb Bush will be counting on eight years fading the memory of the disaster his brother presided over, not gunna happen. Jindal? Really? Scottie Walker with his horrible economic record to run on? I just don’t see a good choice out there right now. And yes, I would really like to see some one other than Hillary as the Democratic candidate, but if she gets it, I will support her ever harder than I supported Obama, because she is going to get to nominate at least three Supreme Court Justices, maybe more.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    @kc: Just between you, me, and that lamppost, I’d bet that there are lots of reasons why ol’ Rush has problems with the ladies.

  34. 34
    MattR says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    It’s really starting to sink in that, starting next week, a bunch of people are going to be sitting in a classroom and assuming that I know what I’m talking about.

    Could be worse. They could be assuming you DON’T know what you are talking about.

  35. 35
    IowaOldLady says:

    I fear Christ Cristie. I think he’s they’re most electable candidate and, entertaining as their debates and primaries were, they chose the most electable candidate the last two times, even though the tea party types disliked them.

  36. 36
    khead says:

    @MikeJ:

    Their in-house movies are awful but I don’t think they’ve made one about STDs. Not yet at least.

  37. 37
    Cacti says:

    I don’t think most of the midwest and west will tolerate his assholishness (which is pretty moderate for NY/NJ, but plays really poorly in a lot of the country). People fucking hated Cheney for that. Winning primaries in the northeast isn’t how you get the GOP nom. The south will hate him. The midwest will hate him. He’ll have to draw the worst primary challengers in half a century to pull it off.

    If he was just a bit boorish, I think people would get over that. But Christie seems to have a real problem with getting questioned by uppity wimmins. At some point over the slog of a national campaign, he’s going to blow up and say something incredibly sexist.

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    If Chris Christie is elected President I will eat my hat.

    If Christie doesn’t get it first.

    On an unrelated topic of interest, Correa has apparently decided that Ecuador’s quota of felonious leakers is one. Snowden appears to be SOL.

  39. 39
    MikeJ says:

    @IowaOldLady: It’s funny that the teabaggers are always complaining about the party bosses forcing RINOs on them but the vast majority of republican voters vote for the blandest candidate every time.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    I’ll vote for Clinton if she’s the nominee, but I don’t feel like I should have to settle when there is a younger, smarter, and all-around better female Senator from New York out there.

  41. 41
    Botsplainer says:

    *cackle*

    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/half-baked-revolution/7b5f035a42de86aae920c56db7efdf0784848f6e/

    Now they’re smearing Greenwald’s sordid, unseemly history as a petty porn profiteer. With anyone else, it’d be funny. But Greenwald has spent years promoting and enforcing an image of himself as an infallible crusader and arbiter of big words like “heroism,” “patriotism,” “ethical,” “transparency,” “liberty” and the like. He’s not much fun; not fun to read, not fun to listen to. Not unless you like fire-and-brimstone Secular Sunday Sermons that make you feel awful and increasingly panicked about the police state Armageddon that’s we’re always on the precipice of. Greenwald is good on some issues, particularly exposing Israel’s crimes; and when it comes to his own restricted, libertarian understanding of what constitutes “civil liberties” — part of it good, when calling out government-sanctioned torture and surveillance; part of it atrocious, such as Greenwald’s support for Citizens United and corporations-as-people, and his failure to include labor rights as one of those civil liberties he professes to protect.

    The same week Greenwald reported to his readers as fact that Snowden is a historical hero and infallible figure, he let the Guardian up the hero-worship stakes by holding a crowd-sourcing contest for readers to tell the world just how awesome and infallible Glenn Greenwald is. He set himself up for the porn-peddler knee-capping. I don’t know what the fuck Greenwald was thinking, but my sense is that he fell for his own bullshit.

  42. 42
    Suffern ACE is a Basset Hound says:

    @IowaOldLady: I can’t see Chris Christie working the crowd at your state fair. I’ve been told that really is important to Iowa voters. Almost as important as the six dozen straw polls and other rituals of your state that the national media uses to divine the stream of serious contenders lurking under the soil in Iowa.

  43. 43
    MikeJ says:

    @Suffern ACE is a Basset Hound:

    the national media uses to divine the stream of serious contenders lurking under the soil in Iowa.

    Hey, I have a relative lurking under the soil in Iowa! He gave them the land for the state capitol and is buried there.

  44. 44

    @MattF:
    The Republicans are going to want to run somebody without too toxic a track record. Given that they’re Republicans, that means somebody without too long a track record as an elected official.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    entertaining as their debates and primaries were

    Reince Priebus (however you spell it) said something about having fewer debates this time around. Said they were too distracting or something. That’ll be a bummer if it happens. The more they have to get up there and say stupid stuff–or forget what they’re saying–the better.

    @Cacti:

    If he was just a bit boorish, I think people would get over that. But Christie’s seems to have a real problem with getting questioned by uppity wimmins. At some point over the slog of a national campaign, he’s going to blow up and say something incredibly sexist.

    I agree. He doesn’t like being questioned by women. Although by this time, most Republican women seem to be pretty docile and it’s fairly easy for them to restrict campaign events to approved voters. The Iowa tour is a different story.

    I think Christie is a bully. At some point it’ll come out. He’ll smack down someone who isn’t being a jerk or isn’t asking a tough question and it’ll be a big problem for him.

  46. 46
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Suffern ACE is a Basset Hound: Iowa politics are so bizarre. We’re transplants, so I’m constantly surprised. Did you know that the straw poll votes are basically bought? Mr IOL was offered a chance to support Santorum. A bus would pick him up where we live and drive him the 100 miles to the fair where he’d be fed free food (probably deep fried butter) and returned home after he voted. He’s a registered Democrat and he was still offered that. He considered it for the entertainment value, but it would have been a long day with horrible people.

  47. 47
    JerryN says:

    Here’s the thing about Christie. He is pretty far to the conservative side of Northeastern Republicans, which leaves him just a bit to the left of the national Republican base. But, he got taught a harsh lesson early in his term, when he stayed on vacation in Disney World during a blizzard (see here for a typical piece). At least part of that lesson was that in states that have relatively high tax rates, the taxpayers do expect basic things like emergency services and they also like their elected officials to appear to be responsive. Combine that with the fact that he’s up for reelection in a state that went 58 – 42 for Obama and his public statements in the wake of Sandy were pretty much a no-brainer.

  48. 48
    MattR says:

    @IowaOldLady: Even though we are going to reelect him in 2013, I don’t think he would carry the state of New Jersey in a presidential election. For example, moderates who like his fiscal policies may be willing to accept his anti-abortion position at the state level where they don’t think he can do much harm. But that is the exact reason why they would oppose him for president where his anti-abortion position would be much more of a problem (SCOTUS) and where his fiscal policies would be more constrained by the legislature. In a March poll, 44% of New Jerseyans do not think he would be a good president and only 2/3 of Republicans feel he would be a good POTUS.

    Personally, I think Christie is Giuliani 2.0. Instead of 9/11, he got a Sandy boost but in the end, just like with Rudy, the more people get to know him, the more they dislike him.

  49. 49
    Kyle says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Christie, like 9udy Giu11ani, is the vanity candidate of the NYC-based media who like seeing one of their regional characters on the big stage. He comes across as an insufferable asshole to the rest of the country. A touch of gutsy getting-shit-done is appealing in emergency situations, but it gets old really fast.

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    @burnspbesq:

    On an unrelated topic of interest, Correa has apparently decided that Ecuador’s quota of felonious leakers is one. Snowden appears to be SOL.

    After all the public dick waving, maybe Ecuador isn’t so eager after all to lose their tariff benefits in the country that accounts for 45% of their export market.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @JerryN: He’s going to be the media’s candidate. He’s so close to NYC and has worked and will worked the national media like a pro. A lot of other candidates won’t have that advantage. Maybe there’s a downside to being so close to the national media, but after the Hurricane Sandy stuff, they love him and think he did a great job. So he’ll be pimped for sure.

  52. 52
    gogol's wife says:

    @feebog:

    I will also support her to my last breath. I just hope it isn’t her.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    My personal concern about candidate Hillary: Inevitability Part II, is her history of fabricating easily refuted bullshit, a la the Bosnia sniper fire story. I fear she has another one of those in store if she’s the Dem candidate.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    @Kyle: I think he’s a stronger candidate than Giuliani, since he actually is a Governor so has some experience running a state and dealing with the state legislature, etc. There are definitely similarities, but I think Christie has better potential than Giuliani ever did.

    Although Christie is a bully and an asshole, there’s something about him that is a bit likeable. Maybe it’s because he’s a larger guy (or was) so he has a bit of the teddy bear quality? I don’t know. I’m curious to see if he retains that quality once he’s slimmed down post-surgery. In some ways his heft sets him apart and makes him memorable. If he loses the weight, he’s just another politician who looks like all the other white guys up on stage.

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cacti:

    maybe Ecuador isn’t so eager after all to lose their tariff benefits in the country that accounts for 45% of their export market.

    Maybe so, but if you can’t get a dozen roses anywhere in America on Valentine’s Day at any price, husbands and boyfriends won’t blame Correa, they’ll blame Obama.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Kyle:

    Christie, like 9udy Giu11ani, is the vanity candidate of the NYC-based media who like seeing one of their regional characters on the big stage.

    Yeah, I think that’s right. These guys have a very clear image of who an ideal presidential candidate is, and Christie fits it to a tee.

  57. 57
    JoyfulA says:

    @srv: Bill was a liability in 2008, in my eyes.

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @MikeJ:

    It’s funny that the teabaggers are always complaining about the party bosses forcing RINOs on them but the vast majority of republican voters vote for the blandest candidate every time.

    The 2012 presidential primary was the best example of that in quite some time…

  59. 59

    @IowaOldLady: I’m not worried about Christie. Worry about Ted Cruz. He’s much better at this than people give him credit for. He hits all the right checkmarks with the base, and he’s very politically savvy. Not sure about his ability to build a national campaign – that could easily kill him (that’s where Obama most outflanked Hillary) but I think he’s their strongest potential right now.

    Dems have quite a deep bench, thankfully – particularly female candidates.

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    I think the media’s bent over backwards to turn his bullying personality traits into “speaking truth to power,” “telling it like it is,” “not backing down in front of the special interests” and all that shit, which has helped to make him “likeable” on the national stage. That’s a dry run for what you can expect if he makes a presidential run.

  61. 61
    gene108 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They can’t help themselves. Watching Turkey Waddle McConnell, who looks more like Bea Arthur than Hillary Clinton could if she wore a Halloween mask, make a “Golden Girls” joke about Hillary was like watching them sing their own death song. I still think Christie’s their strongest candidate if a) he wants it b) he can survive a primary, neither of which Im’ sure of, and I’d say the odds are pretty strong he can’t keep his essential nature (boorish misogynist bully) on a psychic leash all through a presidential campaign.

    The Dems would need someone with the gravitas of Hillary to run against Christie, if he were the nominee in 2016. As his term as governor effectively ends in 2015, he’ll have time to devote to the primaries others in office might not.

    Christie has the Teflon coating Reagan had.

    For all the stuff you’d think would work against a politician, boorish nature (lack of smarts in Reagan’s case), just seem to either not stick to him as a negative or endear him to voters.

  62. 62
    gogol's wife says:

    @gene108:

    Nationally? Does anyone really know who he is beyond the Metro-North corridor?

  63. 63
    EriktheRed says:

    the idea of letting someone four years into playing senator on C-span after a career as a self-accredited eye doctor anywhere near the launch codes is, frankly, pretty scary to a lot of folks up and down the demographic ladder.

    I’m pretty sure your average wingnut would – if he/she hasn’t alteady – point out that that Kenyan Kommie usurper also was in the Senate for only 4 years before going to the White House.

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    Violet says:

    @gogol’s wife: Christie? Sure they do. He’s been on late night talk shows. He was all over the news for weeks after Hurricane Sandy. He’s known. Better known than other Governors for sure.

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    Remember, starting in 2005, how the Republicans and right wing media went all in to stop a Hillary Clinton Presidency? How’d that work out?

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    Violet says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I’m not worried about Christie. Worry about Ted Cruz. He’s much better at this than people give him credit for. He hits all the right checkmarks with the base, and he’s very politically savvy. Not sure about his ability to build a national campaign – that could easily kill him (that’s where Obama most outflanked Hillary) but I think he’s their strongest potential right now.

    Agreed. After the plant explosion in West, Texas, both Cornyn and Cruz showed up and did a press conference. Cruz absolutely owned that appearance. Cornyn, the senior senator, looked like a lost puppy, and old at the same time.

    Cruz is smarter than anyone is giving him credit for and he’s politically savvy. And a Latino from Texas (Cuban, though). That born in Canada stuff may be a problem. I doubt it though.

  67. 67
    gene108 says:

    @Chris:

    I’d say that Christie’s “boorish misogynist bully” persona is by far his biggest selling point with the Republican base, which no matter what their misgivings about his policies, will cheer wildly for anyone they see pushing weaker kids into lockers.

    What is a “boorish misogynist bully’ to you is a straight-talking-says-it-like-it-is politician, which is rare in this day and age, to many, many, many voters in NJ, who would otherwise back a Democrat.

    There are probably a good chunk of Philly suburban voters, who also view your notion of “boorish misogynist bully” as a good example of a straight talking politician.

    These suburban Philly voters are the guys, who kept Arlen Specter in the Senate for decades. They aren’t against voting for Republicans, they just don’t like the Southern bible thumpers that dominate the Republican Party. Christie isn’t a Southern Bible thumper, though he shares their views on almost all social issues, so he’d probably get a serious look and a good many votes from the Philly suburbs, which would turn PA into a true battle ground state.

    I live in NJ. I don’t get how people outside of this state can be so dismissive of Christie as a national politician.

    Unlike Romney, Christie has always been anti-abortion. He has nothing to walk back on social issues in a Republican primary. He’s cut taxes for millionaires, while slashing programs for the poors. Again, unlike Rommey, he fits right in with Republican policy on economic issues and doesn’t have to distance himself from something like “Romneycare”.

    And despite all that baggage, Romney won the GOP primary in 2012, because he seemed like the best candidate to win the general election.

    There’s not a lot Christie has to do to appeal to GOP voters, other than run on his record of vetoing gay marriage bills the legislature passed, cutting taxes for millionaires, cutting money for family planning, cutting the social safety net in NJ, fighting the implementation of Obamacare, and doing all this while not coming off as a crazy Southern Bible thumper, so the base may grok he could win the general election and cleanse the White House of the eight years of infestation by Barack and Michelle Obama.

  68. 68

    @Kyle: Well, they all want to see the next Roosevelt. Part of what you’re describing is that NYCers fully believe that they’re the rightful capitol of the nation, and in some ways they’re right (particularly now). For a lot of moderate Dems and independents, extending the historical lessons of NYC to the nation would be a pretty decent way to go. The city is definitely on an upswing, and Bloomberg deserves a good deal of credit for that (without excusing his faults). It’s clear progress, and when NY was sending candidates to the national stage, they were sending candidates that were dogged about making similar progress nationally. I can’t really fault NYC media for wanting to seed the nation with what they probably feel is one of the more positive role models in the nation. Now, I don’t agree that Christie is that guy, nor Bloomberg, but I wouldn’t mind seeing another Roosevelt myself.

  69. 69
    gene108 says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Did anyone know about Bill Clinton outside of Arkansas in 1992?

    He’ll have the primary season to build up national name recognition.

    He’s just as right wing as anyone else the GOP is going to get. He’s just smart enough not to talk about “legitimate rape” in public and not declare the U.S. is at war with Islam, which is enough for the MSM to decide he’s a centrist.

  70. 70

    @Violet:

    Although Christie is a bully and an asshole, there’s something about him that is a bit likeable.

    I think he’s a bit likable because he’s willing to do the exact same thing to his own party when he has an intra-party fight. Whether it’s defending a Muslim appointee or fighting for Sandy reconstruction assistance, it’s great to see somebody dumping like that on the worst side of the Republican party.

  71. 71
    Robert says:

    @MikeJ: That’s how I pronounce it: SyPhy.

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    scav says:

    Random comment. Ads I’m seeing are the usual political ones, a computer secutity one and one for Butter. There is no way that last has anything to do with any of my recent search terms (which sould be producing ads in German / Czech for beet sugar if anything — long story). Is Challenge Butter actually that panicked as to purchase a national campaign after the fall of the house of Deen or are they hoping to pick up the protest purchases? “Support Free Southern Speach! Eat a Solid Stick!”

  73. 73
    EriktheRed says:

    Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog also appears to believe this tactic won’t bear the fruit GoOPers epect it to:

    When enough mainstream journalists do this, GOP talking points become the C.W. and the truth, as far as the political world is concerned. And then the stories get written with the talking point as a given. See, e.g., 2000, when we were all told we thought Al Gore was an annoying dweeb and George W. Bush was America’s Big Man on Campus. The repetition of such talking points is what can sway voters.

    But in the absence of that, I don’t think the public is inclined to reject Hillary for her age. For one thing, the population is aging, with the biggest cohort being the baby boom — particularly my age group, people born in the late 1950s. Does Hillary seem old? She’s not much older than we are.

    Beyond that, as Martin acknowledges, older candidates can win young people’s votes. Ronald Reagan did extremely well with the young in 1984. (And Martin doesn’t mention this, but the last non-Democrat to find favor with a significant segment of The Kidz is Crazy Uncle Liberty himself, Ron Paul, who’s more than a decade older than Hillary.)

    http://nomoremister.blogspot.c.....ltway.html

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    Actually, Challenge is based in central California (Dublin, to be exact). I walked past one of their big distribution centers when I was wandering around Ventura a few months ago. So maybe some of your search terms touched on California? We do have a Danish town here, you know.

  75. 75
    Violet says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, but it’s not just that. Honestly, I think his size gave him a teddy bear/harmless quality. He had a bit of a baby face and that plus his willingness to laugh at himself (eating a donut on Letterman) made him seem like a nicer guy, a bit of a good sport.

    I think he’s a bully, but those other things gave him cover. Take away the heft and he’ll lose the teddy bear quality and maybe the baby face. He can’t exactly go around eating donuts and laughing at himself and I don’t see him taking up running a la Huckabee, although I guess I could be wrong about that.

    I think as the weight comes off he may come across as more of a bully and less of a nice teddy bear. We’ll see, though.

    I do understand this sounds really judgmental about weight. I don’t mean to be judging anyone else about their weight, just looking at Christie and speculating about if his weight loss will change how he’s perceived, and if so, how.

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    @efgoldman:

    The GOBP is perfectly capable of presenting such a field. Goodhair, anyone? Santorum? Jindal? Rubio, at least, probably knows enough to wipe his feet before he comes in the house, but if immigration fails in the house he’s toast in the general; if it passes, he’s toast in the TeaHadi primaries.

    But that’s a decent primary field because it’s highly regional. Christie isn’t going to win the south with Perry or Santorum in there. He’s not going to win the midwest with a Jindal or Rubio on there. And you can’t win the nomination without taking some of the south and states like Ohio, Michigan, and so on.

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    MattR says:

    @gene108:

    I live in NJ. I don’t get how people outside of this state can be so dismissive of Christie as a national politician.

    I live in NJ too and the view from the northern part of the state is markedly different.

    Unlike Romney, Christie has always been anti-abortion. He has nothing to walk back on social issues in a Republican primary.

    It was a while ago, but Christie admits he was pro-choice before he saw his daughter pre-natally in 1995, including making private donations to Planned Parenthood. Christie will also have to deal with his anti-anti-Muslim position as well as nominating a gay judge and criticizing the NRA. The latter are things that progressives would applaud, but they will present an issue to Republican primary voters.

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    Redshirt says:

    I am a one issue voter: I want Republicans nowhere near power, anywhere, in any capacity.

    Thus, I would support H. Clinton 100% if she were the nominee, and I’d be enthusiastic about it solely because I think she’s be a shoe-in to win, and that’s all I care about. Having a Dem President for another 8 years, FSM willing, will do so much good in terms of purging Republicans from all levels of the Government – especially the Supreme Court.

    Having Bill as the First Husband is a killer bonus, since of course, experience! But he’s a second campaigner. Imagine having Bill focus on Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and Hillary takes everything else. That a deadly combo.

    I hope Obama actively supports whomever the Dem nominee is as well, and again, he’s used in a targeted fashion.

  79. 79
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Haven’t been bothering CA recently and I assume you’re talking about Solvang, or did they sneak in another? I’ve not even been doing any cooking searches recently, so it’s a utter bebafflement and fun to wonder about.

  80. 80

    @scav:
    I think it’s basically pointless to try to understand what produces all the ads you see on the web. They’re determined by some kind of incomprehensible algorithm that may be simultaneously incredibly well informed about your web surfing habits and unbelievably stupid and simple-minded. The result is sometimes stuff that makes sense, sometimes stuff that is comically wrong, and sometimes completely off-the-wall. Just think of it as proof that Google doesn’t know quite as much about you as they think they do.

  81. 81
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Query 2: we’re you thinking general butter=Danish link or does Solvang actually have some of that. I mostly remember the mission, general tourism and some great needlework shops there. Would be cool if they picked up some artisinal cheese and butter though.

  82. 82
    gogol's wife says:

    @gene108:

    No, no one knew Bill Clinton, but he is an extremely talented politician. I do not think that Chris Christie has one 1/100th of Bill Clinton’s charm (even though I’m immune to it).

  83. 83
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: The pointlessness of algorithms and how they go wrong is their exact siren charm leading me unto the rocks. Think kindly of me as I go off the cliff.

  84. 84

    @scav:
    I suppose it’s always possible that some of the ads are genuinely untargeted, and you’re getting an ad for butter because butter is one of the things that’s just spamming in the hopes of getting a hit today.

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    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s the default dull baseline. But when hard at work translating turn of the century beetsugar reports from German / Czech (damn Hapsburgs) to English, many odd things look potentially thrilling (as did the one that showed up in Dutch).

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    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Would that be the Hillary Clinton who co-sponsored legislation to criminalize the desecration of the American flag?

    The same one who, during her last run for president promised that she’d “totally obliterate Iran” if it attacked Israel?

    The one who declared that she and John McCain had crossed the commander-in-chief threshold and that Obama hadn’t?

    The one who lied about being shot at?

    She’s a hawkish, triangulating bag of shit. If the Dems can’t do better in ’16 then they deserve to lose.

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    TomParmenter says:

    @MikeJ: It’s our old friend Intellectual Property who won’t let them have a trademark on ‘SciFi’, so they had to go stupid.

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    PeakVT says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: You know who loses when the Dems lose? We do. “The Dems” who “deserve to lose” if Clinton is the nominee will all go on to nice consulting and lobbying careers if she loses.

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    Juju says:

    @Violet:
    Christie will need to have skin reduction surgery after he looses all the weight he needs to loose. It will probably be multiple surgeries for his stomach, arms, thighs and neck. These types of surgeries take a while from which to recover. Christie may not be ready to run for president in 2016.

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    Violet says:

    @Juju: Well, he’s got a couple of years. He may be able to get enough surgeries done and recover before he really had to start running hard.

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    According Jonathan Tunch Martin’s analysis, GOP should run a young biracial Latino woman for President.

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    @Violet: I agree. If they had a problem with the name “SciFi”, they should have just chopped it down a little:

    SciFi

    ciF

    iF

    iF. It was a good magazine, it would make a swell cable channel.

  93. 93
    Juju says:

    @Violet:
    He has to lose a considerable amount of weight before doctors will do skin reduction surgeries. My guess is it will take a couple of years to meet his goal weight, then the skin reduction surgeries start. Weight loss in his realm takes quite some time.

  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @scav:

    it’s a utter bebafflement and fun to wonder about.

    I thout it was because of IOL’s “fried butter” comment above.

  95. 95
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @PeakVT:

    Riddle me this; at what point is enough, enough? How shitty does a Democratic candidate have to be for us to demand someone better? There are some comments up thread about the Republicans’ shallow bench. Okay, fair enough. Our bench seems to be HC. How deep is that?

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    Sorry, I had to wander out to Trader Joe’s for groceries. I think I was just thinking of a general “Danes=butter” connection, or even just “California=butter.”

    I was surprised to find out that there’s a pretty big Basque population in California, especially out by Bakersfield, because it’s good country to raise sheep.

  97. 97
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: TJ’s is more than an excuse and thanks for the next distraction. CA Basques triggered a Transhumance neuron and its true. Basque Sheepherding in the American West

    Die Handels- und Gewerbe-Kammer in Prag in den ersten fünfzig Jahren ihres . . . .

  98. 98
    PeakVT says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I’m not defending Clinton or any other candidate. I’m just pointing out there’s no particular entity that gets hurt when a Dem loses. It’s somewhat like talking about a state having its feelings hurt because it was subject to VRA Sec. 4.

    The time to demand a better candidate is during the primaries. After that, I think we pretty much have to eat whatever we end up with, even if it’s a shit sandwich. And I think that’s more the case for important offices (Prez, Senate, Governor). I’ll vote for pretty much any Dem for Prez.

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    dogbreath says:

    @👽 Martin: “He’ll have to draw the worst primary challengers in half a century to pull it off” Could well happen then, they keep getting better at that

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    joel hanes says:

    @gene108:

    I live in NJ. I don’t get how people outside of this state can be so dismissive of Christie as a national politician.

    Earlier commenters have tried to explain: the same assertive personality that big-city people in the Boston-Philly corridor approve as “take-charge guy, tells it like it is” comes across to the Midwest-nice people at the Iowa straw polls and caucuses and to the laid-back folks on the Left Coast north of LA as gratuitous abrasive assholicity. Midwesterners in particular think of people like Christy as ‘rude”, “pushy”, “demanding”, “self-centered”, “bullying”, and don’t like ’em. These same folks loved Reagan for his twinkly, avuncular manner in public.

  104. 104
    Tyro says:

    @joel hanes: These same folks loved Reagan for his twinkly, avuncular manner in public.

    I realize I’m not the target audience, but, honestly, Reagan and George W. Bush were kinda both real dickheads. But people loved them nonetheless.

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    Groucho48 says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The candidate has to be better than the Republican candidate. Period. Because Republicans are just that bad. Back in 2000, I voted for Nader because Gore was heading to the right as fast as he could while campaigning, and I figured how much worse could Bush be. Well, I know better now.

    I think Clinton is to the right of Obama and Obama is a moderate, not a liberal. I’d love to see someone with the stance of a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren get the nod. But, that’s not going to happen. The country isn’t ready for a truly liberal President. It’s getting closer, but, it isn’t there, yet.

  106. 106
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Groucho48:

    I’d happily support any Democratic nominee who was even slightly to the left of Richard M. Nixon. If HRC gets the nom in 2016 I will do what I do every election; donate a bit more than I can afford, phone bank, and knock on doors. I’ll do those things for every other Democrat on the ballot – except for Clinton. She doesn’t get my vote either. For me, there is a limit to hold your nose and vote.

  107. 107
    ricky says:

    This thread is proof positive progressives concentrate too much on Presidential politics and must love getting burned.
    If only good local bloggers were posted more on weekdays
    this might change and we would get more bang for our bucks.

    I have only Mistemix to thank for this sabbath enlightenment.

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    karen marie says:

    @Botsplainer:

    my sense is that he fell for his own bullshit.

    Given how fast he was to block me on Twitter (I tweeted a guffaw to him for something ridiculous he wrote), I’d say he works very hard at protecting himself from anything that contradicts the world he has created..

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t get how people outside of this state can be so dismissive of Christie as a national politician.

    Because his bullying, swaggering bullshit doesn’t play as well outside of the Eastern states as you seem to think it does.

    Again, he seems like Giuliani 2.0 to me — someone the East Coast media slobbered over but everyone outside of the tri-state area thought was an asshole.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ricky:

    This thread is proof positive progressives concentrate too much on Presidential politics and must love getting burned.

    You were the one in the other thread who said that Kathleen Geier was wrong about needing to focus on local politics. I thought you’d be the first one to be lapping this stuff up with a spoon.

  111. 111
    RaflW says:

    The thing I’d say about Christie is that he’s young enough, and East-Coast enough that his being a homophobic jerk will hurt him more than it will Santorum.

    I mean, Santorum is a sweatervest freak who’s name is now indelibly fecal in it’s connotations.

    But I think younger voters might, might cut some slack to other older GOPers who are anti-gay. They “can’t help it, its how they grew up.”

    But Christie is one day older than my brother, and my brother had me, three years younger than him and gay gay gay, be best man at his wedding … in 1994.

    I mean, it’s gonna be 2016 and freedom to marry is the settled matter of law for 30% of all Americans, today. More we hope by then.

    And he’s jerkwading his way around New Jersey this week opposing same-sex marriage. He may feel he has to do this in his reprobate party. Bullshit.

    He’s a shitheel. Out of step with America in a party of older men who are waaaaay out of step with America. Good lick, Chris. You’ll need it.

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    Nina says:

    Lap band surgery isn’t always effective, especially if the patient doesn’t change his eating habits and doesn’t take his supplements. Christie seems, potentially, like the type of person who might think he can cheat on diet once he’s had the surgery because the surgery can fix everything. He has so little control over what comes out of his mouth that I don’t see him having a lot of control over whatever goes in.

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