Fools and Money

After latest shoe that DougJ just posted about dropped, Christopher James “Chris” Christie’s office issued a 1500-word statement that did not deny the accusation, and then he had to sneak around Florida to avoid protesters during a fundraising tour. You’d think that some of the marks that Christie was trying to fleece would get a clue that his political career is over, but it sounds like some of those rich idiots are still writing checks for him:

Getting into his Bentley after the fund-raiser, one guest, Geoffrey Leigh, called the controversy over the lane closures “little flies on the wall, quite frankly.”

I wonder how much Geoffery donated to Romney SuperPACs.

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189 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    These people hate paying taxes to their country but they love spending their money on vapor.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    Rich people don’t spend enough of their money. The velocity of their money is going to go up when it gets into the hands of grifters like Christie.

  3. 3
    sidhra says:

    “little flies on the wall, quite frankly.”

    Third-rate burglary.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    As for the little flies on the wall, I think any exterminator will tell you that you never have just one insect in your house. If you see one there are hundreds more.

  5. 5
    linda says:

    Big money was welcomed into the Republican Party because they thought it would make them more powerful. Instead it created nutjob representatives and unelectable candidates who can’t be disciplined by the party because they have an independent money base. As any bankrupt lottery winner can tell you, money doesn’t make you successful. It only makes you reach your destiny faster. And if you are destined to be a fool, it will make you one at the speed of light.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    @MikeJ: And so many little flies could be a sign there is a dead rodent decomposing in the wall.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    @beltane: Known to exterminators as a ‘Geoffrey.’

  8. 8
    dmsilev says:

    Check out the other Times Christie story:”G.O.P. Advice for Christie: Pick a Better Team”

    Because, of course, it’s all the fault of those nefarious underlings. Doesn’t much matter, though, he’s starting to get the KEEP AWAY stench and that doesn’t easily come out in the wash:

    The scandal could still fade, and Mr. Christie remains popular with many voters in his home state. But a recent episode underscored how things have changed: The governor had envisioned traveling to South Carolina this spring to campaign for Senator Lindsey Graham, who faces a conservative primary challenge. Mr. Graham, in an interview last week, said Mr. Christie’s presence would be an unwelcome distraction.

    “If you brought him in South Carolina today, what would we be talking about?” Mr. Graham asked. “We’d be talking about him.”
    […]
    But a flap has erupted in Republican circles, as Mr. Scott, who faces a tough bid for a second term, does not seem eager to be seen in public with Mr. Christie: The two have no plans to campaign together, and their staffs have closely guarded information about the fund-raising events.

    When Lex Luthor thinks that you might be dragging down his public image, that’s a problem…

    Also, too,

    The governor could not bring himself to watch the traffic jam-themed parody of “Born to Run” sung by his idol, Bruce Springsteen, on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” though he was told by his college-age son, Andrew, that it was funny.

  9. 9
    scav says:

    @beltane: They are attracted to decomposition. In this case, should we tentatively ID them as Blowhard Flies?

  10. 10
    aimai says:

    I think you can’t overestimate just how out of touch some of these rich people are with reality–and how used they are to seeing themselves and their kind pilloried and parodied by the press. I think from that distance you can’t really grasp whether something is serious or not, a long term problem or not. The savvier, long term, political actors with law degrees and experience in politics grasp that Christie is toast if only because he will be buried in subpoenas for the foreseeable future and because he has enough enemies in his own party who will take this chance to do him down at the primary level.

    His main support at the national level was high dollar donors who wanted to back a winner and who thought he could win the general election and start the road back to control of the government by a resurgent, money oriented, less god bothery but still assholish republican party. Those people aren’t going to jump ship at the moment because they don’t have any other such person to, as it were, flog. But my guess is other plausible, imaginary “centrist” and “general” candidates are reaching out through their lobbyists and staff and beginning to murmur their own names–Walker, Huntsman (?), Kasich?

    You can’t expect rich assholes to ever admit publicly, to a god damned news organization, that you paid 30,000 dollars to hear a has been speak about politics. But even the koch brothers style donors are going to dump christie before six months have passed.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    They couldn’t afford to have Mitt Romney get soundly beaten in 2012, so they convinced themselves he was going to win. They can’t afford to have the chairman of the Republican Governors Association lose credibility as a fundraiser, or their most plausible presidential candidate for 2016 go down in flames a year before the race even starts, so they’re telling themselves an ever-widening scandal is just liberal-media noise. Same thing all over again.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dmsilev:

    When Lex Luthor thinks that you might be dragging down his public image, that’s a problem…

    That’s the most hilarious part of the story. It’s like Donald Trump shunning Phil Spector because of his freakish hair style.

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai: Of course, to a rich asshole, $30K is about as consequential as a $3 latte would be to a normal person. The real question for people on that scale isn’t the $10K a head fundraisers, but the funding of multi-tens-of-millions super-PACs.

    With regards to a replacement for Christie, I wonder whether we’ll see a resurgence of Jeb Bush. Another thought is that if any of these rich assholes are capable of long-range strategic thought (doubtful based on observational evidence, but let’s assume), a better strategy might be to let Santorum or some other mouth-frother get the nomination and get completely and utterly blown out by Hillary or Martin O’Malley or whoever, and use that blow-out as a starting point for purging the GOP.

  14. 14
    geg6 says:

    @sidhra:

    Heh. This.

  15. 15
    Citizen_X says:

    Hey, maybe now Michael Bloomberg will run for president!

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: And, specifically, I’ll bet that both Trump and Spector spend major time and energy getting their hair just right. And then, y’know, go out and murder someone.

  17. 17
    geg6 says:

    @aimai:

    If any of them have half a neuron that is fully functioning, they’ll keep clear of Walker. The Kochs may continue to funnel vast sums at him, but he’s got as many, if not more, skeletons to uncover as Christie does. People who work for him keep going to jail or being indicted.

  18. 18
    scav says:

    What does happen when your sunk costs develops cement footwear? And, moreover, there doesn’t seem to be another obvious floaty thing nearby?

  19. 19
    geg6 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Oh my. That really made me LOL.

    @dmsilev:

    Wasn’t that their strategy after the 2012 blowout? How’d that work out for them?

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    @dmsilev: I think you have to assume that someone is begging Jeb to run all the time–hell Barbara Bush mentioned it firmly right out of the hospital as in “no way.” They are desperate for someone with Name Recognition, first of all, and then they figure they can pour in something acceptable to voters afterwards. But they are wrong about that because all the people who have name recognition at this point have known bad qualities and enemies in some camp. While the no name guys have, well, no name.

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @dmsilev:
    Jeb Bush, run for president? Didn’t his mommy just nix the idea?

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    @geg6: I think of it as a race to get into the race and have those skeletons not fully exposed by the time you get the nomination.

  23. 23
    dmsilev says:

    @geg6: At least publicly, the GOP’s post-2012 strategy was to start appealing more to Hispanics and women and cut down on the nonsense.

    That was the theory; the implementation has proven to be …difficult for them.

  24. 24
    cmorenc says:

    @aimai:

    But my guess is other plausible, imaginary “centrist” and “general” candidates are reaching out through their lobbyists and staff and beginning to murmur their own names–Walker, Huntsman (?), Kasich?

    Scott Walker is my guess for the GOP governor best-placed and most likely to try to step into the hole that will be left by Christie’s downfall. Jeb Bush would be another highly plausible player, but IMHO Jeb will in the end decline to step in, recognizing that the poison his idiot brother George W inflicted on the family name will not have sufficiently dissipated to make a successful run with the general electorate possible, even if the GOP base was willing to grant him the nomination.

  25. 25
    negative 1 says:

    @dmsilev: Honestly Jeb Bush would be a way better candidate than Christie anyway. If only he could change his name. Clinton v Bush would almost be an unfair fight amongst low info voters. Sure would be fun though.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yes, she did. Doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll listen to her though.

    Of course, brother George pretty much shit the bed as far as the family name is concerned, so that might a bit of a problem.

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @scav: Sheldon Adelman was throwing cash at the good ship Gingrich ’12 long after it was lying at the bottom of the sea.

  28. 28
    aimai says:

    @dmsilev: I didn’t read her as “nixing the idea” so much as wearily cautioning the kinds of people who keep saying, dreamily, “can’t Jeb just…take one for the team?” that he’s not going to do it, he’s not going to be a sacrificial lamb for an inept GOP.

  29. 29

    This is why the elite money set in the Republican Party is NOT going to wise up and find a good way to exploit Citizens United. There is a direct connection between being crazy and out of touch, and how much money they spend politically. The grifters are always going to win this contest, and there’s easy money on such a vast scale that PACs will always set off a grifter feeding frenzy.

    EDIT – And if Jeb Bush ran, that would get weird, fast. Things are already pretty weird, but trying to avoid the public shame of the Bush Jr years by projection and other neurotic coping mechanisms is already tearing conservatives apart. The ‘moderates’ who believe that it’s just obvious that Republicans are the adults in the room and the crazies are just an unrepresentative fringe are most vulnerable to that dementia. I don’t know what they’ll do under the strain.

  30. 30
    gene108 says:

    @dmsilev:

    Jeb Bush.

    Maybe he could change his name to John Ellis Pierce (mother’s maiden name), so people wouldn’t associate him with his loser older brother.

  31. 31
    Patrick says:

    @cmorenc:

    Jeb Bush would be another highly plausible player, but IMHO Jeb will in the end decline to step in, recognizing that the poison his idiot brother George W inflicted on the family name will not have sufficiently dissipated to make a successful run with the general electorate possible, even if the GOP base was willing to grant him the nomination.

    Don’t forget Jeb Bush’s despicable handling of the Terri Schiavo situation. Based on that, he is the last guy I want to have as my President.

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    @dmsilev:

    I guess I wasn’t clear as I could be. The money men saw the Mittageddon as their opportunity to rebuild the GOP from the Teabagger ashes. That’s what all the talk about appealing to women and minorities and not being assholes was about. Didn’t work out as far as I can see.

  33. 33
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @gene108: Something like that would only work if he were of the next generation, say he was 19 years old.

    Then he could distance himself enough to make a run in 2040, after the previous generation of Bushes were dead.

  34. 34
    amk says:

    Last time, they blew 1 billion on the kenyan muslin usurper. Next time, it will be double or nothing.

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gene108:
    Also, isn’t Jeb the one with the Latina wife and the son who conceals his Spanish middle name?

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This is why the elite money set in the Republican Party is NOT going to wise up and find a good way to exploit Citizens United.

    They already used CU to devastating effect in 2010 via Project Red State.

    Whether they could bring that money to matter in a Presidential election has yet to be seen. Obama has been a unique fundraising juggernaut the likes of which America has never seen before. He had the money to beat back against any CU directed attacks against his campaign.

    Whether the 2016 Democratic nominee can manage the fundraising feats Obama accomplished can be debated. If the 2016 nominee cannot pull off Obama-like fundraising, CU money could impact the 2016 Presidential election as the Democratic nominee would not have the funds to counter ads by his opponent and the CU ads.

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:

    @geg6: But the problem there is that Mitt wasn’t a True Creature of the Base. They supported him because he wasn’t Obama, but Mitt fundamentally is a plutocrat. This leaves the base in a position to say “a true conservative would have won”. A sufficiently Machiavellian strategist would say “OK, let’s run a True Conservative. Then, when they get blown out by 12 points, we’ll spend the next four years purging the True Believers and take back our party”.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    @beltane: Is rather a joy to watch. Alas, still with hints of venture capitalists sometimes needing startups to continue to fail for the tax benefits. Or are candidates just the new equivalent of super-yachts, holes that you pour money down. An addition to the lineup, I should be guess: they can discuss their expensive politipets after the repairs to the fleet of cars, the stable of racers with hooves, blah blah, ohh my dear, if you could just see the vet bills! Dear little things bring such amusement though, and every so often . . . . Lottery Tickets for the well-heeled.

  39. 39
    RaflW says:

    I picture Geoffrey as looking just like the top-hatted tycoon from Monopoly. Do these people realize they are perfect stereotype buffoons?

    I suppose being filthy rich means they don’t care.

  40. 40
    RoonieRoo says:

    I was thinking that this whole scandal will raise Christie’s numbers among the Fox viewers as they will just view him as another victim of the liberal-MSM-attack agenda and therefore “one of them.”

  41. 41
    Citizen_X says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: One of the major reasons that we had a financial meltdown–and really, one of the major reasons for financial meltdowns throughout history–is that we had a huge amount of capital tied up at the top rungs of society, that ends up sloshing around the markets and fueling all kinds of questionable investments. (In more equitable times, middle class and poor people don’t have any problem finding something useful and economy-fueling to spend their money on.)

    If they end up throwing it away on hopeless wingnutty candidates, that’s actually better for the country.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    @dmsilev:

    There’s no one left in the GOP that is sufficiently intelligent enough to be that Machiavellian. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.

  43. 43
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @gene108: Well, Obama isn’t going away. While the money isn’t going be raised for Obama, I think his endorsement will be sufficient to get the nominee close enough. Add the ground game and demographics, and I think it will be enough to win.

    One more thing to think about:

    The GOP’s money problem: Age

    The biggest donors are all over 70, with wives and kids to boot. If they keel over, will the wives be interested in stepping up to the plate?

  44. 44
    Gex says:

    @dmsilev: I’d love to see how Jeb deals with Momma Bush opining that we shouldn’t have dynasty familys running the country. How do you discourage the second person in a family from being president for that reason while simultaneously pushing for the third person from another family (your own) for president?

    Okay, to me that seems too fucking hypocritical for one person to actually do. But then, I am not a Republican and hypocrisy is their core competency.

  45. 45
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Rich people are out of touch, period. The amount of time I have to spend around these types convinces me of it.

    They like to think they are cold-blooded Objectivists when they’re simply out.of.touch from living in La-La-Land all the time.

  46. 46
    aimai says:

    @dmsilev: They are that machiavellian but they can’t afford to wait that long to let “natural consequences” punish the base–because at the same time the base is dying off at a tremendous clip. The problem the money guys and the professional politicians are having is that they really, really, really, want the presidency back–its important in itself and its totemically important too, plus: better parties and style points to the party that holds it. But there is simply no clear way at this point to the presidency given the crazy base. So you have different machiavellian strategies.

  47. 47
    eric says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Not only is obama not going away, i would argue that the ONLY way he can assure Obamacare’s long term survival is to campaign hard for the dem candidate to permit vetos in the vent the GOP loons take over congress.

  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gene108:

    Maybe he could change his name to John Ellis Pierce (mother’s maiden name), so people wouldn’t associate him with his loser older brother.

    JEPPIE!

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @RaflW: Last interview I saw like that was the woman going in to a Mitt Romney fundraiser, I can’t remember what it is she said but it was pretty jaw droppingly offensive, IIRC.

  50. 50
    scav says:

    @aimai: Wasn’t that something along the lines of being a VIP or something?

  51. 51
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai: Was that the interviewee who said “Where’s the VIP entrance? I’m a VIP!”? That was a bit that stuck in my mind, but God knows there was enough arrogance and entitlement going around.

  52. 52
    Fanshawe says:

    Typical liberal media creation. You really think this would be happening if his name was Chris Atheistie? Sheep.

  53. 53
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @aimai:

    That woman who wanted special parking at a Long Iland event because “We are V.I.P.”?

  54. 54
    aimai says:

    @dmsilev: Yes, that sounds right.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    From the Newsmax headlines on the right column:

    Noonan: Christie Is ‘Selfish’ Man

    I’m not going to click, but wonder what that’s about. Is Nooners upset that Christie is ruining the Republicans’ reputations or something?

  56. 56
    raven says:

    Dancin Dave interviewing Gates about Hillary. He doesn’t understand the difference between handicap to debilitate or predict as in betting.

  57. 57
    aimai says:

    @Violet: My god, has he lost the precious “drunken magical thinking WSJ vote?”

  58. 58
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Sandygate may have more legs that Bridgegate, because it strikes at the heart of one of the reasons some non-ideological voters like Christie: they perceive him as governing well during the Sandy cleanup. If that falls, most of Christie’s goodwill goes with it.

  59. 59
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Chait in New York Mag is funny on this. Showing how Christie’s office pointed out a bunch of positive Tweets from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer thanking Christie earlier last year, Chait says:

    There is a certain logic here: Zimmer can’t be trusted because she heartily endorsed Chris Christie, who is the subject of numerous allegations of corruption. She must have terrible judgment!

    Then the “but seriously folks,” part:

    I suppose the implication is that we shouldn’t trust Zimmer’s account of Christie’s handling of the storm, because she is now expressing dissatisfaction after praising him earlier. But Zimmer’s pro-Christie tweets came in November of 2012, whereas the alleged strong-arming occurred in May of 2013. Indeed, Zimmer is a reformist mayor who ran against a corrupt Democratic administration and strongly supported Christie, before belatedly concluding he is also corrupt.

    He then posts the “You fucked up. You trusted us” clip from Animal House.

  60. 60
    dmsilev says:

    @Violet: I took a look. She thinks he was ‘selfish’ for wanting to run up the score in the election and hence did whatever was “necessary”. And then she compared that to Obama being “selfish” for wanting to reform health care.

    At that point, I could feel my brain cells starting to die, so I hit the back button.

  61. 61
    Mike E says:

    @raven: I bet he knows kneecapping, however.

  62. 62
    RSR says:

    Hoboken mayor took the job after previous mayor was arrested on corruption charges after just a few weeks in office by then-US Attorney Chris Christie.

    Tangled web and all that.

  63. 63
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    The guy from Bush’s Baked Beans or Disgraced Heisman Trophy Winner Reggie Bush has a better shot in 2016 than Jeb.

  64. 64
    aimai says:

    Good god, I clicked that Newsmax link so you wouldn’t have to. The first interesting thing to know is that they basically send somebody over to the WSJ and then they half paraphrase and half quote Noonan, which is a little like having someone listen seriously to an idiot and then turn to you and try to translate it with broad gestures and extra information, as though the original text were higher math and you were the idiot.

    At any rate, the article is apparently another kind of miracle–the kind where she excoriates Chris Christie for failing to be a politician above politics, but softens the blow by an amazing backflip into “both sidesism”

    Noonan gives a number of examples of Christie’s selfishness. She points to his speech at the 2012 speech at the GOP convention in which Christie spent far more time talking about himself than about Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.

    She says his “effusive embrace” of Obama following superstorm Sandy was also an example of a selfish bid to win over Democrats in an election year when he was already on track for a landslide victory.

    “He was already going to win big. But he had to win bigger, had to have more,” she writes.
    “When bridge-gate came, it seemed to fit the pattern — he’ll ding you when he doesn’t have to, even if it makes local citizens cry, to gain an advantage, to get more. Whoever made the call, selfishness is at the heart of that scandal.”

    Noonan says Obama’s rhetoric and policies are also rooted in selfishness, describing the president’s signature healthcare law as a prime example.

    “It was political selfishness that blew up the American healthcare system. And it’s the public, in this and other messes, that’s left holding the bag. But as government gets bigger the bag gets bigger, and people will get tired of carrying it. They’re already tired,” she writes.

    Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfro.....z2qrSIbMuG
    Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

  65. 65
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @RSR: Christie response to latest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....r9RE-8#t=5

  66. 66
    sidhra says:

    Nobody likes to look stupid, not even the wealthy. Christy’s shenanigans are gonna make a lot of people look stupid. That’ll be when the money stops.

  67. 67
    RandomMonster says:

    I think he meant “flies on the whale”. Beached, in this case.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Ellen says:

    Of course the big money donors aren’t concerned about him leaning on a small time mayor to get a development deal through. THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE HIRING HIM FOR. They expect he will do the same for them when the time comes, and they are right.

  70. 70
    kindness says:

    Were our ‘Betters’ actually better at running a country there would be no problems.

    Our Betters really are best at fleecing others. And that is a big part of the problem.

  71. 71
    GregB says:

    If you want to know where the money that used to go to paying workers has gone just crunch the amount of money made in political donations and add to that the cost of unnecessary wars and there you have it.

  72. 72
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Krugman comes as close as he ever does to saying “David Brooks is a dishonest idiot”.

  73. 73
    piratedan says:

    just another application of the truism… “follow the money”, it’s damned near as reliable as IOKIYAR.

    If this stuff pans out as being true, I sit back and remember the media tongue bath that Christie received as being a sane Republican, unafraid to reach out to work with the Feds for the benefit of his constituency in a post Sandy backdrop of devastation. Just makes me wonder what the backlash may look like if it turns out that he was sitting on the funds like Smaug protecting his hoard.

  74. 74
    Pogonip says:

    I think you are celebrating too soon. I work with a lot of conservatives; they all know who Christie is ( even though we’re a long way from New Jersey and most of them couldn’t name one of their own city council members) and they all love him. You see a bully. They see a tough guy. You see corruption. They see a tough guy doing what has to be done. As far as conservatives are concerned, Christie’s the closest they will ever get to Vladimir Putin, and unless someone even meaner comes along, they will not give him up. Don’t forget that until that bartender’s recording saved the country, Romney was uncomfortably close to winning.

    Oddly enough, the conservatives all hated Bruce Springsteen (the man, not his music) even before this.

  75. 75
    gogol's wife says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Boy, there is a perfect Bugs Bunny quotation for everything, isn’t there? What a genius.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pogonip: It doesn’t matter if already committed right wingers are okay with what Christie has done. To the extent that Christie was a dangerous candidate, it was because he could potentially appeal to moderates who would see him as a get things done sort of guy who could work across party lines. The image has been blown to smithereens. He is fast losing any crossover appeal that he may have had.

  77. 77
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: The money men saw the Mittageddon as their opportunity to rebuild the GOP from the Teabagger ashes. That’s what all the talk about appealing to women and minorities and not being assholes was about. Didn’t work out as far as I can see.

    Oh, you’re absolutely right. But they are trapped. What percentage of Republicans are Teabaggers? Isn’t it like a third? That’s an awful lot of angry bitter old people to not show up at the next election, and it’s still waaaaaay too early for the persecuted to fall for the facelift.

  78. 78
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: The money men saw the Mittageddon as their opportunity to rebuild the GOP from the Teabagger ashes. That’s what all the talk about appealing to women and minorities and not being assholes was about. Didn’t work out as far as I can see.

    Oh, you’re absolutely right. But they are trapped. What percentage of Republicans are Teabaggers? Isn’t it like a third? That’s an awful lot of angry bitter old people to not show up at the next election, and it’s still waaaaaay too early for the persecuted to fall for the facelift.

  79. 79
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Pogonip:

    I think you are celebrating too soon.

    Pretty much this. Republicans get all damp at the notion of having some big, mean man tell them what to do. I’ll believe the Christie is washed up when he completely disappears from the political scene.

  80. 80
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Pogonip:

    I think you are celebrating too soon.

    Pretty much this. Republicans get all damp at the notion of having some big, mean man tell them what to do. I’ll believe the Christie is washed up when he completely disappears from the political scene.

  81. 81
    amk says:

    @Pogonip: repubs would vote even for a donkey as long it has a R behind it. It’s the deciding indy and centrist dem votes that will get washed away by these waves of corruption.

  82. 82
    aimai says:

    @Pogonip: I agree that Republicans love a Putin/strongman. But Christie always faced a two front battle–the farther he advances on the primary battle front, running towards the authoritarian bible humpers, gun nuts, and rageaholics the farther away he runs from the democratic and independent voters he needs to take the presidency from a more likeable and less corrupt figure. What you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts.

    Besides all that–some of the things that Christie has now been accused of are actual crimes. If he can be tied to any of this in a legal sense he’s toast because the republican party won’t wait for him to get out of jail like he was their Mandela. They’ll turn to the next guy on the list and it won’t matter if they pine for the strong man of yore or, as tbogg once called him, the Harkonnen on the Hudson.

  83. 83
    kc says:

    Getting into his Bentley after the fund-raiser, one guest, Geoffrey Leigh, called the controversy over the lane closures “little flies on the wall, quite frankly.”

    A perfect snapshot of your GOP elite.

  84. 84
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Pogonip:

    Don’t forget that until that bartender’s recording saved the country

    That’s pretty hard to justify from the polling, which I assume is what you’re basing it on since what else.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....-1171.html

    I see lines that jump around all year but with Obama ahead overall.

    Yes Obama’s goes up after the Sep video release and Romney’s goes down, but that happened a lot of other times as well.

    I think Christie is toast. You’re sort of saying two things, one that the GOP wants certain characteristics in a candidate (though Romney was no “strongman”) and even scandal won’t deter them, and on the other hand you’re saying that Romney’s creepy comment scandal is what saved the day.

  85. 85
    Joel says:

    @Pogonip:

    Romney was uncomfortably close to winning.

    \The 47% tape came out before the first debate. It didn’t materially change the race — Romney wasn’t close then. However, he did get close after the debate. Still, he was never close to winning in terms of straight up odds, at least by Wang’s model.

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    “What’s a sociologizer to do?”

    Oh, SNAP!

  87. 87
    geg6 says:

    @Pogonip:

    What the GOP mouthbreathers think means next to nothing. It’s about the moderate Dems and independents he was supposed to attract that count in this. And it seems to me that a candidate who is drawing comparisons to Blago and Nixon is unlikely to be very attractive to them.

  88. 88
    satanicpanic says:

    @gene108: from one terrible presidential name to another

  89. 89
    aimai says:

    @geg6: Also, just in terms of theatrics and aesthetics, there were a whole lot of independents and blue voters who kind of liked Christie’s abrasive style, confusing it with being “non nonsense” and “job focused.” But that is when they were only hearing about it second hand, or seeing it applied to people they themselves had an imaginary antagonistic relationships with (teachers as part of teacher’s unions, reporters in a media scrum). In those situations Christie has always played the “I’m a bully but I’m your bully” card. But now? From now on the media appearances are going to fit more neatly into a different script–the corrupt politician being asked about his side deals and his corruption. Christie will, of course, continue to argue that he’s being victimized because he’s a Republican frontrunner for President and that it is the corrupt Democrats who want to take him down.But his style is to be not only victim/whiner but angry bully and more and more people are going to be watching and see Christie lashing out at people like themselves, people who are just trying to figure out what is going on. I just don’t think even his bullying plays the same once the situation is flipped from “git r done” to “coverup.” I mean–it will for the true believers in right wing ressentiment, but not for the blue voters.

  90. 90
    Fuzzy says:

    @aimai: Who is more likable and less corrupt? I think Hilary is a big failure in the likable column and do not forget her Whitewater corruptness. I think the Dems better start looking for the an alternative to “hold your nose and vote”.

  91. 91
    Anoniminous says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Real Clear Politics is not a reliable information source. They have a history of “munging” their data to favor Republicans until the week before the election and then doing the statistical project equivalent of shouting, “tah-DAH!” RCP also over-emphasized Gallup, by not discounting their polling, who projected whites would be 78% of the 2012 vote in their polling screen which everybody knew was nonsense and, in fact, the actual white percentage was the demographically predicted 72%.

  92. 92
    JPL says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: David Brooks had a bad weekend at the Times. First the public editor and now Krugman. Oh my!

  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Fuzzy:

    and do not forget her Whitewater corruptness.

    I am not the world’s biggest HRC fan, but this is BS.

  94. 94
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Joel: Good point. The big moves in the polls in Sep were about the debate, not the video.

    Pollsters will tell you that all of that is meaningless anyway, for example there are always convention bounces, and they always disappear, and things go back to where they were before the convention’s infomercial effect.

  95. 95
    geg6 says:

    I think Hilary is a big failure in the likable column and do not forget her Whitewater corruptness.

    You may think she’s unlikeable, but there are a lot of women, people in Appalachia and white lower middle class voters who would emphatically disagree. And the Whitewater thing? Seriously? Please show me when she got indicted for any wrongdoing whatsoever there. Hell, show me where there was a “where” there.

  96. 96
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Anoniminous: Fine, use other polls, they illustrate the same thing in this case. Romney wasn’t winning before the video came out, and he wasn’t going to win had it never come out. That’s a Romney camp excuse.

  97. 97
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Fuzzy:

    Not just Whitewater, look at all the drugs that the Clintons smuggled through Mena airport – not to mention her cold blooded murder of Vince Foster.

    I will not vote for Hillary Clinton, period. The why of that has nothing to do with recycled Republican talking points.

  98. 98
    aimai says:

    @Fuzzy: You do know that Whitewater was a complete fabrication, don’t you? You might try reading The Hunting Of the President by Conason and Lyons to find that out. I’m not arguing that it makes a difference in an election whether the accusations are truths or lies but it ought to make a difference here.

    Meanwhile–I can’t believe you think that because *you* don’t find HRC likeable the rest of the country feels the same. Polls really don’t show that at all–she has name recognition, she has a hard floor of enemies but she also has a very solid base of supporters. I, personally, like her quite a bit. I admire her as an incredibly hard working public servant who has always worked for women’s rights and, as Secretary of State, tirelessly as a diplomat. I certainly find her too centrist/dlc for my tastes but in comparison to any other likely candidate (likely successful candidate?) I am happy to vote for her.

  99. 99
    Anoniminous says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Right. When looking at the 2012 polls and taking out the non-existent 6% of white people Obama had a substantial polling lead throughout the run-up to November. The whole “skewed poll” thing the GOP propagandists were shouting about was an attempt to obfuscate reality. This was done because very loosely attached voters don’t vote if they think their candidate is doomed to lose.

  100. 100
    aimai says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: OK, that was a better answer.

  101. 101
    aimai says:

    @Fuzzy: Also, are you seriously asserting that HRC isn’t more likeable than Christie? That a grandmotherly woman who shares 60-80 percent of your viewpoint on politics, culture, the economy and even the military doesn’t beat out a fat fuck who likes to abuse subordinates in public who shares literally none of your goals on anything?

  102. 102
    Anoniminous says:

    Re: Whitewater

    Can I have fries with my NothingBurger?

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    The Mayor from Hoboken asked for over 120 million.

    she got less than $150,000

    EXPLAIN THAT.

    80% of her city was UNDER WATER DURING SANDY.

    And she couldn’t get over $150,000 for her city?

    G-T-F-O-H

    follow the money, folks.

    folks beginning to follow the money..and that’s when everything always gets interesting.

  104. 104
    gogol's wife says:

    @satanicpanic:

    LOL

  105. 105
    piratedan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: don’t bother, strictly a concern troll.

  106. 106
    lonesomerobot says:

    Anyone remember back in early 1991 when Bill Bradley was the only Democratic name anyone could come up with as a plausible candidate to run against Bush Sr? Or how it seemed right about then that there was nothing stopping a second term for Poppy? I’m just seeing a tiny parallel here, with the whole “Republicans’ empty bench” discussion going on.

    Just sayin’. Don’t underestimate the power of the candidate from outta nowhere (presented as a “moderate Republican” or “DC outsider”). Especially when Hillary isn’t exactly unbeatable (as in, I will vote for her if she’s the Dem candidate, but I will still be holding my nose) and her history of unforced errors and shitty advisors on the campaign trail is a known quantity. Also, too, Hillary hate will be at a fever pitch and that’s got to count for a few points in the electorate.

    I think Christie is sunk. But I still think that (sizable) void will be filled by some other candidate that has been completely off the radar.

    Only slightly related: It is funny to think what chance David Petraeus might have had if he’d been able to keep his little soldier in line.

  107. 107
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Not only that, but Christie is going to have months and months of subpeonas, lawsuits, shoes dropping on other scandals. He’s going to be pretty busy, with donors wondering if there isn’t more to come.

    As for those Whitewater accusations: remember that Ken Start quit in the middle of the investigation because he couldn’t find anything, and in the end had to settle for Monica’s blowjob (which was consensual). As for the other stuff, we’ve had nearly 20 years in and out of office to find something substantial-nothing has come out of it except Monica, Gennifer Flowers, and Paula Jones. Not to mention that Hill’s been through a Presidential campaign and a Congressional Confirmation: if there was anything there, it wasn’t found by anyone able to find it.

  108. 108
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Hey dpm, if you’re still around: why did you decide to change the title of this post from the elegant “All the rainbows in the sky / Start to weep and say goodbye” to the admittedly pithier and equally accurate, but more prosaic, “Fools and Money”?

  109. 109
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @lonesomerobot: Where is that candidate going to come from? Even if they haven’t made a decision to run, they are visible as a “possibility”. Obama was definitely on the radar in 2006. Clinton was already being noticed back in 1991 for his “Arkansas Miracle” and was the head of the Democratic Governors by then.

    None of the Republican Governors seem to be even increasing their visibility in preparation for a race of a lifetime. Back in the early 90’s you had Gore, Bradley, Jerry Brown and a couple other possibilities raising their profile quite a bit.

  110. 110
    Cervantes says:

    @RaflW:

    I suppose being filthy rich means they don’t care.

    But here’s what they do care about:

    “The [GWB] question wasn’t raised because, quite frankly, none of us are really interested,” said Geoffrey Leigh, another guest. “The main thing is: Has he got the ability? Has he got the comprehension? These are the things which are important. These are the things which people vote for. Do they have confidence in the man?”

    Translation into English is left as an exercise for the bored reader.

  111. 111
    Pogonip says:

    I certainly hope Higgs and I are wrong and the rest of you are right
    , because I think Christie would be a terrible president.

  112. 112
    amk says:

    @lonesomerobot: gop bench is empty. no knight in white horse. hence all the panic from the party honchos.

  113. 113
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lonesomerobot: I thought ’91-’92 was the cycle of Waiting for Cuomo, or was that ’88? Other than that, all true, but at least with the regard to Hillary Hate, I think it will get more of a pushback than the Obama hate. Romney won white women, whoever would run against Hillary won’t. IMHEstimation. I just hope, if Hillary does run, that MoDo has moved on to the TV critic’s job the rumor mill says she wants to wait out her pension with.

    On the subject of NYT Faux Liberals, I see Mr Friedman has seen fit to give Barack Obama a “homework assignment” as we wait for the SOTU. I can’t quite bring myself to read it, any braver souls know if this yet another of Friedman’s calls for Obama to propose a “radical centrist” agenda as a means of letting Republicans bet he reasonable Eisenhower moderates they really are and really want to be? Said “radical centrist” agenda being slightly to the left of the proposals Obama can’t get Boehner to bring to a vote, much less pass?

  114. 114
    different-church-lady says:

    his political career is over…

    Two words: Checkers speech.

  115. 115
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cervantes: “The main thing is: Has he got the ability? Has he got the comprehension?

    Does he comprehend that Bentley-driving billionaires are being crushed by a tax burden like 18th century French peasants!

  116. 116
    Bjacques says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Moonan is a sociologizing old man-trap.

  117. 117
    MikeJ says:

    @Fuzzy:

    I think Hilary is a big failure in the likable column and do not forget her Whitewater corruptness.

    What do you think she did in Whitewater? The Clintons were the victims in that scam not the perps.

  118. 118
    piratedan says:

    @CarolDuhart2: with the current GOP predilection for self destruction, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many of the same familiar faces being trotted out, i.e. Santorum, Huckabee, Trump, and perhaps Cruz, Ryan, Palin or Rubio.

    Not sure that the GOP has a success story elsewhere to draw from… Walker? Kasich? Jindal? I have a hard time seeing anyone currently tied to GOP politics being a draw. An “outsider”, successful bidnessman/corporate vulture could do so, but who?

    The Dem side has a rumble of candidates that may be on the radar outside of Clinton or Biden, someone like Kirsten Gillibrand perhaps? O’Malley? Sherrod Brown?

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: Pre-24 hour news cycle and pre-internet. Christie is seriously damaged goods. Also, he is nowhere near as bright and hard working as Nixon was.

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:

    Hoboken residents blast Christie administration amid mayor’s allegations of strong-arming
    Residents ripped the governor’s administration over Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s claims that she was squeezed to support a local development deal in order to get more Hurricane Sandy relief funds. Some felt it was New Jersey politics as usual, but doubted Christie’s presidential hopes could survive this and the Bridgegate scandal: ‘I don’t think he stands a chance now.’

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....z2qrxTRd7r

  121. 121
    geg6 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Pre-Watergate, too, just to pile on. But otherwise, this.

  122. 122
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    This.
    @CarolDuhart2:
    Nothing even insubstantial either.

    I don’t like either Clinton. I have some respect for them and I agree with aimai that Hilary has been if nothing else a respected politician in her own right. She was about as publicly humiliated as anyone could be over Monica and she didn’t seem to let that phase her. That’s strength of character. And yet, I don’t like her politics. I don’t want her to be president but if she is the candidate I will vote for her. Because, as most of us have done for decades, we vote for the least objectionable person. I’ve never been able to and never expect to be able to vote for my ideal candidate. Because that person doesn’t exist and would only be the ideal candidate for how many of us?

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    For the Love of Money
    By SAM POLK
    JAN. 18, 2014

    IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.

    Eight years earlier, I’d walked onto the trading floor at Credit Suisse First Boston to begin my summer internship. I already knew I wanted to be rich, but when I started out I had a different idea about what wealth meant. I’d come to Wall Street after reading in the book “Liar’s Poker” how Michael Lewis earned a $225,000 bonus after just two years of work on a trading floor. That seemed like a fortune. Every January and February, I think about that time, because these are the months when bonuses are decided and distributed, when fortunes are made.

    I’d learned about the importance of being rich from my dad. He was a modern-day Willy Loman, a salesman with huge dreams that never seemed to materialize. “Imagine what life will be like,” he’d say, “when I make a million dollars.” While he dreamed of selling a screenplay, in reality he sold kitchen cabinets. And not that well. We sometimes lived paycheck to paycheck off my mom’s nurse-practitioner salary.

    Dad believed money would solve all his problems. At 22, so did I. When I walked onto that trading floor for the first time and saw the glowing flat-screen TVs, high-tech computer monitors and phone turrets with enough dials, knobs and buttons to make it seem like the cockpit of a fighter plane, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It looked as if the traders were playing a video game inside a spaceship; if you won this video game, you became what I most wanted to be — rich.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01.....&_r=1

  124. 124
    rikyrah says:

    Eagle Scout. Idealist. Drug Trafficker?
    By DAVID SEGAL
    JAN. 18, 2014

    Ross Ulbricht’s last moments as a free man were noisy enough to draw a crowd. Employees at the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco library heard a crashing sound and rushed to the science fiction section, expecting to find a patron had hit the floor. Instead, they found a handful of federal agents surrounding a slender 29-year-old man with light brown hair and wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

    The goal of the arrest, at 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2013, was not simply to apprehend Mr. Ulbricht, but also to prevent him from performing the most mundane of tasks: closing his laptop. That computer, according to the F.B.I., was the command center of Silk Road, the world’s largest and most notorious black market for drugs. In just two and a half years, the government says, Silk Road had become a hub for more than $1.2 billion worth of transactions, many of them in cocaine, heroin and LSD.

    The site was like an eBay for the illicit, celebrated by drug enthusiasts, denounced by United States senators and stalked by four federal agencies. But because it was run on Tor, an encrypted Internet network, and because it merely connected buyers and sellers — rather than warehousing any products — it seemed to operate in a vaporous cloud. It was a business without infrastructure, other than a few servers and that laptop, which on 3:14 that October afternoon sat on a library desk, open.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01.....pe=article

  125. 125
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Fuzzy:

    I think Hilary is a big failure in the likable column and do not forget her Whitewater corruptness.

    Whitewater? Really? You’re going to trot out a 22 year old investigation that, in the end, showed no wrongdoing on behalf of Hillary Clinton? Wow, I knew you sad old fuckers were desperate, I just didn’t realize how desperate.

  126. 126
    dedc79 says:

    So of course, rather than invite Mayor Zimmer on to discuss her claim, Mr. Gregory has his buddy Giuliani on “Meet the McCain” instead to call the whole investigation a witch hunt.(edited)

  127. 127
    Comrade Jake says:

    The Jersey Whale is their best shot at defeating Hillary, who will in all likelihood cruise to an easy victory. Those of you who believe otherwise are in that river in Egypt.

  128. 128
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’ve never been able to and never expect to be able to vote for my ideal candidate. Because that person doesn’t exist and would only be the ideal candidate for how many of us?

    Well, in the last go-round, I took one of those quizzes and was told my ideal candidate was Dennis Kucinich, who had no chance of winning.

  129. 129
    Cervantes says:

    @Fuzzy:

    I think Hilary is a big failure in the likable column and do not forget her Whitewater corruptness.

    Not certain about “corruptness” but, anyway, you could be more precise.

    For example, HRC, working out of the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, served as attorney to Jim McDougal’s Castle Grande (and thereby his Madison Guaranty). When these firms’ fraudulent activities were exposed and they collapsed at the tax-payer’s expense (to the tune of $77 million), HRC’s involvement was, well, for now let’s just say it was called into question. Is that what you’re talking about?

    After WJC was elected, in early ’94, Independent Counsel Bob Fiske requested by subpoena any documents the Clintons still had that related to Madison Guaranty. The Clintons acknowledged having had some documents — including billing records from the Rose Law Firm — but now reported them missing. In early ’96, however, a staffer found the subpoenaed billing records in the White House private residence.

    Also note that Webster Hubbell, President Clinton’s Associate Attorney-General, had to resign in early ’94 because he was indicted (and later convicted) for over-billing while he worked at the Rose Law Firm (at the same time HRC worked there). (Ken Starr later abused Webster Hubbell, but that’s another story.)

    Anyway, there were questions one could ask.

    Whereas the most scandalous thing about the actual Whitewater investment HRC and her husband made is how their (political and media) adversaries managed to utilize it for their own less-than-honorable purposes.

  130. 130
    piratedan says:

    @dedc79: Dancing Dave is just doing what he’s getting paid to do, present the puu-puu platter of GOP talking points each Sunday. SSDD, next he’ll have Chuck Todd on to discuss the potential backlash to the Dems once Christie is exonerated…..

  131. 131
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well see. Many many a political obituary has been written prematurely. Cockroaches are a hearty species.

  132. 132
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dedc79: Dear god, isn’t this the second week in a row Giulani has had to cancel his appearance at a Long Island used car lot to defend Christie? Judi isn’t gonna be able to book a first class seat for her carry on if he keeps working for free!

    @Omnes Omnibus: he is nowhere near as bright and hard working as Nixon was.

    As I remember Perlstein’s telling, Nixon hit bottom and knew it after the ’62 (?) CA gov loss, and he did the hard-slog ground work, going from state to state and district to district making allies, if not friends, and collecting chits to be called in later. The man who drove his future wife on dates with other men could put his ego in the deep freeze for a few years to get what he wanted. Christie wants to a coronation in the Village Cathedral, officiated by Joe Scarborough, Jim Van de Hei, and Jamie Dimon

  133. 133
    gelfling545 says:

    @RoonieRoo: Sad but true. I also think Christie will get a lot of support from the Bentley driving Geoffry Leighs of the GOP because he is doing business the way they want it to be done.

  134. 134
    rk says:

    @Fuzzy:

    There was nothing to white water (it was a failed land deal), nor any of the other stupid scandals. Star spent years investigating it and had nothing to show for it other than Bill Clinton had an affair and had been a dog throughout his marriage. Also, there is nothing “unlikable” about Hillary. She tried to do health care reform and was hated for it by the republicans, she worked extremely hard when she was the senator from New York, and she was a hard working secretary of state. I don’t understand why she should be disliked from anyone other than republicans (whose second nature is hating).

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I’m with you. In better political times, or at least in earlier political times, I’d also think he was gone. I’m waiting to see one of his “friends” step on him like Will Smith in MIB. Then I’ll know he’s dead.

  136. 136
    Keith G says:

    I will believe that the Christie campaign for the 2016 nomination is gone and dead forever once I see a stake driven through its heart and its remains set ablaze.

    Further, if the above happens, I believe that there will be an extraordinary amount of pressure placed upon Jeb Bush to run for the nomination. if Jeff Bush truly wants to be President, this is probably his last shot before he drifts further/completely into irrelevance.

  137. 137
    lonesomerobot says:

    @CarolDuhart2: All very true. And yet, I would bet that if you had told almost anyone (except possibly the most informed political junkie) in early ’91 that Bill Clinton was going to win the ’92 election, the response would have been either a) “Bill who?” or, b) laughing in your face.

  138. 138
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I just hope, if Hillary does run, that MoDo has moved on to the TV critic’s job the rumor mill says she wants to wait out her pension with.

    Dowd as TV critic would be perfect: the unreadable passing judgment on the unwatchable.

  139. 139
    rikyrah says:

    Reminder..

    SHERLOCK returns to PBS tonight!!

  140. 140
    JasonF says:

    Apropos of Mitt Romney coming this close to winning in 2012, this is an interesting read on Romney’s own view of his chances during the campaign:

    http://m.washingtonexaminer.co.....le/2542430

    Apropos of Jeb Bush running in 2016, perhaps more than his name, his big problem is that after he left office in Florida, he went to work for Lehman Brothers. The average American has at least one dumb-ass in his family and probably won’t hold George’s sins against Jeb, but the last thing the Republicans want is for 2016 to become a discussion about the fact that we are still digging out from Wall Street’s excesses 8 years after the fact.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G: Christie may well get the GOP nomination. His days of being able to appeal to independents and disaffected centrist Dems are gone. At this point, which states that Obama won in 2012 would Christie put in play? I say none of them.

  142. 142
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    [Christie] is nowhere near as bright and hard working as Nixon was.

    I know (or, I guess, knew) Nixon — but how do you figure Christie is less bright and less hard-working?

    (Not saying you’re incorrect — not at all.)

  143. 143
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, and it should make — should have made — Americans more grateful for the Ted Kennedys of the world, flawed as they are (like all of us).

  144. 144
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Doing this on my phone so I will keep it short. Nixon was an incredibly bright man; my estimation of Christie is that he was smart enough to do well in law school. So call him above average.

    As far as hard working goes, few people in politics would match Nixon’s ability to be a grind.

  145. 145
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    She was about as publicly humiliated as anyone could be over Monica.

    I like Bill Clinton personally and I still think he was a good President — but I’ve never been able to forgive him for that particular bit of indecency.

    (And like many other people I also have questions about how he operates these days. If HRC runs, his behavior is going to hurt her again.)

  146. 146
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It’s just gotten comical. Every week in their “Sunday Review” they have to have some putdown of Obama on the front page. My husband keeps saying, “Nobody pays any attention to them, forget it . . .” But I hit the roof every Sunday morning!

  147. 147
    gogol's wife says:

    @Pogonip:

    I’m as pessimistic as the best of them, but take it to the bank: Christie will never be president.

  148. 148
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @rk:

    I don’t understand why she should be disliked from anyone other than republicans (whose second nature is hating).

    The United States Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA) was a bill introduced by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and co-sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) on November 29, 2005. The bill called for a federal mandate enforcement of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings system for video games in order to protect children from inappropriate content. – Nov, 2005

    Hillary Clinton is co-sponsoring a bill to criminalize the burning of the American flag. – Dec, 2005

    Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) called for a thorough review of the video game ratings process in the wake of “Manhunt 2” receiving a “Mature” rating. – Dec, 2007

    Sen. Hillary Clinton said she “misspoke” last week when she gave a dramatic description of her arrival in Bosnia – March, 2008

  149. 149
    aimai says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Wow. I can honestly say I don’t give a flying fuck about any of those initiatives. They come from a time so long ago I doubt most other voters do either. We’ve been engaged in a war to the knife with the current republican party since Obama got in. I think by the time HRC runs, if she does, most of us will realize that we can vote for someone who as a Senator occasionally pandered to the flag waving set or we can vote for Cthulu. Personally–I’ll happilly vote for a woman who fought hard to get us national health care when she was just the first lady, who worked incredibly hard as a senator for her blue state, and who worked phenomenally hard as secretary of state for my democratic president and her former rival. Not only does your list not bother me I actively like a lot of what I have seen about HRC and especially her devotion to actual fairly thankless public service. And you should get yourself better informed at how popular HRC is as a voice for women around the world. She has worked tirelessly and in the dark for them since she was first lady.

  150. 150
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @aimai:

    And you should get yourself better informed at how popular HRC is as a voice for women around the world.

    I was speaking strictly for myself. The women around the world aren’t all eligible to vote for POTUS in 2016. I will grant, though, that Hillary is convinced that she (And John McCain) have passed the Commander-in-Chief threshold.

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    I’m not a fan of Bill Clinton and don’t think he was a particularly good president. Was he bad? I’d say not but that’s a low bar and I don’t think he was far above it.
    And I agree that Hilary will be hurt by Bill. She has been before and in following in his footsteps I think she would again. And there is the small thing that is royal families. I don’t like the concept. Not on either side of the isle.
    Maybe she might make a good president. She for sure would be a better president than anyone from the other side, but then so would I or any number of people on this blog. Another very low bar. I’d like to do better.

  152. 152
    aimai says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Sure, I get that you are speaking for yourself. Speaking for myself I think HRC is a pretty damned good candidate for first female president of the US. And I don’t think that the fact that she once sponsored some stupid legislation or pandered on some point to the right wing means that that isn’t true. Every Senator is going to have some legislation they felt they needed to sign on to, or even to co-sponsor, in the process of getting something else done.

    I think we have a different electoral map now, and different policy choices which are possible and necessary, and necessary because they are possible. The Obama coalition, the rise of an AA and Latino voting bloc, and the return of white women to the democratic fold will all make some public policy stances more likely than another flag amendment.

    The question for me isn’t whether HRC pissed you off because of a flag amendment. The question for me in a primary fight is “Is HRC the best candidate to beat whoever the Republicans are throwing up?” I know she will be head and shoulders above any Republican, at any time, in terms of real policy and real goals. I don’t see the Democratic primary as anything other than a contest to see who can best hold onto the gains of the Obama years and not slide backwards by losing the damned presidency.

  153. 153
    aimai says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Also, my point about women around the world is not that they vote but that working for their betterment has absolutely zero political payoff for HRC in this country, it was a labor of love and the kind of duty she has attempted to perform regardless of its electoral utility.

  154. 154
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m not a fan of Bill Clinton and don’t think he was a particularly good president. Was he bad? I’d say not but that’s a low bar and I don’t think he was far above it.

    Sure — there were a number of policies he pursued and signed into law in ’95 and beyond that I still cannot abide. But it’s also true that, like Obama, he had to deal with the nitwits we all elected to the House (and in his case, the Senate, in ’94).

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    I see both sides of this argument. I think a lot of people do. I think a lot of people are not thrilled with Hilary Clinton. She has quite a record in the public light, not all of it good and certainly not all bad. I think the issue is how you see the balance. Was thinking an hour or two ago about this, how do you know someone will make a good president? They’ve never been on before so there is no really good yardstick. Even being VP doesn’t tell you much positive, yet can give you a lot in the negative direction(darth). Their speeches? I know people who can lead well and are horrible speakers and the opposite as well. Their record in public? That can be a crap shoot as well, being senator is just not the same thing. Being governor? Ronnie was gov of a huge state, how did that work out?
    I think we really need to be a little more careful about who we elect but then we only really get the choices of those who run, who actually want the job. And most of them are horrible.
    So how do we know?

  156. 156
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:
    @Ruckus: I know people who can lead well and are horrible speakers

    Nancy Pelosi comes to mind, also Mitch McConnell, I despise him and he has the public personality of an old dirty mop, but he mostly keeps his cats herded

    @aimai: there was a Chris Hayes panel talking about 2-16 and HRC’s progressive record or lack thereof, and I was pretty surprised that no one brought up her efforts in that area.

    Also much as I would be happy with a President E Warren or S Brown, and even if either had ever said they were running, and even if they could get elected, haven’t we all (re) learned the lessons of School House Rock over the last five years? There’s a lot more to this than the presidency. The very blue doggy (and sure to drive me nuts in the best of all possible worlds) Michelle Nunn is one our most important candidates. Hero-to-many Corey Booker co-sponsored “Bob Menendez’s let’s have another land war in Asia” bill.

  157. 157
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    Sure, I get that you are speaking for yourself.

    Bear in mind also that Higgs Boson’s Mate‘s list was a response to the following:

    I don’t understand why [HRC] should be disliked from anyone other than republicans (whose second nature is hating).

    Addressing that point is not to say that HRC should be rejected in favor of a Republican.

    Also:

    I think we have a different electoral map now, and different policy choices which are possible and necessary, and necessary because they are possible. The Obama coalition, the rise of an AA and Latino voting bloc, and the return of white women to the democratic fold will all make some public policy stances more likely than another flag amendment.

    True, but (1) it was, interesting, wasn’t it, that a majority of so-called “white” voters supported Romney? And (2) this raises the question of what will actually happen when “white women [return] to the [D]emocratic fold.” Will the policy choices they make “possible and necessary” (or more to the point, demand) be smoothly compatible with “the Obama coalition”? Given (1) I think some small amount of skepticism may be in order.

  158. 158
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    Maybe. But he also seemed to be happy being able to sign some of those bills.
    And for sure congress can make a good person look bad as president.
    Overall I’d rate Bill Clinton as average at best. Far, far better than the idiot who came after him but I think a person plucked off the street couldn’t have been much worse than jr.

  159. 159
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Ruckus: And also thanks to the changes Obama has brought and that includes his new coalition-she won’t have to pander to those kinds of folks again.

    Back when the Clintons were running the first time, Rush Limbaugh was a cultural force to be reckoned with, there were aging Dems in the South that had to be defended, and funds had to be raised by pandering to millionaires-small donors were Republican.

    Today? Flagburning isn’t an issue, illegal downloads beat censors now. Except for labels on boxes (and how many of those are even in boxes anymore?) none of those things are even a concern anymore. The old Southern Dems are gone. Democrats have mastered the small-donor universe.

    My one concern now would be if she’s come to realize that or not, and if she’s her own woman running her own campaign. The last time it looked like Bill Clinton redux as she never really put together a team that wasn’t a retread of her husband’s. Nor did she come up with a theme better than “it’s her turn”.

  160. 160
    rk says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Initiatives number 1 and 2 will actually be popular. As for number 3 I don’t think that it’s a reason to dislike anyone. She is a politician after all. I’m not a fan of Hillary and would vote for some other democrat over her if I feel that person is better. But I just don’t get what is there to dislike about her. She has actually accomplished a lot on her own terms.The only thing that bothers me about her is that she surrounded herself with a bunch of idiots in 2008 and Dick Morris was once adviser to the Clintons. That is extremely poor judgement.

  161. 161
    aimai says:

    @Cervantes: Scepticism, sure. But I still think HBM’s list was just bizarre, I mean, really bizarre. A minor flag thing which in 2016 will be a decade or more behind? Does anyone remember parental warning labels used to be a thing, at this point? The technology has moved so far and fast and the bar has been so lowered that the entire “kids these days” hysteria of the late nineties/early oughts has just vanished. Really. People have a lot of other shit they are worried about and the specific groups that used to bombard the white house and senate with demands that something be done have all proven to be both astroturf and politically useless–with the single exception of the NRA.

  162. 162
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev:

    Well, the problem is, the scorpion and the scorpion’s nature are fully running the show here.

  163. 163
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    A minor flag thing which in 2016 will be a decade or more behind?

    Being perfectly eager to punish dissent isn’t what I’d call minor.

    And being willing to do it once doesn’t exactly put it behind us: it’s trivially obvious that the circumstances that obtained in 2005 can surround us again.

  164. 164
    Ruckus says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    My one concern now would be if she’s come to realize that or not, and if she’s her own woman running her own campaign. The last time it looked like Bill Clinton redux as she never really put together a team that wasn’t a retread of her husband’s. Nor did she come up with a theme better than “it’s her turn”.

    These are my concerns as well. For me the team she used for her last run is actually the biggest concern. The job is huge, bigger than any one person is really capable of doing. A president has to trust people to do their jobs and has to be able to pick reasonable subordinates that can be trusted to get it right. Given how her last run was done I don’t think she has that. That doesn’t make her a bad person at all but to me it does make her a real risk as president. As an aside I think President Obama does this particularly well and he still has had some that just made me scratch my head. Although I think some of those were political gambles that in the end had a payoff.

  165. 165
    WereBear says:

    @aimai: I can honestly say I don’t give a flying fuck about any of those initiatives.

    Quoted for truth.

    Perfection is not a human quality. And perfect candidates only exists in fantasy fiction. Perfect candidates have never compromised… and thus, have never been elected.

    I think people with Y chomosomes (“no offense,” spoken like Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest) do not get just how FREAKIN’ FOOKIN’ DIFFICULT it is to be a woman politician, much less a liberal one. Much less less less to be defending your butt from right wingers who think you should be baking pies barefoot, moderates who think you probably should have had more children, and liberals who are all butthurt how you voted on some meaningless stupid symbolic CRAP.

    If nothing else, Hillary Clinton is the very picture of Grace Under Fire no matter how many brass balls you want to symbolically bestow, and this being under fire from not Bosnians at the airport (we all know that was stupid) but actual screaming from right wing nutjobs for the last forty-some years. All laid upon the shoulders of someone who was already mostly formed when the women’s movement started and nonetheless was a role model for many.

    This is why Hillary will SWEEP the women’s vote and BURY any contender the troglodyte R’s want to offer up and THAT is why we are enthused about HRC’s candidacy.

    Tread lightly.

  166. 166
    gogol's wife says:

    Wow. As a woman I have to say I am hoping we have someone other than Hillary Clinton running in 2016. I’ll vote for her if she’s the candidate, but I won’t be happy about it. Higgs Boson’s Mate’s list is far from exhaustive. Doesn’t anyone remember “white working people”?

  167. 167
    WereBear says:

    @gogol’s wife: Yes, I love Elizabeth Warren, too. But who has the name recognition? Who has the proven Appalachian scoop with sequins on it? Who is going to grind a fat, pasty, male, misogynist, Republican face into the dust in a general election?

    Jeezum Crow, I’m not even a fan, and I can see the political advantages to an HRC candidacy!

  168. 168
    aimai says:

    @Ruckus: I disliked her previous team but I think the liklihood that she would go back to that well again is pretty much Zero. There is an entire generation, in political terms, of new, savvy, political operatives who she will tap and most of them will have come out of the Obama campaign. Neither she nor Bill are stupid people and, among other things, Obama’s style was the cheapest and most effective. Bob Shrum (for example) has sung his last fascist swan song after destroying Kerry’s campaign. I don’t think any democratic candidate is going to go back to the old, complacent, stupid way of doing things. But if she does? Well, she deserves to lose and hopefully will lose the primary.

  169. 169
    gogol's wife says:

    @WereBear:

    But then that person who wins is the president.

  170. 170
    WereBear says:

    @gogol’s wife: We could do far worse than Hillary, honestly. I’ve shaken her hand. She’s not a bad person.

    She’s just, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, a smart woman from the 1970’s married to a charismatic Southern man.

    She is damn well doing the best she possibly can.

  171. 171
    WereBear says:

    @WereBear: I realize that sounds all “W looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul” stuff.

    But W has the intelligence, perception, and self-awareness of a rotted stump on Mars.

    I… don’t.

  172. 172
    gogol's wife says:

    @WereBear:

    Okay. I’m just sick of the Clintons, I guess.

  173. 173
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    My concern is that she doesn’t have the management chops to do the job. It is possible that she learned a lot from that experience of running.
    She has more experience in the building than anyone else, she has the political chops, she has a graceful personality and a good edge to back that up, and I’d vote for her if she wins the nomination that’s for sure. I think a number of your points about her negatives are good, none of us has led a perfect life and if we were in her shoes may have had to do the same things to get something else. Pat my back and I’ll pat yours, as it at least used to work in politics. I’ve got concerns that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere. One, her age works against her in my book, she is a couple of years older than me. I know that we all age differently but she has lived with a lot of stress for quite a number of years. Two, if she runs and her crew does a lot better job for her and she has a better hold on how the campaign is run, hell I’d even work for her. As I’ve said before she is far, far from the worst candidate I’ve ever seen or even held my nose to vote for. I’m just holding out right now to see if there is someone a little closer to my ideal.

  174. 174
    WereBear says:

    @gogol’s wife: I hear ya!

    Like I said, I’m not a FAN. I’m just giving the lady her due; and while it was a Carpetbagger move to buy a house in NY and run from there, once elected, she did work her butt off for the middle class and lower; I will give her that.

  175. 175
    Cervantes says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Doesn’t anyone remember “white working people”?

    Er … “Tread lightly” appears to be the watchword of the day.

    Of course, I’m not sure what it means. Is it an admonition to not hurt the natural environment? Perhaps not. What I do know (and may have even said, though I deny it) is “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams” — but I’m pretty sure that’s not the intended allusion. (Or is it?)

  176. 176
    Cervantes says:

    @WereBear:

    Yes, we can roar.

    Sometimes we can be inspired to roar.

    Sometimes we have no choice but to roar.

  177. 177
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @cmorenc: Jeb Bush has George to worry about, that’s George H. Bush his son who’s just starting the long road to the White House with a sinecure in Texas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bush Enterprises. The talk is that his handlers are calling him “47” so he’s still a decade and more out from announcing his hereditary claim to the Desk in Pennsylvania Avenue.

  178. 178
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Ruckus: You presume Senator Clinton chose her campaign team. From where I’m sitting (admittedly not in the USA) it was the other way around, the DLC chose her as their candidate/frontwoman. I doubt it would be any different this time around. Who does she go to for support, money-raising, organising structure other than her husband’s old (very old) backers? If she does go outside that bunch of incompetent blunderers then there will be accusations that Bill is not supporting her, splits in the organisation etc. etc. If she goes with the folks she knows then it’s Mark Penn time again oh joy.

    Of course a Clinton win would be a great thing for the USA, two co-Presidents for the price of one (unless you think you could keep Bill wrapped in packing tape in the Lincoln Bedroom closet for eight years). I snark, I snark but at least GHWB was smart enough to stay well away from his old home while his idiot son ruled that particular roost but then he could do so without questions being asked. How do you stop Bill from walking in the front door in January 2017 and settling down like he had never left?

  179. 179
    Ruckus says:

    @Robert Sneddon:
    LOL
    Well I think some here are thinking along the same lines but I believe that she can be her own person. She has shown that on several occasions and Bill might just be a better person than that. He didn’t seem to interfere with her in the senate nor as SoS. He certainly wouldn’t be able to sit in on meetings directly, not without putting her in a very, very awkward position. I think he would understand that any interference by him would look very bad for her politically.
    I also think that aimai stated it well, the old democratic guard has been pushed to the back room and if they were hired for her campaign that would probably be her waterloo. It would be for me, I would rather that a person that I want to run this country would learn from their mistakes. We all make mistakes, not learning from at least the worst ones is a real problem.
    I wonder if George stayed away from his idiot son for his own benefit.

  180. 180
    aimai says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Uh, really, you think her backers this time around will be the same old ones? Probably most of them are dead. Mark Penn is so politically dead you couldn’t resurrect him with a Zombie curse.

    Look–this is all silly. We have yet to see the field. The reason people are talking and thinking about HRC at this point is that she has name recognition, deep pocketed friends, already ran and has an enthusiastic core of voters, knows the ropes in the Senate and with the Cabinet (so no down time), worked with Obama (so a continuation of Obama-esque policies) and is a woman. There are lots of other good women but they have indicated that they aren’t interested (Warren) or are probably a little too young, untried, and unknown (Gillibrand) considering how hard a cliff the “OK, you can run things” cliff is for women compared to men of identical backgrounds and experience. Of the men a bunch will be running but I’m fucked if I prefer, say, a Schweitzer to Clinton.

    People who are moaning about the monied interests and the DLC need to realize there will always be that influence in the democratic party but HRC is not more their creature than some of the guys who will run against her–not by a long shot.

    To my mind the biggest problem we have as a party is that the voters are unreliable and turned out for Obama because he was incredibly charismatic, glamorous, disciplined, young, and talented. We won’t see that combination again for a long time, if ever. Whoever wins the democratic primary needs to be someone who will take nothing for granted and leave no vote on the table. The only reason I think HRC might be good at campaigning is she ran a fucking losing campaign and I’m pretty sure she learned her lesson from it.

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Robert Sneddon:
    She may have been selected but I rather doubt it. But whatever, if the old guard was so stupid to hire the buffoons they did and she had no choice but to go along then she isn’t as good a candidate as some believe. I just can’t believe that a reasonable person running for president would question nothing and trust everyone, which is what your statement suggests. I’ve never met anyone with any kind of power that would do so. I believe the idiot son did but then I never had the displeasure.

  182. 182
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    I think we are very close to being on the same page here. Please don’t get the idea that I think Hilary is horrible, she is very much the opposite. Her record gives me pause, not distrust, nor disgust.

  183. 183
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Ruckus: The Old Guard WERE the buffoons. She went along with it in 2008 because it was her one chance at the brass ring and unless she’s deluding herself that particular merry-go-round ride was the only real shot she had at it.

    Who’s pushing for Hillary to run? Names, resumes? Who’s talking up the idea of another Clinton Presidency, who’s fronting up the money and exerting the pressure? Three gets you five it’s the Old Guard who, like their namesakes, will die rather than surrender even if the result is the Republican candidate in 2016 gets an easier ride into the White House.

    If she had a younger team of competent political activists with connections, money and influence then maybe but their names would be known, they would have a presence now and I’m not seeing them in the press reports. Assuming she’s going to get Obama’s “people” as a right because she’s a Clinton is not a foregone conclusion.

  184. 184
    Ruckus says:

    @Robert Sneddon:
    I’m not following it yet because it is still too early but people have been mentioned on this blog that want her to run and I believe there is a super pac with that intent.
    I’m not sure the old guard from the 90’s is still around and getting much traction if they are. But that has been my point that if she falls in with the old guard then she most likely won’t win. The old guard has been pretty well discredited in her loss the last time and have been replaced by others. Those are the new Obama guard and I’m pretty sure they are closer to being progressive rather than selfish, looking for that large payday like Penn. Politics stays the same for a while but major shifts do happen and Obama was for sure one of those. Twenty years ago I would have agreed with you but not now.

  185. 185
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m not sure the old guard from the 90′s is still around and getting much traction if they are.

    One of them was just elected Governor of Virginia.

  186. 186
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    True. But isn’t being elected different than pulling the strings in the background? In one you fail very publicly and in the other you can blame the person that lost. Maybe a small thing but it is a different perspective and different job skills. I hope that he does better as gov than he did as an operative. And who did he use to run his campaign? Probably not himself.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    Also wasn’t his opponent a complete douchebag over which he barely won?

  188. 188
    devtob says:

    @sidhra: I wonder if Bentley guy is this Brit — Sir Geoffrey Leigh, who evidently has a foundation in Palm Beach.

    To avoid paying taxes, naturally.

    But if he’s still a British citizen and hasn’t yet bought US citizenship, it’s a crime for him to give money to politicians, and for politicians to accept it.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus: Yes, Cuccinelli was awful. McAuliffe’s margin of victory was about 3%, as I recall.

    @Ruckus: His campaign manager was Robby Mook, 35, a Vermonter who had previously worked for Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton (among others).

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