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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Apotheosis of Chris Christie

Turn on the television and wait five minutes and it begins playing. "It's in our blood, our DNA," the painfully high voice sings, "Because we're stronger than the storm." The ad closes with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his family playing on the beach.

The 25 million dollar ad campaign feels like it has been in rotation forever.  The earnest warbling of the song can be heard everywhere. It probably isn't doing much to move tourists to the Jersey Shore, but that isn't what it's there for. It's there to remind everyone that Christie is the guy who flew over the state in a helicopter after Hurricane Sandy. We're not stronger than the storm, is the message. Christie is.

The 25 million dollar ad campaign like the 24 million dollar special election is about the Governor of New Jersey.

Some Democrats have criticized both moves as cynical elections ploys and that's true and it isn't. The election, against a placeholder candidate, is no threat to Governor Christie who is running 60 to 28.

No matter how many minority voters Cory Booker brings to the polls (and it's no sure bet that he will bring any, Booker for the moment is far more popular among white liberals than among the inner city voters he is deserting in Newark)  there is no conceivable way that Christie could lose this election.

But it's not just about winning another four years. It's about 2016.

Christie doesn't just want to win. He wants to win by a landslide. And he doesn't just want to win by a landslide. He wants to win as many Democrats and Independents as he can to make the case that he is the sure thing for 2016. The candidate who is bound to be electable because he has a track record of winning over blue voters.

The 2012 election involved two deals being cut for the 2016 election. Obama cut a deal with Bill Clinton to endorse Hillary for the Democratic nomination in 2016 in exchange for Bill coming out there and campaigning for him and another deal with Chris Christie to give him an easy election now and a clear path to the Republican nomination 2016.

Unprecedentedly the deals made in 2012 are supposed to lock down the nominations for both parties in the 2016 presidential election.

Christie considered jumping into 2012, before deciding to stay out of it. But that didn't mean that he had any interest in Romney locking down the job and preventing him from running until 2020. And he gave Romney exactly the kind of help you would expect from a man who ran ads in 2008 touting his compatibility with Obama.

New Jersey politics has always been cynical. Its last governor was responsible for a monumental financial scam. The governor before him resigned after a gay affair spilled out into the tabloids. The President of the New Jersey Senate doubles as the General Organizer for the International Association of Ironworkers.

In carefully culled soundbites, Christie's brazen attitude can seem like a reformer's breath of fresh air, but it actually reeks of the contempt for voters and everyone else that is typical of Jersey politicians who pride themselves on not even pretending to give a damn.

When it comes to carefully cultivating the attitude of not giving a damn, Christie has been ahead of the pack. And that's still his attitude while planning for a national election as the candidate from a party whose base and activists and even fellow politicians despise him. It's not an unreasonable attitude. The Romney ticket was met with groans and distaste, but was sold on electability. If Christie can nail down a huge percentage of Democratic voters, then he has a much better case for electability.

Christie is running for election on liberal training wheels. The media sings his praises and liberal donors send him big checks. His real opponent, Cory Booker was pressured by his own party into running for a senate seat that unfortunately happened to be occupied by Lautenberg, who to everyone's relief passed away conveniently clearing a path for Booker and Christie. But if Booker were going up against Christie, then Christie wouldn't be planning to use all those Democratic vote totals to make his case for 2016.

In 2009, Christie squeaked by with 3 percent. This time around he's running against a non-candidate as the man who got New Jersey through the storm. Whatever numbers he gets won't translate to a national election against Hillary Clinton. And the glowing media profiles will shut off once he gets the brass ring and becomes the fat man standing in Hillary's way. And then the hero will become the villain. That's what happened to moderate mavericks like John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Learning from history isn't really a specialty for Republican operatives. And unlike his prospective opponents, Christie will be able to show that he won Democratic votes in a recent election. And he expects that with a few tough talking videos the base will learn to love him while the party will come around the way that they did on amnesty for illegal aliens. Everyone wants to win, don't they?

Christie certainly does. The Governor of New Jersey is many things, but a loser isn't one of them. Unfortunately he's also opportunistic, unprincipled and completely cynical. Christie went from being a US Attorney prosecuting terrorism cases to using his office to pander to terrorists once he ran for public office. He spent his first term releasing punchy video clips of him yelling at people to give the impression that he was dramatically turning things around, when he was actually slapping band aids on the bruises. And in both elections, he used Obama as his political trump card to win a blue state.

The real Christie isn't a reformer. He's not really any different than Governor Cuomo next door in New York or Jerry Brown in California. He's a Republican by registration in a region where that doesn't mean very much except connections with a particular political machine. It says nothing about his beliefs and values. And assuming that he has any may be a very generous interpretation.

We know that Christie likes Bruce Springsteen and the image of him crying over getting a hug from New Jersey's second most overrated aging rocker while families in his state were mourning loved ones and living in tents may say all that there is to say about the authenticity of Christie's Sandy tour.

What really moves Christie isn't the opportunity to do good for the people of his state, but the nearness to celebrities like Springsteen and Obama. And perhaps that is why Christie has tried harder to be famous than to be a good governor.

Politics for Chris Christie was a celebrity audition. Now finally the cool kids have let him into the club and made him one of them. 

On television the show ends and the commercial break begins. Once again the high voice begins warbling. "Stronger than ever. Whoaaah. New Jersey is stronger than the storm." The song, like so much about Christie is a fake. It comes from BANG, a New York City music production company run by a former ad executive who donated six thousand dollars to Obama. New Jersey isn't stronger than the storm. Chris Christie's political career is.

27 comments:

Naresh Krishnamoorti said...

If the GOP nominates that fat ass walrus to be its presidential candidate, then the party deserves to be extinct.

Roy Lofquist said...

The supposed political philosophies of both the Democratic and Republican parties are shams - rube bait. Both parties are in it for the power and the money.

This is why the Republican Party establishment fighting tooth and nail against the Tea Party insurgents. Those crazy people want to break up the gravy train and actually want to govern like it says in the Constitution.

It's Armageddon, I tell ya.

vanderleun said...

The upshot of all this seems pretty clear to me. I'm gonna start selling

CLINTON / CHRISTIE 2016!
Bi AND Bipartisan!

Anonymous said...

There must be a better candidate waiting in the wings.

Keliata

Simon Raban said...

Every conservative Republican needs to do everything possible to prevent the nomination of this fake in 2016 -- I will donate more to his opponent than I did to Mitt Romney to defeat Obama.

Anonymous said...

Christie demonstrated his loyalty to the Republican party by refusing to name a Republican to Lautenberg's seat, instead opting for a special election which will probably go to a Democrat. Crispycreme Christie is the biggest RINO of all.Literally and figuratively.

AG said...

Chris Christie reminds me of one of those genital mutilator transgender people; he is a Democrat who identifies as a Republican.

IgorR said...

Back when the (mostly) senseless Ann Coulter was in the full support mode of Chrispy and running around the country promoting him as the man who would win against Obama, I called a radio show and asked he how she can support someone who promotes Islmics at every turn. She answered with some mumbo jumbo about his support for fighting global warming. She doesn't listen, but more importantly there is just so much to defend there! And the (mostly) senseless Mitt remain steadfastly publicly grateful for Chrispy's support even after being stabbed in the back. Rush was once repeating "Is it wrong for a man to love another man" back when Chrispy's teacher denigration events were still a novelty.

The fat boy has fooled a lot of people. At the moment, he is in a two-man race with Rubio for the least favorite candidate candidate among conservatives. I doubt he can win, as he is hated more than even McCain, but the fact that McCain did win the nomination makes it at least plausible. The Republican party rarely nominates liberal North Easterners, and Mitt's catastrophic failure has probably inoculated it for the next election cycle.

gizmo54 said...

Yes, I was waiting for a group of Greenpeace activists to come down to the beach and push Christi back into the water.

Doug Mayfield said...

Christie is symptomatic of what's wrong with many so called Republicans. They're completely pragmatic and utterly without any steadfast values. They'll say anything and do anything to get votes.

This may good for getting elected, such as when Christie flirted with supporting the Palestinians to pick up votes in the Muslim portions of new Jersey but it's a rotten way to govern.

Geoffrey Britain said...

The bloom is off the rose.

Anonymous said...

"We know that Christie likes Bruce Springsteen and the image of him crying over getting a hug from New Jersey's second most overrated aging rocker while families in his state were mourning loved ones and living in tents may say all that there is to say about the authenticity of Christie's Sandy tour."

Indeed.

OT sort of--there are still people who haven't gotten over and are still waiting for gov't help.

Keliata

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Indeed. Many people.

trailbee said...

This is a great post. Thank you. You have given us a very blunt, sane perspective on this person. I don't know if it will matter in the long run, but maybe you could rerun this one sometime in 2016 when people's short memories will profit from an old wake-up jolt.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I'll try, but who knows if anyone will be listening by then

Anonymous said...

Daniel, things are changing. I, at first, was rocked by Christie's bravado, the yelling at news meetings, etc., but then just as suddenly, I realized that he is poorly behaved and would be a real stinker to work for...bullies always.

I'm certainly no great genius and not much of a soothsayer, and if I can see it, so can hundreds of thousands of other citizens. We recognize Christie for what he really is, an opportunist bully who uses theatrics to get "noticed."

I don't believe he will last through the kind of scrutiny a primary will throw at him.

Keep up good insights.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I was impressed too initially, for a bit, even though I'm not a fan of that kind of petty bullying, but I read more from conservatives in NJ, who unlike the nationals, were not taken with him at all.

Anonymous said...

If Sultan Knish was as cynical as I am, this column wouldn't even have been written. About all I can say is that Christie will have his place in hell along with all the other utterly corrupt politicians on both sides of the fence, when the reckoning comes. I suppose the analysis of Christie's political ambitions is reasonably accurate, but the fat man is simply yet another control freak, pandering to the stupid voters who will seriously consider him for the highest office in the land.

As you may guess, I don't vote in federal elections. Since I live in Illinois, I no longer vote in state elections either. And since the common core standards are apparently going to be adopted without even a whimper here, and most of the local governments would go into bankruptcy without more grants from the feds, I will probably drop out of the electorate on the local level too.

Daniel, this is a good piece. But I just don't see the point of investing mental effort on the activities of the oligarchy in this country. In my opinion, the future of this country is going to be decided by means that are other than democratic in nature. That's where our heads should be.

B

Anonymous said...

I pegged this guy fairly early on, and you are absolutely right in your prediction the slavish media will quit pulling their punches (ala MuhCain), as soon as he gets nominated. Hillary could hardly ask for a bigger, fatter target to run against.

Ann Coulter and I are through - ever since she started two-timing me with this jerk!

Roadmaster

Empress Trudy said...

Senator Corey Booker will only sit for 2 years before running headlong into the DNC presidential nomination. I wonder if the DNC will throw a wrench into Christie's own election a month after Corey Booker's coronation? I suspect yes but it will make their more difficult to mouth 2 victories a month apart. Likely is the Democrats lose the face off against Christie. If he wants to run against Corey Booker in 2016 he'll have to play up the fact that chief executives are generally zeros in Congress. Different skill set than being the CEO of a city or state.

In other words if Booker tries to ride the Obama trajectory of failing upward from nothing job to nothing job it's a risky strategy. Especially since Booker has likeability but less of the fascist Borgia monster inside him that Obama does.

fodderwing said...

Is the name Christie or Crist, as in Charlie? Attorney General of Florida under Jeb Bush, elected Governor in 2006, quit to run for U.S. Senate, trailed behind Rubio, ran as independent, lost, became a Democrat, now chases ambulances for a local law firm. Now that he is forgotten, I thank you sir, for a newly inspiring and timely Republican bio.

IgorR said...

vanderleun, you can try

Bi and Large

Anonymous said...

The big question of the moment is, will the caretaker republican senator from NJ vote against the amnesty bill?

Andy Texan

pinkcadlac said...

He is too cozy with the muslims. That, if nothing else, should be a deal breaker. But, that, if nothing else, will buy him the support of the leftists and the muslims.
He's got a lot of money coming in from the left, and then speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

This jerk reminds me of Charlie Crist,ex governor of Florida!Same kind of two faced weasel who tells the yahoo's what ever they want to hear.Both remind me of an old line by Groucho Marx.Groucho said "Those are my principles,& if you don't like them.....well I have others"

Retired 6/7/13

Lance de Boyle said...

Christie will be dead of a stoke, heart attack, kidney failure, or diabetes in a few years. Not that I wish it upon him.

Something is wrong with that man. His morbid obesity is just the outer suit for a rotten soul.

Tom M. said...

A great writer once wrote:

"The professional politician excels at pretending to have principles and then selling them out. Finding an honest one is like trying to buy a Rolex watch at a folding card table near Times Square. You may get the real deal, but the odds are that you will be ripped off because the people you are dealing with are trained con artists. They have pulled the same scam a thousand times. They are better at reading you than you are at reading them".

The best movie about politicians I've seen is "The Music Man".

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