Christie, Christie, Christie
If you’re already tired of hearing the name, adjust.
Chris Christie, the 51-year-old bully from New Jersey, has become the darling of the media, and they’re going to do whatever it takes to put him at the top of the GOP ticket for president in 2016. Bet the farm on it.
It’s going to be another case of style trumping substance. It worked with President Barack Obama in 2012, and it’s going to work for Chris Christie in 2016. “Hope” and “change” are alive and well, and the media are ready to embrace them again.
Chris Christie has a big launching pad, too.
He was overwhelmingly re-elected governor of New Jersey on Nov. 5, and earlier this week, in Scottsdale, Ariz., he took over as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
ABC News went nuts. “Chris Christie All the Rage at GOP Governors Meeting.” Never mind that the “rage” is in the form of questions from adoring reporters. The march to the White House has started, and you can hear the footsteps.
Establishment Republicans are itching to join the parade. They want a return to the good old days, after all, when they, not Democrats, ran the country, and they see Christie with his brass knuckles as the ticket back.
Conservative Republicans aren’t so sure. They want a return to the really good old days, when the people, not politicians, ran the country, and they don’t trust Christie.
Conservatives seem to have it right.
Think first about the governor’s landslide victory earlier this month over Barbara Buono, the Democrat.
The media has made it seem that Christie cast a spell over New Jersey Democrats. There wasn’t any spell. Christie won because he turned liberal on key issues and because Democrats (including Obama) abandoned Buono during the campaign.
No magic. Just politics Jersey-style.
And then we have the 2012 presidential election debacle, when Republicans should have yanked Christie’s membership.
In April, the race for the GOP nomination ended with Mitt Romney floating to the surface. Attention then turned to the second chair. Christie was in the running, but it didn’t work out. He was just too obnoxious.
On Aug. 11, Rep. Paul Ryan was picked to be Romney’s running mate, and Christie was out, sort of.
Two weeks later, he roared back with a vengeance in his keynote address at the Republican National Convention. He talked mostly about Chris Christie and left Republicans aghast. Chris Wallace at Fox News: “For a moment, I forgot who was the nominee of the party.”
Christie wasn’t done with Romney or the Republicans.
Late October. Hurricane Sandy. Damage in New Jersey. The Federal Emergency Management Agency teams went in on Oct. 26. President Obama went in on Oct. 30.
Christie was there to greet the president. Later: “I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion.” Photographers captured the two shaking hands, the president’s left hand on the governor’s right shoulder.
Six days later, Christie’s friend beat Romney-Ryan. A successful kneecapping.
Today, Chris Christie’s liberal star burns brightly.
He and Obama remain sympatric, especially on Obamacare. The day after Christie gave his Democratic opponent a good thrashing, the president congratulated him. And just a few days ago, Bill Maher, who is somewhere left of left, gushed, “I can actually embrace this guy.”
Establishment Republicans can, too, especially when Christie bashes Conservatives.
Earlier this week, he told the heads of some of the nation’s largest corporations that Conservatives are to blame for GOP losses. And in reference to the recent fight over funding Obamacare, Christie accused House Republicans of “bad decision-making and a loss of courage.” Red meat for Establishment Republicans.
Will they take the bait and put Chris Christie (tired of the name yet?) at the head of the ticket? Maybe, but let’s hope not.
The nation doesn’t need another Barack Obama, even if his name happens to be Chris Christie.