I've somehow managed to miss Chris Christie's run of media appearances, though I'm starting to catch up. I know that Christie has spoken highly of President Obama's storm response:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) praised President Obama's work to help states battered by Hurricane Sandy as "outstanding" Tuesday....I know Christie tsaid on Fox & Friends that he doesn't "give a damn about presidential politics" in this situation, so he's not "the least bit concerned or interested" in whether Mitt Romney will come to New Jersey for a Sandy-related appearance. And I know he "ripped Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford on Monday evening for supposedly asking residents to stay in city shelters instead of evacuating."
"The federal government's response has been great. I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president, personally, he has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area," said Christie, in an interview with NBC's "Today."
That's impressing people who may not have previously been big Christie fans. Noam Scheiber:
Yep, agreed. RT @yeselson For Christie: Romney loss + big '13 re-elect = '16 GOP nomination. He knows what he's doing.— Noam Scheiber (@noamscheiber) October 30, 2012
In case you missed it, no matter who wins next Tuesday, Chris Christie almost guaranteed his inauguration on January 20, 2017. From his tough-guy outburst at that dough-brained mayor of Atlantic City, to his outburst of genuine grace regarding the president and the federal response to the deluge that swamped his state, to his fundamental acceptance of the reality that we need a national government to solve national problems, to the way he slapped around the denizens of the Fox News Couch of Stupid, you have to give it to the man. He's been a genuine star over the last 48 hours....Why don't I agree? Here's the short answer: President Giuliani. Remember, we have one reality test of the premise that a Northeastern loudmouth can catapult himself to the GOP presidential nomination, and then the Oval Office, on the basis of one moment of bipartisan grace in response to a crisis, in the midst of a career otherwise built on fighting everyone who looks at him crosswise. We know how Rudy's story turned out.
The longer answer is this: Do we really believe Christie is going to win the Republican nomination in 2016 because he praised the person Republicans in 2012 hate more than anyone who ever lived? Giuliani, at least, built his moment of grace around mournful rage at swarthy Muslim evildoers; he didn't praise anyone Republican voters think is the Antichrist. Unless we're going to replace Iowa and New Hampshire in 2016 with the Morning Joe Greenroom Primary, what Christie is doing now is going to make him less appealing to the Republican base, not more.
Christie is generally a down-the-line right-winger, but this is just one in a series of deviations from Wingnut Correct Thinking on his part. Acknowledging that humans are causing climate change. Attacking anti-Muslim intolerance. Supporting an assault weapons ban. Supporting immigration reform. Yeah, he can move right on these issues, and Romney got the nomination in spite of greater heresies, but Romney was stinking rich and running against a field of clowns and lightweights. Christie is unlikely to be in the same position.
And there's no evidence that Christie is as shameless about shaking his own personal Etch A Sketch as Romney is -- Christie actually seems to believe what he believes, even when that's not what the GOP base demands. If he sometimes tacks to the center, sincerity is not going to help him in 2016.
And check this out:
On conf call with POTUS discussing post-Sandy cleanup efforts in partnership with the feds. He is instructing Gov't to lean forward to help.— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 30, 2012
"Forward"! "Lean forward"! He used the commie slogan Obama and MSNBC use! That's not the kind of thing that's going to help him four years from now.