(Hint: Not Reince Priebus)
If you're a member of the Republican family and you show the family any disrespect, the Godfather will want to have a word with you:
A few days after Hurricane Sandy shattered the shores of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie picked up the phone to take on a different kind of recovery work: taming the Republican Party fury over his effusive embrace of President Obama.I am shocked -- shocked! Rupert Murdoch isn't even an official in the Republican Party! And his cable news operation is so utterly fair and balanced! And yet it's to him -- not to any Republican Party official or veteran officeholder -- that a member of the GOP family who strays must turn in order to make amends!
On Nov. 3, Mr. Christie called Rupert Murdoch, the influential News Corporation chief and would-be kingmaker, who had warned in a biting post on Twitter that the governor might be responsible for Mr. Obama's re-election.
Mr. Christie told Mr. Murdoch that amid the devastation, New Jersey needed friends, no matter their political party, according to people briefed on the discussion. But Mr. Murdoch was blunt: Mr. Christie risked looking like a spoiler unless he publicly affirmed his support for Mitt Romney, something the governor did the next day....
Astonishing, isn't it?
Murdoch warned that Christie was costing Romney the election. Actually, it was probably Murdoch who cost Romney the election -- as I said in my last post, Fox News mainstreams Republican extremism every hour of every day, and compels Republicans with national ambitions to follow along or be reviled as heretics. President Obama and fellow Democrats could then continually point out the extremism of Romney and of Romney's fellow Republicans, including candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who won primaries with the support of the Murdoch-nurtured tea party.
After Hurricane Sandy, Governor Christie and President Obama were displaying respect across party lines, which is what voters say they want; Mitt Romney was talking the talk, yammering on about how he used to be bipartisan in Massachusetts, but he was doing it after spending years rejecting his past and denouncing Democrats (and Democratic ideas) every chance he could. For all but the last month of his campaign, Romney slavishly imitated Fox News -- talking about evil Obama apology tours and saintly "job producers," shaking his fist at immigrants and people on public assistance and Planned Parenthood, hanging out with Donald Trump.
There's a case to be made, then, that Murdoch cost Romney a hell of a lot more votes than Christie did. But it doesn't matter, because Rupert Murdoch is still the GOP Godfather. If Chris Christie ever wants to run for national office, respect must be shown.