New York City's NPR affiliate, WNYC, picks up stories from New Jersey Public Radio. Today 'NYC picked up this breathless bit of Chris Christie gush from NJPR reporter Matt Katz:
HOST: As if Governor Christie needed anything else to affirm his status as a national Republican powerhouse, New Jersey Public Radio's Matt Katz reports that he nonetheless unveiled a surprise yesterday in Scottsdale, Arizona.Hunh? Showing up with a disgraced president his is a show of strength?
MATT KATZ: Shortly after Christie became chairman of the Republican Governors Association at the group's conference, he and two dozen other governors went for lunch at a steakhouse. That's when Christie brought in a surprise guest: former president George W. Bush. Christie personally invited Bush, representing a show of strength for the New Jersey governor as he readies for a possible 2016 presidential run....
(No, America doesn't "miss him yet." In a recent Gallup poll, a mere 21% of respondents rated George W. Bush as an "outstanding or "above average" president, while 43% rated him "below average" or "poor." And chew on this, right-wingers: Jimmy Carter outranked Bush.)
Look, I understand the electability message Christie is trying to send: The last time our party won the White House, it was with a governor who was seen as able to work with Democrats. (Yeah, but that's also true of the last time you guys lost.)
Getting Bush to tag along is a sign that Christie has massive power? Only in the bizarre Cloud-Cuckooland of insider politics. But gone-native reporters are desperate to gush over Christie, so if his people spin the Bush thing as a huge coup, many of the boys on the bus will nod in unison and say, "Wow, that was a huge coup."
This is why I fear Christie -- he's good at leading insiders by the nose, and they love being led by him that way.