... Mr. Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2016, ... has traveled to London on a three-day trade mission, the kind of jaunt intended to build his credibility as a potential commander in chief.So ... are we all feeling the credibility? Do we sense it building? Did you even know Christie was overseas?
Not only is this trip failing to get Christie much media coverage, the Times story reports that the Brits have no idea who he is:
“Who?” asked Graham Upson, a 55-year-old soccer fan inside the frigid Emirates Stadium on Sunday, seeming blissfully unaware of Mr. Christie’s presence in the stands, not to mention his very existence.
New Jersey? Brash governor? Presidential hopeful? Mr. Upson, dressed in a blue down jacket with a red knit cap over his heard, stared back blankly. “I’ve been to New York a few times,” he offered....
“I’ve vaguely heard of him,” said Michael Rabbett, 67, as he sipped red wine from a plastic cup (“wine beer,” he noted). He paused to let the name roll around in his head. “He’s in the background of my head. But not really,” he concluded.
Alerted to Mr. Christie’s reputation for voluble candor as well as his party affiliation, Mr. Rabbett asked his own question. “Has he told that lady from Alaska to shut up?”
No, he was informed. Mr. Christie had not tried to silence the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. “Well why not?” he inquired.
And no one will even hug him in the owner's box.
This guy thinks he's going to be president and he's this bad at optics? Why did he expect to get attention for an overseas trip on Super Bowl weekend? For that matter, why is he overseas on Super Bowl weekend? And at a soccer match? What the hell kind of American is he?
Some people still think Christie's going to get a boost from Mitt Romney's departure from the presidential race, but in Iowa, according to that new Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll, he's tied with Rick Santorum for eight place, with 4% of the vote. Ninth place, actually, if you count "Not sure" (5%). Oh, and:
More troubling for Christie: He's viewed unfavorably by 54 percent, among the highest negative ratings in the potential field.In fact, he has the highest negative rating in the potential field, because the only person whose negatives are higher is a loudmouthed fraud who's never going to run, Donald Trump (68%).
Christie was also in eighth place among Republicans nationwide, at 4%, in a Fox poll conducted last week. Mitt Romney was included in that poll -- but when he was removed from the candidate list, Christie landed in, um, seventh place, at 6%.
Other polls have different results, but I think Christie is out of the running. I'd say it's not Bridgegate. He'll just never overcome that Obama moment after Sandy in the eyes of the Republican base. Once again, what looks good to general-election voters will kill you in the Republican primaries.
UPDATE: Holy crap.
Christie Says Parents Should Have ‘Choice’ on VaccinationsGovernor Christie? Michele Bachmann on Line 3.
CAMBRIDGE, England -- Amid an outbreak of measles that has spread across 14 states, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Monday said that parents “need to have some measure of choice” about vaccinating their children against the virus, breaking with President Obama and much of the medical profession.
In remarks here, Mr. Christie stopped short of recommending that parents immunize their children against measles, or any other illness, calling for “balance” and “choice.”
Mr. Christie, when asked about the connection between the new measles cases and parents who object to the long-recommended vaccine against it, said that he and his wife had vaccinated their four children. He called that “the best expression I can give you of my opinion.”
But he added: “It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
Mr. Christie said that “not every vaccine is created equal, and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.”
I half-wondered whether President Obama's endorsement of vaccinations in an NBC interview might inspire wingnuts to stop getting shots for their kids, but I assumed even Obama-hate wouldn't motivate the wingers to go that far, especially when Marin County liberals are getting most of the blame for anti-vaccine hysteria. I certainly didn't expect Christie to be the first presidential aspirant to leap to the front of this particular parade, if it developed.
And the bizarre thing is that, as The Telegraph reports, Christie is in Cambridge, in part, "to highlight New Jersey's pharmaceutical industry." So he's not just reinforcing superstition, he's insulting the industry he's there to promote. What an embarrassment.
As @nomoremister has said before, if Foxistan joins the anti-vaxx movement, we are f***ed. Hope that's not what Christie's staement about— DougJ (@DougJBalloon) February 2, 2015
Yes -- but the fact that the first Republican to say something like this was Christie may have been a lucky break. The wingers think he's a hopeless RINO, so I think they'll see this as a clumsy attempt at pandering to them by someone who's not of their tribe. Now, if vaccination is denounced by Ben Carson or Scott Walker or Ted Cruz, we really may be in trouble. If some talk radio demigod (Limbaugh, Mark Levin) goes anti-vaxx, flee to Canada.
UPDATE: Christie's office walks it back, unconvincingly:
"The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated," Christie's office said in a statement. "At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate."So, why was he saying that "parents need to have some measure of choice"? No explanation.
AND: Excellent point from Aunt Snow in comments:
“not every vaccine is created equal, and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.”Please, media, make this connection the next time you're questioning Christie.
Says the guy who forcibly detained a nurse who didn't have Ebola.
You can catch measles by being in the same room as someone. Ebola? Not so much.
UPDATE: I guess that's going to happen:
Next level troll game pic.twitter.com/N5keQdEUUL— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 2, 2015