Thursday, June 17, 2010


New Jersey's new Republican governor, Chris Christie, has made a name for himself with self-important boorisness in response to reporters, transit riders, teachers...

And even though Americans never elect presidents they perceive as mean-spirited and confrontational -- peevish W and even sociopathic Nixon managed to make themselves look upbeat and optimistic on the campaign trail -- there's a hell of a lot of talk on the right about running Christie for president. And that makes me smile, because fundamentally misreading the mood of the electorate -- thinking, in other words, that voters want a conduit for non-stop outrage, an uber-teabagger, rather than an inspirational figure is precisely the kind of misstep a political faction makes when its members stop listening to anyone but one another. It might be -- might be -- the beginning of the decline for the movement right (even though that decline may be slow in coming).

Today I see that National Review Online -- seen yesterday trying to sell Sharron Angle to the nation as a heart-tuggingly inspirational homeschooler turned reluctant pol -- is declaring that Christie's time may be now, under the headline "It's Too Early for Christie, but Americans Are Yearning for His Style." Actually, there's no empirical evidence that even New Jerseyans are "yearning for his style" -- Rasmussen, also in on the attempt to sell Christie, has a poll out today showing Christie with good numbers in his home state, but local polls say he's a divisive figure -- 33%-37% approval-disapproval in an April poll from Rutgers, 44%-42% in a May poll from Fairleigh Dickinson, and this today from Quinnipiac:

New Jersey voters give Gov. Christopher Christie a split 44 - 43 percent job approval rating and 44 percent describe him as a "leader," while 43 percent call him a "bully," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters also say 52 - 38 he is "confrontational," rather than "honest and refreshing." ...

"... A leader (hurrah) or a bully (boo, hiss)? We're divided about the Gov. Men sort of like his feisty attitude; women sort of don't," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute....

(I'm not sure about that "sort of" -- he's at 36%-50% among women, 53%-36% among men. Big surprise, then, that the third clip I posted above comes from Red Eye, the Fox News show that's basically a right-wing Maxim of the air; in it, host Greg Gutfeld reacts to Christie's dressing-down of a female teacher as if it's especially choice political porn.)

I really, really want NRO and Rasmussen and Fox News to keep trying to sell this guy to America as the guy who should be America's next president. I want it because it tells me the right-wing noise machine may be just starting to lose its touch. The guy is a presidential loser. I hope the hell he runs.

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