Friday, September 24, 2010


Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has made himself a hero in wingnut circles by being loutish and mouthy -- basically Carl Paladino with more e-mail self-restraint. I've said in the past that wingers who want him to run for president are naive -- when choosing politicians, America may like the occasional lout at the lower levels, but we always want our presidential candidates to convey optimism and hope (even Nixon faked that in '68). We want our presidential candidates to proclaim the glories of America's values and principles. Christie hasn't done that.

Well, until now. Here's Christie in California campaigning with Meg Whitman:

... California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman ... was finishing her remarks when a man sitting in the front row stood up and began shouting.

"What are you hiding?" he yelled. "You're looking like Arnold [Schwarzenegger] in a dress."

Christie rose from his seat behind Whitman and confronted the man....

CHRISTIE: Hey -- hey, listen -- hey listen -- hey, listen, you know what? You wanna yell, yell at me. But don't give her a hard time. We're here -- we're here talking about the future of the state of California and the future of our country, and you know what? And you know what? And you what? Let me me tell you -- let me tell you this. You know what? It's people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country. We're here to bring this country together, not to divide it!

The unmitigated gall of this.

First, why should the guy yell at Christie and not Whitman? Because Christie has a penis? She's running for governor, for crissake -- if she wins, is Chivalrous Chris going to fly out to Cali every time someone says something mean to her? She wants the gig and she's not tough enough to handle that herself?

And Christie has the nerve to say that people shouldn't show up at public appearances by politicians and heckle? A Republican who was elected in 2009 -- the year of the right-wing town hall goon squads?

(Oh yeah, I always forget -- it's OK if you're a Republican.)

And sure, the heckler is raising his voice and Christie isn't. The heckler doesn't have a freaking microphone, and Christie does. Bit of an imbalance there.

But what this shows me is that, like Sinatra attacking Sinead, or Trump pontificating about Park51, Christie has mastered a sort of New York Metro Area tough-guy pious patriotic sanctimony.

This could really work in a national election. Christie's only problem is that he seems sincere about not wanting to run in 2012, and since a Republican will almost certainly win then, he's going to have to wait a while, and his moment will probably pass. Then again, the GOP nominee, who'll almost certainly have zero foreign-policy experience, may decide there's no need to balance the ticket along those lines -- hey, Palin lives near Russia! -- so he could be the #2. And he certainly would be the perfect Agnew, even for an Agnew-esque ticket-topper.

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