Saturday, December 31, 2011


Saw this on the front page of today's New York Daily News:

Tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie swaggered into the heartland Friday and made an Iowa crowd an offer it couldn't refuse - support Mitt Romney, or else.

The larger-than-life governor channeled fellow Garden State tough guy Tony Soprano by threatening the hundreds of people who braved a cold, wet morning to back Romney in the state’s caucuses caucuses.

"I want to tell you something really clearly, I'm in a good mood this morning, I’m feeling happy and upbeat," quipped Christie before turning slowly and peering down at the unsuspecting crowd.

"But let me tell you, if you people disappoint me on Tuesday, if you don't do what you're supposed to do on Tuesday for Mitt Romney, I will be back - Jersey style."

To underscore his message, Christie vowed: "People, I will be back."

... That Christie hails from leafy Livingston, N.J., and now resides in millionaire-populated Mendham was lost on the West Des Moines crowd who know Jersey through the lens of the iconic HBO mobster series starring James Gandolfini as Tony Sopranio....

As a fellow Italian-American from the Northeast, I've got to say I love seeing my people reduced to a cultural stereotype. (Yes, that's sarcasm.) No, let me rephrase that: I love seeing my people volunteering to reduce themselves to a cultural stereotype, on behalf of some gazillionaire from Utah.

But this is what they want in Iowa, I guess. Do you realize that if Romney wins Iowa, he'll be the second winner in a row to finish first without seeming tough at all, but with the aid of a surrogate who was a tough guy on his behalf? (Recall how Huckabee made Chuck Norris his surrogate four years ago.) Really, Iowa? Is that what you want? Someone who can personally radiate Midwestern Nice, but who can also fly in an apparent rent-a-thug, so you can get a frisson of danger?

The party as a whole seems to prefer overgrown man-children -- George W. Bush, John McCain -- who don't radiate toughness so much as Bart Simpson childishness and irresponsibility well into middle and old age. What any of this has to do with running the country I don't know -- but more and more I'm thinking that Christie's going to be Romney's running mate, and his thug as VP if he wins. And I guess no Republican voter will care that Romney has to acquire (apparent) toughness rather than embody it (which he obviously isn't capable of doing) -- all those voters want is the sense of menace, and I guess they'll take it any way they can get it.


c u n d gulag said...

First, Happy New Year, everyone!

Now, on to 'bidness.'

Interesting take, Steve.
And yeah, the Republican base, and leaner's, love bullies.

And Christie is that big, fat kid on your street, or in your school who gave everyone wedgies, until he decided to start requiring you to give him your lunch money.

But is he sufficiently crazy to attract the religious nuts?
I'm not so sure. Because with Mitt, you'd have two religions that the Evangelical base can't stand on one ticket - a Mormon and a Catholic. And, while Christie's a draw as a tough guy, I'm not sure having those two on one ticket will make people come out in droves. It COULD! But I'm not convinced right now. Palin wowed them because she proved she was a Blue-blood Evangelical Loon the moment she opened her mouth - never mind what else came out. She spoke their language. Latin ain't their language.

And if Cain hadn't drowned himself in bimbo eruptions, I think he would have been near the top of the list. They LOVE when someone who typically shouldn't be, becomes one of their own.

If Perry hadn't made Little Boots look like a Phi Beta Kappa, and antagonized Mitt in some of the debates, then he might be under strong consideration.

If Bachmann were doing better, she might be a fit. But, if you can't finish in the top 2-3 in the home of corndogs and nut sacks, how will you draw in lesser crazy states?

I'm thinking that they liked having a woman up in the VP slot, so they might be looking at Nikki Haley. As Gov. of SC, she's the real deal. She's a converted Sikh, a Teabag darling, and she's of a darker hue - see Cain comments.

I still think Rubio.
But Christie IS certainly a possibility.

Danp said...

Isn't Christie a little too slow and fat to shuck and jive with the Mittster? I can just hear the post-mortem with these two. "When I was for the mandate, you were against it, and when I was ragging on bank bailouts, you were touting them as job creators. Why aren't we ever on the same page?"

Kathy said...

Hard to say who the Republicans will pick for the VP slot. The PTB have to know that a large percentage of the base won't vote for anyone darker than John Boehner. Rubio may be the guy - he's Cuban, but to many conservatives, that's close enough to white.

Roger said...

Vote Romney, or Christie will return to Iowa with a truckload of pasta fagioli.