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I thought of something this afternoon regarding NJ Governor, Chris Christie, and his blunt and lavish praise of President Obama this morning. I did not notice any other diaries on this subject, so if I'm stepping on anybody's toes, let me know, and I'll delete this. This won't take long.

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heaped praise on President Obama on the morning talk shows today, no doubt to the consternation of republicans in general, and the Romney campaign in particular. His unsubtle rejection of Fixed News suggestion that Christie might want to tour the damaged areas of his state with the Mittster, caused heads to explode in rethug stategy sessions, and certainly didn't win him any points with the current conservative power structure. So, why did he do it?

First, there may yet be faint traces of humanity in a few members of the republican party, though evidence of this is scant. Second, as I heard mentioned on the Chris Mattews show earlier, Christie is facing re-election next year, and realizes that playing tea party games with the lives of residents of his state would ensure a loss to any reasonably competent democrat in a very democratic state.

One thing he also accomplished, and I've not seen mentioned, was to at least potentially position himself as a practical, somewhat moderate politician that can work with the other party when the need arises. I know, moderates need not apply in today's republican party. I think he might be looking ahead to 2016.

Notwithstanding the continuing need to GOTV until this time next week, I think that the election was decided at the same time that Hurricane Sandy came ashore. Most voices I've heard today agree that the race is at least stalled now, and if that is so, then PBO wins. I think that the difference in how the two candidates are handling the storm's aftermath will give the President something of a bump over the last week. This is especially true when a few new ads come out in the next couple of days showing how so many rethugs have talked about (not) sending federal dollars to areas hit by calamity.

I think that the coming loss of the White House, and losses in the senate and house, will lead to a markedly reduced influence of the wingnut-nut-nuttiest faction of the tea party and other conservatives. It won't happen right away, but I'm confident that it will. So that leaves an opening for a "sane" republican to run in 2016, without having to face an incumbent.

Chris Christie positioned himself as that practical republican today. Have I misread this? You decide.

Much as I would like to, I can't respond to comments tonight, as I'm starting a new job in the morning.

GOD-DAMMIT, I'm going to miss so much in the next week! DK rules! You folks are awesome!

P.S. - One year ago today, I, like so many around me, began a long few days without electricity due to the blizzard. My family and I were lucky, in that we had hot water and we could cook on our gas stove, and the destruction was limited to trees and power lines.

Many, many people in the northeast not only have no power tonight, they have lost their homes, their means of earning a living, their means of getting to their jobs, if they still have one, and in all too many cases, their lives. They need help.

Donate. Volunteer. Give blood. Do what you can, but do something.

Update: A hat tip to control for his diary on this. I missed it. Sorry, I can't figure out how to link to it. It is "Chris Christie's Calculus"

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 05:51:16 PM PDT

  •  I had a similar thought this morning (0+ / 0-) I think you are right

    And like everybody who's ever had enough, he wants more!

    by control on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 05:57:42 PM PDT

    •  Yes, (0+ / 0-)

      he is as ambitious and self-centered as Mitt.  What we witnessed was him burying a knife in Mitt's back for the greater glory of Christie 2016.  My thought was the fact that Christie felt comfortable doing it speaks volumes about how prominent Republicans privately and honestly view Mitt's chances.  

      I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

      by Superribbie on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 09:32:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Today Christie Was OK..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He gave the President more than a fair shake.   It didn't hurt for Christie to be photographed w/ flood victims, putting his arm around them, in the midst of the devastation.

    The state of NJ is overwhelmed today.  They don't have the resources to make this right.  They need the federal government & the President.  For the sake of the people of NJ.....I'm glad our President & FEMA are there.

    But....Christie is a politician, born & bred.  He's going to play that footage in his next campaign.  He looks bipartisan when he touts Obama.  Christie's no dummy.  

    •  I think that's overly harsh. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coigue, mconvente, 207wickedgood, ban nock

      I see a governor who cares about his state and is scared right down to his socks about what the next days and weeks portend and will do everything he can to mitigate what he can.

      Politics is also public service, and Christie is one of the precious few in his contemporary party who gets that, especially in these circumstances.  He gets unconditional props from me for that.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 06:11:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you high or a Republican? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        207wickedgood, snapples

        Christie has been just as much of a plutocrat-feeding plague on the working & middle-classes as your average recent Republican governor.  On top of that, he is an even more narcissistic, arrogant asshole than most of them.  And if you want another example of a basically unprincipled politician with an underlying Randian philosophy who tacked to the middle when politically necessary as governor of a rather bluish state, you don't have far to look.  

      •  It Is Not Overly Harsh..... (0+ / 0-)

        Four weeks ago, Cristie described the President as a blind man walking around in the dark feeling the walls for support.

        If you are a true public servant, you don't tell an Iraq vet that he's an "idiot" just because he asks you a question you don't like at a press conference.  You don't scream at a teacher just because she asked you a question at another press conference.

        Christie does not get unconditional anything from me.  

  •  Christie might run, but remember, the whackos (0+ / 0-)

    will be the ones choosing the candidates from inside the pitifully leaning elephant.

    Why would crazy people choose someone they view as being to the left of them?

    And if Christie starts talking about the existence of global warming and attributes it to the correct sources, his fund raising would be history.

    Somehow I can't see Christie going anywhere as someone left of hard right. And I can't see him going to the White House from the hard right.

    I still believe this isn't a "right" country.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 06:00:04 PM PDT

  •  Christie is a tough guy (4+ / 0-)

    And most of us on this site would call him a bully.  But in thinking about that trait, he could definitely position himself as a bipartisan. He wouldn't exactly brush off the tea party types but given his tough guy attitude he wouldn't pander to them (like Romney) because he wouldn't need to do that.

    I am a Democrat and will vote (again) for President Obama.  But I also firmly believe that the American political system works best when there are two competent parties that can work together even with their differences.  The current Republican party has been wrenched so far to the right that they cannot, on the whole, give up their rigid positions much less even think of compromise for the betterment of all Americans.

    •  No. I'm sorry, this sentiment is ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanorich, turn blue

      We have an extreme, far right, crime syndicate of a political party being propped up by the plutocrat owned media.

      It is literally cancerous to our polity to have the Republican party legitimized. What is considered "centrist" in the US is poisonous to all of us, and to the world.

      The right wing must be destroyed. They cannot be accommodated. They are a force of evil.

      If we need two parties, then today's Democratic party can be the right of center party, and the Greens can become the left of center party.

      The Republican party is disastrous. They are killing the US and the world.

      •  Whoa! Extreme! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Okay, in terms of a Tea-Party dominated Republican party I'd agree with you. If you're talking about a Ronald Reagan type of Republican party then I'd say that mouthing suicide-bomber sentiments about "cancerous" parties and "the right wing must be destroyed".... well that's disturbing.

        Keep in mind that before George W. Bush and Grover Norquist and the Tea Party, the centrist Republican party of the past:

        - Was the party of Abraham Lincoln
        - Was the driving force behind the eradication of slavery
        - Believed in breaking up large businesses (called "trust-busting")
        - Supported high wages and large pensions for veterens
        - Believed in higher taxes for the rich and the expansion of Social Security (these were Republican President Eisenhower's initiatives)
        - Brought forth affirmative action (Richard Nixon's initiative)
        - Passed the largest peacetime tax hike in history (Reagan's initiative)

        Indeed if the Grand Old Party of the 20th century came back to life, we Democrats could truly negotiate with them. It would be better for this entire country... but only a totally humiliating defeat in the election can truly kill the Tea Party. This is what Chris Christie knows... and this is why he's blowing off Mitt for the guy who actually knows how to be President of the United States.

      •  I am reminded of "Democrats" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        207wickedgood, noble experiment

        who yearned to be able to vote for McCain, because he was a "moderate" Republican who would work across the aisle with the Joe Liebermans and Ben Nelsons of this world.

        Attn: former Republicans who dream of wanting to vote your heart and you pocketbook again.

        If you look at Christie's record, and think the Republicans will support a moderate prochoice Republican again, remember who we are facing now.  And also remember you have a gazillion moderate Republicans to vote for right now.  

        These days they call them Democrats.

  •  I disagree.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...Chris Christie is being honest to himself. He usually is. Mostly, we think, his honest opinion about things is wrong. I agree. But I think he's just being himself here.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 06:02:19 PM PDT

  •  I definitely see something in him. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NorCalSF, ban nock

    He has that special President-in-waiting quality. But, by God he needs weight reduction surgery if he is planning to hit the trail in 2014.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 06:07:03 PM PDT

  •  I have to begrudgingly give some credit to him. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, coigue

    for being honest today, which is almost unheard of for a Republican.  And I think he helped Obama today.

    Still, I think he is a dick, and I would do everything possible to make sure he never holds higher office.  Or even continues to be Governor of NJ.

  •  not only positioning himself for 2016 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    207wickedgood, SingularExistence

    but able to stick the dagger in Mitt for this election, ensuring he won't have to wait for 2020, and Mitt won't be able to be a political disaster for the GOP in the meantime.

    Christie's calculus is- Mitt loses, I look like a good guy for helping my state, and I run for the open seat in 2016... or

    Mitt wins, gets knocked out in 2016, and I have to face another incumbent Democrat... or

    Mitt wins, wins a second term, and I have to win the Presidency after 8 years of a Republican in office.

    Christie's best shot, as an ambitious man, is to take full advantage of this situation that allows him to elevate the President without doing much damage to himself.

    It allows him to win reelection in 13, and be incredibly well positioned in 16 to take on whoever we put up after the President's second term

  •  But the extreme (0+ / 0-)

    were wailing here on the airwaves today against Christie--how dare he give props to Obama--comments like "he has lost my support for 2016 now" abounded.

  •  Props to Christie (0+ / 0-)

    Christie is not a Machiavel. He's too emotional to be one. I think people are being silly if they think Christie is praising Obama for political reasons.  Christie is all about New Jersey. It's his whole identity. New Jersey, Springsteen etc.

    He sees the President doing all he can for NJ and Christie admires this.

    He can be a jerk sometimes because he cannot control his emotions. A good example of this is when he got heckled at the Jersey Shore and had to confront the guy.

    His appeal as a politician is his empathy and ability to connect to people. Which makes it odd that he is a republican considering their policies show a lack of empathy.

    I go back in forth from really despising the guy to actually liking him.

  •  Christie has always been one of my least favorite (0+ / 0-)


    He could have skirted around the issue of how he & the president are working as a team but he didn't do that and
    I thought what he said was quite eloquent.

    Who knows, maybe he himself can't stand Romney. He certainly sounded like a man who didn't care if he hurt Mitt's feelings or not.

    Perhaps he's following in the steps of Colin Powell and Col. Wilkerson. But that's for another day.

    I was just happy to see a mature Christie, something we haven't seen too often.

    This hurricane and its aftermath called for major adult skills, regardless of party.

    Christie delivered.

  •  I thought this exact thing (0+ / 0-)

    when I heard about Christie's comments, but you said it better than I could have.

  •  I don't think at all this way about Chris Christie (0+ / 0-)

    As much as I dislike Christie, he's not a cardboard Tea Party Republican.  He's actually got more moderate views than people want to admit but that doesn't mean he's necessarily factually moderate when he's Governor of New Jersey.

    When I've seen Christie appear on the news and on TV, I don't see how he would want to politicize Hurricane Sandy for a 2016 race.  A great deal of New Jersey has been flooded and unless you're Christie's position as Governor, you may not truly know what it's like being in a position of executive power and seeing many communities flood before your very eyes.  Who knows?  Maybe Christie's neighborhood as a kid was flooded.

    So in essence, Christie being very thankful for President Obama is a good thing.  While some others have argued he's setting himself for 2016, maybe he's doing so in a good way and that taking note of his actions as governor in a state that's been severely under attack can add credibility to his chances in 2016 so long as he doesn't pull a Rudy Giuliani ("A noun, a verb and 9/11" as Biden once said).  At least Christie is distancing himself a bit from Mitt Romney and I'm glad in a way he is.

    We'll see what happens come 2016.

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