Chris Christie’s biggest hurdle in a 2016 presidential run is not just surviving the ongoing investigations into the politically fraught traffic jam caused by his administration, but convincing Republican donors that there will be no more surprises.
As the New Jersey governor mingled with some of the Republican Party’s most influential fundraisers at Mitt Romney’s three-day political retreat here in Utah, there was still palpable uneasiness about the swirl of investigations surrounding Christie and concern that he could be too damaged to be the Republican Party’s nominee in 2016.
But Christie tried forcefully to dismiss those concerns when he addressed a group of 300 donors during a speech Saturday, which was closed to the media. One of the first questions posed to him was whether the controversy over his administration’s closure of roads leading to the George Washington Bridge last September — in apparent retribution for the refusal of a local mayor to endorse Christie’s reelection — was behind him.
Christie replied that he didn’t get to “decide that,” according to accounts from people in the room, but he framed the bridge scandal as a media conspiracy against him after he won 61% of the vote in his gubernatorial race in a Democratic state. His opponents, he said, were trying to prevent him from getting any “more altitude.”
An online poll of grassroots conservatives revealed that Chris Christie and Jeb Bush finished at the bottom of a list of possible 2016 Republican hopefuls.
Charles W. Dunn, professor emeritus at Clemson University, predicts it’s unlikely that Christie will be able to climb from the bottom of the poll.
“Perception is the mother of reality, whether he’s guilty or not,” says Dunn. “The perception is that he is and that definitely hurts him with mainstream America, the center of the electorate.”
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New Jersey and national reporters can now look back and see what the truth looks like. In black and white. Seems his “bad temper” was nothing more than a bell on the Tower of Spite. How the mighty have fallen. One more great hope from the party of dope goes belly up and stinks the joint out. It’s snowing in Jersey. I wonder who gets plowed? And who doesn’t?
I just heard a career drop like the blade of a salt truck.
The Christie ally who prepped an official before his testimony on the George Washington bridge scandal is now fair game for investigation.
In the unlikely event that you labored under the illusion that New Jersey’s soon-to-be former Governor Chris Christie was capable of enjoying the Super Bowl he worked so hard to procure, prepare for disappointment: New Jersey Transit was worse than Peyton Manning. According to some reports, more than 10,000 fans were stranded 90 minutes after game’s end, still awaiting a train. In a state notorious for being notorious, there’s your happy ending, dangling.
But that was the good news for Drumthwacket’s Il Duce. The Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann broke the news early this morning that the Port Authority lawyer who helped prepare two Christie thugs to testify to the state legislature about the George Washington Bridge hit was a Christie crewmember himself — one Philip Kwon, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney to Chris Christie and then his assistant attorney general during Christie’s first term as governor. When Christie rewarded Kwon by nominating him to New Jersey’s state Supreme Court, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected him, and so Christie had Kwon installed at the Port Authority.
A controversial company promoted by Chris Christie runs an immigrant detention center in Texas slammed by advocates as one of the nation’s worst. The facility is used by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to house immigrant detainees who are seeking asylum in the United States.
And, noting Christie’s “long and very close relationship with Community Education Centers,” the private company running the facility for ICE, one critic told Salon, “I think it’s time people start asking questions, because this company’s practices are not confined to New Jersey.”
“I’ve visited a bunch of detention facilities in Texas, and that’s by far the worst,” said the opponent, Bob Libal, who directs the prison reform group Grassroots Leadership and visited the Polk County Adult Detention Center with other activists in 2012 and 2013. His allegations echo a 2012 report from the Detention Watch Network, a coalition including the ACLU and the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as Libal’s group: “Inadequate medical care, poor nutrition, lack of access to legal services, absence of meaningful programming, and a willful neglect of those who are imprisoned there plague the Polk detention center.”
Want to understand why the Republican political establishment is in love with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a 2016 candidate?
Check out this snippet from remarks he gave on Wednesday in Union City, New Jersey - one day after he won a sweeping re-election victory in the Garden State:
I think the problem that politicians make is that they look at a specific ethnic community and they say, ‘Ok, let me see. What do I say to them to appeal particularly to them?’ And that’s not my approach. My approach is that I think that Latino parents want the same things that other parents want. That Latino folks who are looking for work want the same thing that African-American folks who are looking for work for. Caucasian folks who are looking for work want. The way to do this in my view is that you have to spend time. You have to sit and listen. You have to, you know, show up. As I was saying in the speech last night, one of the biggest problems that I think my Party has had is that they think if you show up six months before an election and ask somebody for a vote and act like you’re really interested that you fool people. You don’t. When you come just six months before an election people are going to be like, ‘Where have you been? And why should I trust you? This other guy over here he’s been here for years.’ Well, you want to make inroads into a community, you gotta get there. And work it. And look at what happened last night. Now, I didn’t have, you know, any kind of significant Latino support in 2009. We won the Latino vote last night. Now find another Republican in America who’s won the Latino vote recently. Why? It’s because of the relationships. You get in, you build relationships, you build trust, and then people are willing to give you a chance.
Read the whole thing. I think its quite good. Comments welcome and smart ones will be updinged, flames and fat jokes will be downdinged.
That’s the number of the night, people.
That’s the percentage of self-identified “liberals” that voted for Chris Christie, essentially endorsing the idea that he should run for president of the United States, since that was the real purpose of the New Jersey gubernatorial election yesterday. It certainly wasn’t about who’s going to be the governor of New Jersey, since Big Chicken is eighty-eight-and-out-the-gate as soon as the dust clears from next autumn’s midterms, if not sooner. (All that talk about “Washington” in his acceptance speech was a pretty clear indication that the man has his travelin’ shoes on already.) No, as soon as it was determined by the strategic geniuses in the Democratic party that Barbara Buono would be fed to the woodchipper — and good on her for calling the duplicitous bastards on it last night — the only issue in the election became whether or not you think Chris Christie should run for president. And 31 percent of the liberals who voted assented to that proposition.
How the hell did that happen on a night when the state also kicked him squarely in the nuts by overwhelmingly reversing his veto of an increase in the minimum wage, a veto that is the perfect expression of everything Chris Christie stands for as a politician? If you want to know why actual liberalism continues to be a dead parrot in our politics, and why the only real political dynamic in the country revolves around a choice over whether we will drift slowly to the right or stampede headlong in that direction, look to that number.