Be wary of media’s new favorite Republican
Is it just me, or does anyone else out there wonder why the mainstream media is gushing over Gov. Chris Christie? The Washington Post got all weeweed up over his decisive win in New Jersey last week. The New York Times planted a big kiss on his chubby tookus. The networks in Manhattan all ran a variation of “Boy, this guy is really something, huh?”
Now, the portly presidential contender’s win was, to be sure, pretty amazing — especially in a deep blue state where President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 18 points just a year ago. The numbers speak for themselves. Mr. Christie won:
More than 60 percent of the vote (the first time in 25 years any Republican has taken more than half of the vote).
A whopping 33 percent of Democrats and nearly the same chunk of independents.
Fifty-one percent of the Hispanic vote and nearly a quarter of the black vote. Fifty-seven percent of women. Nearly half of the voters between the ages of 18 and 29.
The Post went wild with excitement over the Republican who, it gushed, is “known for blunt talk, moderate politics and presidential ambitions. ... His victory was a hopeful sign for the GOP’s establishment wing, on a day when two champions of the party’s rival tea party faction lost their races,” wrote the gleeful liberal rag.
And Mr. Christie was more than happy to pour salt into the open wound that is the Republican Party of late.
“A dispirited America, angry with their dysfunctional government in Washington, looks to New Jersey to say, ‘Are people really coming together?’” Mr. Christie said in his victory speech. “Maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now, see how it’s done.”
In coronating the rotund governor as the next sure-fire GOP presidential nominee in 2016, none of the mainstream media pointed out his stances on issues that they no doubt hate: Mr. Christie vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage, vetoed several “gender parity” bills and was for abortion until he was against it. Of course, the same media played up his support of gun control and a Dream Act-like immigration overhaul. And they noted repeatedly that the governor had not followed through on a threat to appeal New Jersey’s top court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
The kingmaking certainly has shades of the media love affair with Sen. John “Maverick” McCain. The MSM loved his battle with the conservative wing of the Republican Party and lauded him as a true moderate, capable of bridging partisan gaps to work for the betterment of all. Sound familiar?
Once nominated, though, that same MSM lashed Mr. McCain as nothing more than a vicious right-winger in moderate’s clothing. Sure, the Arizona senator was forced to move right to get through the party’s primaries (as Mr. Christie likely will be), but gone was the love for their “maverick.”
Three years out, the whole scene is shaping up just as it did in 2000 (right down to the anointed moderate’s battle with the conservative wing, this time Mr. Christie jousting with Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul).
In the end, though, Mr. Christie is a formidable candidate (much more so than Mr. McCain) and certainly more likely to win nationwide than a hard-core conservative. But as writer Myra Adams points out, Democrats start each presidential election with 246 electoral votes virtually guaranteed.
“Let me repeat, if only for the shock value,” she writes, “246 votes out of 270 is 91 percent. That means the Democrat candidate needs to win only 24 more votes out of the remaining 292.”
Who’s going to end that advantage? Sarah Palin? Mr. Cruz? Mr. Paul? Possibly. But maybe someone like Mr. Christie, who really can draw Democrats, independents, Hispanics, blacks and young voters.
Still, the media love affair will end the second Mr. Christie wins the nomination. And you always have to wonder: If the media loves him so much, just what’s wrong with him?
Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @ josephcurl.