Be wary of me­dia’s new fa­vorite Repub­li­can

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

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 josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twit­ter @ josephcurl.

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