2017: President Christie is in the White House. Who Gets the Credit?

So Chris Christie is running for president. No surprise there. Chances are he will never inhabit the living quarters of the White House. But the election is a year and a half away and anything could happen. Suppose he does become our next president. Who would get the “credit” for this upset?

Certainly, a lot of the credit would go to Christie himself. He wants it badly and is willing to do whatever it takes (ethical or unethical) to reach the Oval Office. His whirlwind tour of the other 49 states has just begun, and he’ll throw in a couple of overseas visits to “establish” his foreign policy creds. He would win debates with Hillary Clinton on style points, and that’s sufficient as most of the electorate can be swayed on the issues.

Credit for a Christie victory would also go to whatever wealthy benefactors and industrialists bankrolled his campaign. His persona is more well-known than his policies, and it will take a lot of money and negative advertising to whitewash his failures as governor, but it can conceivably be done.

But in examining this imaginary future Christie victory, there’s another group that gets a lot of credit – the Democratic Party establishment in New Jersey and Washington. During Christie’s re-election campaign, many Democrats in the state were at best silent, and at worst working against the Democratic nominee, Barbara Buono. At the national level, those organizations poured just about all of their resources into the gubernatorial contest in Virginia, ignoring the Garden State.

Sure, there were a few loyal Democrats like Loretta Weinberg and Bonnie Watson Coleman at the state level, and Martin O’Malley and Deval Patrick at the national level who campaigned hard for Buono. But they were the exception. Even those Democrats who didn’t overtly support Christie were ambivalent about Buono. Many Democrats in the legislature enabled Christie’s draconian agenda by assuming he was being truthful when they should have known better.

One can argue that even with more enthusiastic support from Democrats, Buono would have lost anyway. We’ll never know. Maybe if other Democrats had the cojones to risk their political career as Buono did, an even stronger candidate could have been the standard bearer (I’m looking at you, Cory Booker.) A closer election, even with a Christie victory, would not have been as notable and would not have prompted the media to promote Christie as a contender.

Today, some of these previously ambivalent Democrats are railing against Christie. The national party is now spending advertising dollars to repudiate him. Where were you all in 2013?

If the arc of history puts Christie in the White House in 2017, most Democrats will throw up their hands in wonder. But they should not wonder for long. All they need to do is look in a mirror.

Comments (4)

  1. danpreston
  2. marshwren

    (the Norcross-DiVincenzo quislings) certainly deserve their fair share of the credit, how can we not (dis)honorably mention the NJ M$M, starting with the All Christie, All The Time tv station fka NJN?  And our only state-wide newspaper network, the Star Ledger (yes, Pom-Pom Tom Moran, this one’s for you–figured out who you really should have endorsed in ’13 yet?  It’s not too late, y’know).

    No less than the Democrats has the NJ M$M been clutching their pearls (of something other than wisdom) and rushing to their fainting couches at each new Christie outrage, shocked, SHOCKED! they (now) say, that he failed to live up to their bedazzled and mesmerized opinion of him.  And like the Democrats, would prefer everyone forget their aiding, abetting and enabling him at every crucial turn in his Richard III-like climb up the greasy pol.

    And least we forget, a tip of the hat to all those white, conservative suburbanites who voted for a personality (by turns bombastic, angry, haughty, self-pitying, arrogant and self-righteous) in the belief his lies, distortions, sneering and boorishness actually articulated something approximating reasonable public policies.  Twice.

    So all that’s left is to start the betting pools as to when his Fatuousness’s campaign gets sent home in a pine box, COD (of course)–i have a wooden nickel on NH, and a $3 bill on SC–to grumpily serve out the balance of his well-earned Lame Duckness, angry, frustrated, confused, resentful, self-pitying; as bored and disinterested in governing as he is contemptuous of it, with only the perverse pleasure of aimlessly amusing himself for the duration by continuing to torment those whose misery  shot him up to the status of Living God (to the national M$M, but never an actual constituency within the GOP)–teachers, public workers, the poor, unions, Democrats, liberals, the media–only to hoist himself on the petard of his own hubris.  Lucky us.  

  3. CreedPogue

    So, he is toast.  The only slight positive for Christie is that Donald Trump will have saved him from the dubious prize for “most embarrassing campaign.”

  4. Erik Preuss

    The credit can be attributed to two places:

    1) Hillary Clinton for apparently not running a campaign good enough to beat a republican who isn’t even popular in his own state

    2) Everyone running in the GOP primary for being so grossly incompetent that an unpopular, “moderate” governor, from NJ was able to emerge from a field of 16 candidates


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