Chris Christie

Waiting Up for Chris Christie

By on 6.20.14 | 3:07PM

Covering a conference is hungering work if you forget breakfast, and the Road to Majority conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition was no exception. It was time for lunch as I approached the exit. The doors were closed and, reaching to open them, I was stopped by a big man in a suit stepping in front of me.

“You don’t want to leave,” he said. “Governor Christie is about to make news. You shouldn’t go.”

With no inclination to argue and some interest in what Christie would have to say—would he announce his presidential bid? Would he fold in the face of mounting corruption allegations? This will be unfortunately nothing, won’t it?—I returned to my seat and waited for The Governor to make his way to the podium.

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Rumors of Christie’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

By on 4.1.14 | 3:44PM

In the post-Bridgegate world, many have pronounced Governor Chris Christie dead in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

However, new polling suggests what most wise people already know: The field is still wide open.

In a national survey, WPA Opinion Research found that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents currently favor Senator Rand Paul and former governor Mike Huckabee, with both winning 13 percent of the vote. However, Governor Christie, former governor Jeb Bush, and Senator Ted Cruz are within the margin of error (3.5 percent) at 9 percent, 11 percent, and 9 percent respectively. 

More good news for Christie can be found in the polling:

When participants were also asked about which candidates would have the best chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election for President, Sen. Paul and Gov. Christie each received 13% with Gov. Bush (12%), Sen. Rubio (9%), Huckabee (8%) and Sen. Cruz (8%) closely following.  

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Chris Christie: I Still Exist

By on 3.25.14 | 7:37AM

Following Bridgegate, Rand Paul emerged in the 2016 spotlight and Chris Christie retired to the shadows.

Debates on Paul’s foreign policy, his positions on social issues, and his attempt at broader conservative outreach at places like UC Berkeley have been front and center of both right and left publications. Christie has not.

In fact, murmurs of Jeb Bush emerging as a presidential candidate may further dwarf Christie’s standing in the media as the establishment-favored contender.

But there’s one public figure who hasn’t forgotten about Christie: Chris Christie.

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Christie Talks Conservatism, His Future

By on 3.6.14 | 1:17PM

“I’m shy. I don’t like to speak my mind.”

Gov. Chris Christie’s CPAC speech this afternoon was more than just a rally for conservatives: It laid the groundwork for a future presidential run.

His speech targeted key issues that conflicting factions of the conservative movement can agree on. He touted his strong pro-life streak, called the Democratic Party “intolerant,” and demonstrated his success as a fiscal conservative in New Jersey.

"Our ideas are better than theirs," he said confidently.

Once he proved his conservatism to the CPAC audience, Christie focused on pragmatics:

We need to start talking about what we’re for….not what we’re against.

Not only are we against Obamacare…higher taxes…bigger government…more intrusion into our constitutional rights…but we’re for a free market society that allows your effort and ingenuity to determine your success, not the cold, hard hand of government to determine winners and losers, which is what this administration has been about.

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Questions for Chris Christie at CPAC

By on 2.25.14 | 1:00PM

Governor Chris Christie did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last year. The official story is that Christie was not invited because he was open to some form of gun control. But it’s reasonable to suspect that CPAC and Christie both had something to gain from his absence. CPAC could placate certain constituencies who are understandably cynical about Republicans out of the northeast, while Christie could avoid having clips played from the conference during his re-election run. But he’s coming this year, just ahead of the mid-term elections and his possible presidential run in 2016.

So what would you like to ask the Jersey governor—aside from Bridgegate? Until something tangible emerges that says Christie was complicit in the decision to shut down the lanes between New Jersey and New York on the George Washington Bridge, I take him at his word. So let’s move onto substance.

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Long(er) Knives Out For Chris Christie

By on 1.31.14 | 5:04PM

The lawyer for David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who took the order from a staffer of NJ Gov. Chris Christie to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, is making claims which, if borne out, would do grave, perhaps insurmountable, damage to Christie's political future (and perhaps his political present).

From the lawyer's letter to the Port Authority asking them to reconsider their decision not to pay for Wildstein's legal representation:

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Media Matters

Rachel Maddow Is Smirking

By 1.22.14

Rachel Maddow is smirking today. That, of course, doesn’t distinguish this from any other day. Maddow’s smirk has become part of her now-predictable style, along with the chirpy delivery, the dressing-up of partisanship as wonky pragmatism, and the endless repetitious snark after playing clips. (“What was the name of the act there? Hoot-Smawley? Known to everyone else as Smoot-Hawley?”) But Maddow has particular reason to be self-satisfied today. Chris Christie is trailing Hillary Clinton in a new poll by eight points, thanks to the Bridgegate scandal that Maddow’s network, MSNBC, has been covering relentlessly.

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Political Hay

Fear and Loathing in New Jersey

By 1.10.14

The scandal of The George Washington Bridge and Chris Christie is one of the most overhyped political dramas of the last decade. We live in an era where political vindictiveness and a bully government seem ubiquitous—the IRS scandal, TSA, NSA—and gross human error is epidemic—Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Hurricane Katrina. The Christie scandal has gotten coverage due to a slow news week rather than the actual size of the offense.

While this doesn’t bode well for trust in government, the real story is about how the image of Christie has been radically altered in our celebrity culture that builds people up in order to destroy them.

After a crushing defeat by President Obama in 2008, with the further losses of both the House and the Senate, Republicans were in desperate need of a hero. Christie rose through the ranks, winning a governorship in an overwhelmingly blue state, despite a third-party candidate. This gave Republicans their first net gains in governorships since 2003.

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Is Christie Vindictive?

By on 1.9.14 | 3:46PM

Daniel Larison is less sanguine than I am about Chris Christie’s apology:

The lane closure episode ought to be a flashing warning light to Christie backers that their original assessment of his competence was likely very wrong, but so far that doesn’t appear to be what is happening. … His boosters in the party have ignored any possible liabilities that Christie could have, and by remaining oblivious or indifferent to his flaws (or pretending that those flaws are admirable qualities) they have convinced themselves that he is a more formidable candidate than really is. Having elevated Christie to the position of the default “establishment” candidate, his backers are to some extent stuck with supporting him for lack of an alternative.

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A Further Perspective

Contrite Christie

By 1.9.14

When it first emerged that Barack Obama lied about policy cancellations under Obamacare last year, Governor Chris Christie had some advice for the president: “Don’t be so cute,” he told Jake Tapper, “and when you make a mistake, admit it.”

Today, Christie had to practice what he preached. After initially denying that his administration had any knowledge of a suspiciously timed lane closure in Fort Lee, N.J., emails surfaced showing that his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, encouraged a member of the Port Authority to cause “traffic problems.” The closures, allegedly for a traffic study, resulted in massive gridlock on the already torpid George Washington Bridge.

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