Fat Man Out

The New York Post reports a story that is just heartening to read.  After the shallow performance as national boot-licker to Donald Trump over the past months I am SOOOO glad to see this news item.

President-elect Donald Trump is so disgusted with Chris Christie’s handling of the Bridgegate scandal that he’s kicking the New Jersey Gov. out of his inner circle.   

Said one source close to the transition team: “Trump thought it was shameful that Christie didn’t take the fall for [convicted aide] Bridget Kelly. Trump is really angry that Christie is sending a soccer mom to jail. He believes 100 percent that Christie was behind it all.”

Chris Christie Was “Livid” About VP Pick

New Jersey governor Chris Christie was reportedly enraged he didn’t earn the VP spot, according to a top Trump campaign official.

It appeared to many like myself who follow this election that Christie was too eager to please and too much a lap dog for Trump.  There were even stories that Christie was sent out to get pizza for Trump and his team.  How unseemly.

In the end I think it was the background of Christie and those who he has had dealings with that were too much for even Trump.   Select your friends carefully.

While minding my own business at the Starbucks inside the Westin hotel this morning, I saw a man engage Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in conversation about the VP selection process. The man, whom I couldn’t identify, suggested that Pence was a smart pick and Gingrich would’ve been a disaster. 

“Christie was livid, right?” the man said at one point. “Yeah,” Manafort replied.

Christie has made no secret that he was disappointed he wasn’t chosen to be Donald Trump’s running mate. “[I] don’t like coming in second. Ever,” Christie said Thursday. But the conversation overheard by THE WEEKLY STANDARD Sunday suggests Christie’s feelings were far more intense than mere disappointment.

Another Reason Chris Christie Was Never Going To Be V.P. Choice

The bombastic nature of Chris Christie was always problematic for the wishes of his presidential hopes.  While he would have been a good counselor in the role of vice-president the baggage he brings with him over Bridge-Gate proved more than Donald Trump wanted to saddle himself.  The shading dealings and background of the governor made Mitt Romney look but reject his name as a nominee in 2012.

Today one of Christie’s closest confidants and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey pleaded guilty to a felony count.  David Samson, who resigned from his Port Authority post amid fallout from the tawdry political  affair had been under investigation for more than two years involving a flight unofficially dubbed the “Chairman’s Flight” that he allegedly requested United Airlines to reinstate from Newark to Columbia, S.C.   Interestingly, the route was convenient to his vacation home.

Both Romney and Trump had good reason to dodge away from Christie.

Are Bully Tactics Favored By New Hampshire Voters?

It comes as no surprise that I am predicting Chris Christie is now on the last day of his campaign for the Republican nomination.  Following the votes cast on Tuesday the New Jersey pol will go back home and not be heard of again until allowed a speaking role at the GOP convention.

One of the reasons Christie will become a footnote in the story of this election cycle is due to his character flaw.   More to the point he is a bully, and no one likes that type of a person.  That is not the sort voters want to see every night on the news from the Oval Office.

The reason Christie has upped the nasty is due to his internal polling showing there is no way out of the pit he is in.  The only thing left is head for the gutter.

But when Christie talks about everybody else, he sounds like the race’s belittling schoolyard tough guy. He’s promised to “kick [President Obama’s] rear end out of the White House” and to “beat [Clinton’s] rear end.” Then, in Saturday night’s Republican debate, Christie laid into Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for using canned talking points, rattling Rubio so badly that he used the same talking points again. And then again. 

“Everybody’s got a plan until you get punched in the face,” Christie said.

Christie said Sunday that the rough rhetoric was something he’d planned all along. 

“You all are the junior political analysts here. I do this for a living. I picked when I want to do it,” Christie said in a news conference after reporters questioned why he had waited so late to take on Rubio. “I had a strategy all along.”

If that’s true, then Christie was following an especially daring strategy. It required him to spend more than 60 days campaigning in New Hampshire, fall into sixth place here, then — with first place seemingly out of reach — unleash a last-minute barrage aimed at the second-place candidate.

When a reporter asked if Christie would drop out if he lost in New Hampshire, Christie’s braggadocio dropped a little. His response was, in effect, that it depends on what you mean by losing.

Indeed, Christie’s advisers seemed to be hoping merely for a finish in the top tier, so Christie can go on to South Carolina — but that’s a place where he is not projected to do well.

Marco Rubio Flops On National Debate Stage

There was a series of back-and-forth between Marco Rubio and Chris Christie tonight that left the Florida senator wondering what hit him.

“Marco, the thing is this, when you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person”.

Rubio struggled to fend off the string of searing attacks from Christie but in the end was left baffled and bleeding.

It is not news to politicos that Rubio has a very canned presentation.  It is much akin to Broadway shows where every hand move or foot step is choreographed.  Rubio has the ‘perfect’ answer to any question but it is all part of his over-rehearsed and staged response.  It had no authenticity.

Tonight Rubio was called out on his stale performance by Christie.  What was most shocking however to the American audience was the demonstration by Rubio of what Christie was calling attention to–it was like luring a large fish to a wiggling worm.   Rubio seemingly was not even aware he was just repeating his same trite lines.

This is going to impact the race in New Hampshire where the public is still weighing the candidates and pondering their vote come Tuesday.  What they saw tonight from Rubio will blunt his rise in the polls and prolong the lives of Kasich and Bush.  Both came out of this debate in much better shape than perhaps they even hoped.  Part of that reason is due to the flopping on the stage of the sweat-soaked Rubio.

Moral of this political story is never be cheesy on the national stage.  Someone is more than likely to call attention to it and send you packing.

Marco Rubio Will Need Drip Cloth Around Podium For Sweat

Every four years the days between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary are filled with high political drama.   But this year is so different due to a tight and tense battle among Democrats and a bombastic and snarly campaign among Republicans.    What we have witnessed in the past seems pale to what is now grabbing our attention.  It seems almost hourly that the headlines need to be caught so to keep up with the candidates and the race to Tuesday.  Needless to say we have had fun this week.

In just a few hours the next and pivotal event will occur when the Republican candidates–minus Carly Fiorina–meet for a debate will create some sweat on Marco Rubio’s face.   On a good night he looks like the reincarnation of a sweaty Richard Nixon.  With the political situation now playing with Rubio as the target it is my suggestion he just have a large drip cloth placed on the floor around his podium.

“There is no question that the target on our back has increased,’ says Rubio adviser,” by Shane Goldmacher in Manchester: “Trump may be back on the debate stage but Rubio’s the candidate everyone’s looking to take down”

What needs to be recalled is that Rubio is playing for the establishment lane but has always been a Tea Party favorite.  That he is now causing such distress for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz only makes this all the more interesting to watch unfold.

Tonight the debate will surely include some heat from droopy Ben Carson as he tries to dress down Cruz for election behavior in Iowa.   John Kasich will strive to show his credentials for the nomination knowing full well that he needs to show very well in the primary or go home.  Jeb Bush needs to assert himself in a way that has not been shown before as his real show of strength comes in South Carolina and he needs to play the long game tonight.

The big man on stage, Chris Christie, knows tonight is his farewell to Election 2016.  The massive amount of time he spent in the state is not resonating and he has no where to go after Tuesday.    Lots of spit and sputter but Christie’s time to be recalled on Hunger For Power Games with Steve Colbert is fast approaching.

Meanwhile Carly will be at some diner in New Hampshire greeting those who have no care about watching the debate, and Scott Walker will down a few beers in Madison trying to forget he was ever foolish enough to waste so much money—that still needs to be repaid.

As for this household I think hot chocolate will be the drink of choice as the candidates mount the stage and start their comedy routine.

As I said these days are some of the best every four years.    This political cycle has not let us down!

GOP Debate: America Needs A Credible Nominee

I like to razz the Republican Party about the deep split within their ranks that is now shaking their nominating process to the core.   Watching the other party implode as a spectator sport goes all the way back to the demise of the Federalists.  This is just something that politicos find enjoyable about American politics.

But at the end of the day, I along with the vast majority of others in this nation, fully understand the need for a credible leader to emerge from the field in both major political parties.  Come November 2016 we need to have strong nominees with governing experience, institutional background, and the capability to lead the nation.

That is not only a political need for the Republicans or Democrats.  That view must be seen as an American necessity.

As I watched the Republican debate on Wednesday night while the topic of economics played out in a long series of questions it also struck me that between now and the general election something on the world stage would likely occur which will unnerve us.  Something that we will not expect, yet something that will again demonstrate why the gravitas of the person in the White House matters.  Something that will underscore why we all need to be serious about the process that produces our nominees while at the same time making sure we are stone sober and care about the quality of both candidates–one of which will be the next president.

I am not positive that another ‘Clinton scandal’ will not erupt or that some other factor will not create hardships for Democrats next year.  I want a Democratic victory but nothing is for certainty in politics.  Therefore I want–as we all should–the best and most highly capable person that the GOP can nominate to be there should they prevail at the polling place.

I have watched each of the  Republican debates and can see wheat from the chaff.  But days later I have no way to really explain how the ones with no political experience who provide to the media the most outlandish statements then lead in the polls.

There were three clear leaders from the establishment wing of the party at Wednesday’s debate.   I am not sure two of them in any way really boosted their chances, given the current political climate, while I am most certain one of them created a larger hole for himself.

Both Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were able to wade into policy and ideas and at the same time throw some political elbows and present their fighting sides to the party.  They each are tough politicians who have fought and won their share of battles and, like their stands on the issues or not, they know how to get the trains moving on time.  They have done so in their respective states.  Governing is not a foreign idea to them.

Jeb Bush looked haggard and lacked the spine or spirit to punch and tussle in the arena.   I admit to being stunned by his performance as I have long predicted he would be the nominee.  I am not at all sure that statement can again be made on this blog.   Bush did not seem to be totally engaged in the debate or seeking ways to best frame his arguments.  He allowed Marco Rubio to best him on the matter of a Florida newspaper challenging the senator’s voting record during the campaign.  It was baffling how little fight Bush had in him.

Pound for pound no one came close in giving the most punchy and in-your-face answers as Rubio.  He is not ready to be president but he is every inch the man for his party’s vice-presidential spot and proved how he could be the dynamic star out on the husting’s next fall.

The most inadequate candidates, given the scope of what is required to be president, stood center stage.  Donald Trump and Ben Carson lead in the polls and that sends great spasms of delight from those in the GOP who scorn anything that smacks of experience or insight into governing.  But they simply have no grasp of the enormity of the office they seek or the nuances of policy that is needed to be understood so to best lead the country.

I hear there is anger in the land and especially from fringe elements in the Republican Party and Trump and Carson are the vehicles at this moment who are carrying the feeling nationwide in the campaigns.   But at some point this nation, through the nominating process, needs to place serious-minded people front and center and demand that responsible candidates step up and lead.  

We need to have intelligent and credible set of leaders from both parties to make sure our government works.  We may laugh and twitter over Trump this or Carson that and marvel over how off-the-wall it all is day-after-day.

But as we all know it will be that unexpected headline that will make us wish we had taken this process more seriously when we had the chance.  This nation needs the Republican Party to get their act together!

And that sentient comes from this liberal blogger.

Chris Christie Not Looking Or Sounding Presidential

There is a certain demeanor and composure we expect from our presidential candidates and those who ultimately sit in the Oval Office.     Unless one is looking to impersonate the Richard Nixon White House tapes there is little to recommend in the following from Chris Christie as a model for how candidate should talk.

Gov. Chris Christie, assuring reporters that he is still planning a 2016 presidential campaign, delivered a profanity-laced tirade about the New Jersey press corps on Wednesday night at the annual New Jersey Legislative Correspondents Club Show … Christie told reporters at the dinner that he ‘just doesn’t give a s—’ about them. … Christie, now in his seventh year as governor, seems to have tired of the event. ‘Anything that gets me off this f—— stage next year, I’m willing to do anything,” Christie said. ‘Why do you think I might run for president? Cause I don’t know what primary is in May 2016 next year, but if I’m at 1 f—— percent, I will be there.’ Christie joked about how candid he was being. ‘I can be like this tonight on the record because [Christie Communications Director] Maria Comella is not here, because let me tell you everybody — I’m as scared of her as all of you are’.”