I Love This

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt  just called the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) the “Star Wars bar scene of the conservative movement.”  What a perfect image!

He made the comment in reference to CPAC’s not inviting NJ Gov. Chris Christie to speak this year.  Schmidt called Christie “the most effective conservative governor in the country” and “somebody that could potentially change the electoral map.”

Schmidt went on to say:  “But I want to set the record straight on something, CPAC is not the Republican Party.”

Well, Steve, CPAC may not be the party, but it certainly has the GOP by the balls.


Sleazy Dick Morris Blames Sandy, Christie

Dick Morris predicted a Romney landslide.  He admits his turnout model was wrong (he thought 2008 was an aberration), but it was Sandy and Christie that “made all the difference.”  Bullpucky, as Rachel would say.

From “Why I Was Wrong,” which I got in a mass email from him:

The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels.  Didn’t happen.  These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay.

I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008.  I was wrong.  They did.

But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s [sic] fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.

It made all the difference.

Sandy, in retrospect, stopped Romney’s post-debate momentum. [Not trueNate Silver showed that Mitts momentum ended in midOctober, long before Sandy.]  She was, indeed, the October Surprise.  She also stopped the swelling concern over the murders in Benghazi and let Obama get away with his cover-up in which he pretended that a terrorist attack was, in fact, just a spontaneous demonstration gone awry.

This is not your father’s United States and the Republican tilt toward white middle aged and older voters is ghettoizing the party so that even bad economic times are not enough to sway the election.  [Be afraid, white people, be very afraid.  And yes, he really did apply the word “ghettoizing” to white people.]

Emphasis added.

As Expected, They’re Not Getting It

I got this in an email from some Tea Party group:

“We’re disappointed in Governor Romney’s loss. But this goes to the heart of what we have been saying all along. Bob Dole didn’t win. John McCain didn’t win. And now Mitt Romney hasn’t won. The lesson the GOP and Americans need to learn is that weak-kneed Republicans do not get elected. Conservatives do.”

“The Tea Party has not yet begun to fight. It’s time for a wholesale reassessment of the D.C. establishment politicians and party grandees who have no commitment or courage to reduce the size of government. We now have another four years ahead of us with Barack Obama leading the charge against liberty.”

They’ll blame Mitt and Sandy and Christie, they’ll blame the media, they’ll do everything but look in the mirror.  It’s not about weak knees, it’s about addled brains.

Fine with me, move even farther to the right, you nut jobs, and keep losing.

Christie Hits Back at Romney Campaign in Tough Jersey Style

NJ Gov. Chris Christie hits back at criticism from unnamed Romney staffers for his failure to join Mitt at an event in Pennsylvania on Sunday:

“I told Gov. Romney at that time that if the storm landed as predicted that it was going to be catastrophic to New Jersey and unprecedented.  I said to him, ‘Listen, Mitt, if this storm hits the way I think it’s going to, I’m off the campaign trail from here to Election Day.’ And he said to me, ‘Chris, of course. Do your job, don’t worry about me. I’ll take care of things.’ So all this other noise, I think, is coming from know-nothing, disgruntled Romney staffers who, you know, don’t like the fact that I said nice things about the president of the United States. Well, that’s too bad for them.”  Emphasis added.

Politico: Mitt Loved Christie Before Christie Loved O

Politico is reporting* that Chris Christie was Mitt’s first choice for Veep, but that Mitt delayed announcing his choice and changed his mind either during or immediately after his disastrous trip to Europe and Israel.

The story is based on unnamed “campaign insiders.”  The fact that Mitt’s people are talking about this now, rather than, oh, maybe on Wednesday, tells me that they know they’ve lost.  The wheels came off the McCain campaign at the end too.

* “Exclusive:  Christie was Mitt’s first choice for VP,” Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei

Frankly, My Dear Mitt, He Doesn’t Give a Damn

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

“So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.” 

Asked about touring storm damage with Mitt, Christie said this to the Three Stooges on Fox and Friends:

“I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested.  I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could [sic] care less about any of that stuff.  I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power, I’ve got devastation on the shore, I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don’t know me.”


OK, Now I’m Shocked

This will turn your stomach.

Haley Barbour met with a small group of top donors to Karl Rove’s Super PAC last week in Tampa and told them he was sorry that Chris Christie didn’t “put a hot poker to Obama’s butt” in his keynote address.

Doesn’t the former governor of Mississippi know that some slaves were branded like animals?

Barbour thought it was a private meeting (as did Rove himself when he made his joke about Todd Akin getting murdered), but Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting the comments.

UPDATE:  Barbour has apologized.

Tony Soprano in Brideshead Revisited

From “Chris Christie’s flop at the GOP convention,” John Harris and Tim Mak, Politico:

“There is no mistaking what a successful keynote speech for Chris Christie would have looked and sounded like. There would have been an electric reaction from the crowd in the convention hall. It would have been followed by waves of effusive media commentary about how people had just heard the future of the Republican Party.

“Judged by these standards, there is also no mistaking what the New Jersey governor delivered instead: A prime-time belly-flop, one that notably failed to clear either of those two high bars.

“The fallout on Wednesday was the talk of Tampa and left Christie on the defensive to avoid lasting damage to his political fortunes. It also revealed tensions between the Christie and Mitt Romney camps.”

I would add that Christie’s me-myself-and-I approach is especially galling and alien to Mitt, given his personality and background.  Mitt comes from that privileged, prep-school upbringing, based on British upper class values, that emphasizes being self-effacing and never bragging or calling attention to yourself in any way.  It’s just “bad form.”  It’s similar to how Bush 41 was raised, and much of the criticism about Mitt as a candidate is similar to that faced by 41.   A huge culture clash between Waspy and Jersey.  Kind of like having Tony Soprano appear in Brideshead Revisited.


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended himself today against criticism that he didn’t mention Mitt Romney during the first 16 minutes of his keynote address last night at the GOP convention.

Unfortunately, Christie was attending a breakfast for New Hampshire delegates at the time.  You know, the state that happens to hold the first primary.

Ann, Christie Messages Clash

Ann Romney took the stage at the GOP convention last night and said that she was there to talk about love.

Immediately after, Chris Christie took the stage.  Love?  Fuhgeddaboudit.  He was there to talk about respect.

It was an awkward contrast, and it made the messages seem totally uncoordinated.  The speeches aren’t supposed to take place in individual vacuums, they are supposed to flow and create an overall consistent narrative.

Similarly, you had a succession of GOP governors talk about how great things are in their state, how the economy was getting better with more jobs and lower unemployment.  Again, those states don’t exist in a vacuum, you add up their stories and put them all together, and it creates an overarching impression that the economy must be improving all across the country — under President Obama.  It was as if no one thought through the cumulative effect of these gubernatorial testimonies.

Ann Romney’s speech wasn’t what I expected.  I thought she was going to tell warm and fuzzy Mitt stories that would make us see him as less cold and robotic.  Instead, she shamelessly pandered to women, as if saying “I love you, women.  We hear your voices,” would make up for a GOP platform that says no abortions ever, even if you’ve been raped, or if the pregnancy will kill you.   The GOP may hear women’s voices, but it doesn’t listen to them and honor them.

She came across as noblesse oblige-y in her efforts to say she understands the problems and struggles of women who aren’t as well off as she is, which is pretty much all the other women in this country, unless you’re Miriam Adelson or Julia Koch.  Ann went from her rich daddy’s house to her rich husband’s house.  She has never had to worry about paying an emergency room bill or keeping the heat on.  She has never spent a day outside the cocoon of the 1%.

She didn’t make us see Mitt through a gauzier lens, and she had nothing concrete to offer women to offset the GOP’s Taliban positions.  I don’t think her speech moved the numbers among women at all, so to me it was a failure.

Christie told us how wonderful he is and what a great job he’s done in Jersey.  Again, I don’t think his speech moved any numbers for Mitt.  Mitt needs votes in 2012, Christie was looking for votes in 2016.