Chris Christie’s No Good, Very Bad, Horrible Week

Chris Christie Donald Trump

‘Sad!’

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attempted to knee-cap Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign at a mid-January New Hampshire presidential debate, it didn’t make much sense.

Christie struggled during his entire presidential campaign to gain traction in a crowded GOP field. But instead of pulling out all the stops against frontrunner Donald Trump that night, Christie instead set his sights on blasting Rubio, who averaged being down against Trump by 15 or so points down the New Hampshire primary homestretch.

With the governor’s “surprise” endorsement of Donald Trump last Friday, the cloudy picture became a little clearer. Christie was helping out a longtime friend officially.

But the aftermath of his enthusiastic proclamation of support for the Trump campaign has been quite brutal and embarrassing for Christie, so much so that his legendary reputation as political rebel may ultimately be downgraded by historians as mirroring a “rebel without a clue.” Here, in no particular order, are five examples.

1. The governor who is often described by political opponents as a bully got dismissed by a bigger one.

Just seconds after Christie threw his hat into the ring for Trump, The Donald dismissed him from the rally like a King would a loyal yet lowly servant:

2. The Christie campaign’s own finance co-chair blistered his endorsement in a statement.

“Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump is an astonishing display of political opportunism. Donald Trump is unfit to be President. He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey. Christie knows all that and indicated as much many times publicly.

The Governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie’s donors and supporters to reject the Governor and Donald Trump outright. I believe they will. For some of us, principle and country still matter.” – Meg Whitman

3. As it turns out, Christie himself struggles explaining why he endorsed Trump.

In a Sunday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the normally well-prepared Christie was grilled on his then-versus-now statements on Trump – who he feuded with just weeks before his endorsement – and stumbled to explain them away. Worse still was the governor’s response to media inquiries about Trump the following day at a presser on his nomination for the New Jersey Supreme Court. In short: “Permission denied.”

As a result of that awful presser, six New Jersey papers issued a joint editorial calling on Christie to resign. Ouch.

4. The New Hampshire Union Leader revoked their endorsement of Christie.

Watching Christie kiss the Donald’s ring this weekend — and make excuses for the man Christie himself had said was unfit for the presidency — demonstrated how wrong we were. Rather than standing up to the bully, Christie bent his knee. In doing so, he rejected the very principles of his campaign that attracted our support.

5. The media has dutifully reminded America of Christie’s (former) arguments against Donald Trump.

“He has not the first idea of how to run a government, not the first idea,” Christie said of Trump on Feb. 7 in Hampton, New Hampshire, when he urged voters to “get off the Trump train before it’s too late.”

As a candidate, Christie ridiculed the Republican frontrunner for having a “make-believe” campaign that amounted to little more than reality TV and sought to remind voters that they aren’t electing an “entertainer-in-chief.”

Perhaps in sort of a Don Vito Corleone kinda way, Christie – whose political star is fading – expects something in return, like a nomination for Attorney General, should Trump get elected. Or maybe even a veep nod. Or maybe Christie is being blackmailed by Trump, as intriguing footage of him looking around nervously from Trump’s Super Tuesday victory presser implies:

Whatever the case may be, one quote of the governor’s from his Trump stump speech last week inadvertently reveals more about Christie than all the rest:

“Desperate people do desperate things.”

Indeed, governor. Indeed.

Which GOP candidate will benefit most from NC changing its presidential primary date?

In my latest at IJ Review, I discuss how North Carolina gearing up to change its presidential primary from May to March could potentially be good news for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker more so than the rest of the crowded but diverse GOP field:

WI Gov. Scott Walker

Advantage: Walker?

In years past, if you were a Republican seeking the GOP presidential nomination, the state of North Carolina wasn’t too high on your list of states to target. The Tar Heel primary has traditionally been held in May, at which point there already was (usually) a presumptive nominee. And, at least until 2008, the state was regarded as safely red for the general election.

This year, however, the low priority of North Carolina for challengers for the Republican nomination looks to be changing, as state legislators are putting the finishing touches on a plan to push the state’s presidential primary to March 15th:

Read the rest here, and please make sure to like and share on Facebook, and retweet on Twitter. Thank you!

PS: It’s important to note that the change in North Carolina is for the presidential primary only – not for other races.

And the award for the dumbest tweet of the day goes to …

…. the pro-abortion “women’s group” Planned Parenthood, commenting on Sen. Rand Paul’s announcement that he’s running for President:

Right-o, because women aren’t students, veterans, etc …. #derp

Useful idiot.

Words of wisdom.

Who said it? “The past 6 years have been really, really hard for this country”

VP Biden - SOTU

Captain Gaffetastic strikes again!
Photo via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

If you guessed our VP Joe “Captain Gaffetastic” Biden, you’d be right (via Memeorandum):

Philadelphia, Pa. (CBS DC/AP) – Vice President Joe Biden told Democrats Friday that the past six years have been “really, really hard” for the country and the Democratic Party.

Speaking at the House Democratic Caucus retreat in Philadelphia Friday morning, Biden stressed that “really tough decisions” have faced both Democrats and the country as a whole.

“To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country,” said Biden.

“And they’ve been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel],” continued Biden. “They’ve been really tough for our party. But together – and together — we made some really, really tough decisions — decisions that weren’t at all popular, hard to explain.”

Watch the video below:

Let’s predict which 2016 presidential contender will use this line first? If you think it’d be Hillary, you’d be wrong … remember, she and Joey B. worked together for the first few years of President Obama’s presidency. Now consider the possibilities if they BOTH run for president. Will other candidates on “their side” use the quote against either of them? Imagine the sparks that will fly … #popcorn

#Hillary2016’s pre-campaign hires spark allegations of “white dudefest 2016”

Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi

HIllary Clinton testifies on Benghazi. – January 2013

The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak has an unintentionally hilarious piece on the state of La Clinton’s “pre-campaign” hires and how the current “all-white, all-male” cast has Democrat strategists hitting the panic button:

Hillary Clinton’s pre-presidential campaign has made some high-profile hires recently—but all of them, so far, are white males. And Democrats have noticed.

Does Hillary Clinton need binders full of women?

Some Democrats, particularly women and people of color, think so.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, nearly a dozen Democrats, said they were worried Clinton’s hires for the top echelons of her pre-campaign haven’t taken gender and racial diversity into account.

Their concern started after early leaks about heavy hitters recruited for the likely 2016 presidential candidate’s proto-campaign all had two distinct things in common: they were white and male.

“Democrats need a leader that can bring together races and nationalities, especially now and especially to win. That starts at the top of the campaign, and Hillary Clinton will need to demonstrate that level of commitment to set the right tone and strategy going forward” said Aimee Allison, senior VP at PowerPAC+, a group founded by major Democratic donor Steve Phillips to build the “political power of the multiracial majority.”

The situation is altogether more jarring, several Democrats interviewed said, when one considers 2008 Hillary’s campaign manager was Patti Solis Doyle, the first Hispanic woman to manage a presidential campaign.

One operative quipped that the top levels of the campaign are in danger of looking like “white dudefest 2016.”

And it gets even better. Read on:

The Democrats who spoke to The Daily Beast didn’t want to be named for a variety of reasons: some were trying to land campaign positions in the 2016 election cycle, or their bosses are expected to support Hillary, or they feared retribution and wanted to speak freely.

The frustrations over racial and gender diversity are especially acute among those staffers who worked on the most recent Obama campaign. Many of them found that women and minority staffers were not elevated to the very top rungs of the campaign structure—nor did they receive nearly enough credit for its eventual success.

One post-campaign retrospective from Rolling Stone drew particular ire—it pointed out ten of the Obama campaign’s ‘real heroes,’ nine of whom were men.

The question of diversity Clinton could face was handled improperly by Obama in the last election cycle, said a strategist who worked on the president’s reelection campaign.

“On these historic campaigns, where you’re trying to change the very image of what the word ‘president’ evokes, what you think of when you think of the word ‘president,’ the leadership was pretty male, pretty white,” she said.

Not exactly a surprise when you consider the White House won’t even practice what it preaches when it comes to one of their pet issues: “equal pay.” As always, it’s “do as I say and not as I do” with Democrats – no matter the issue, really.

And related to “Hillary 2016” talk, Mike Allen at Politico has a good read on her (predicted) future political plans, and talked to numerous Democrats “close to the Clintons” who say she will officially launch her second campaign for President in April and that massive preparation is underway in advance of the expected announcement.  The article also says Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), long speculated to be running and who could have quite possibly been Hillary’s toughest competition in the primaries, “is making no behind-the-scenes preparations” – so apparently Warren was serious when she said she had no plans to run.

As they say, stay tuned, because there’s never a dull moment when it comes to the Clinton political machine … nor the media’s love/hate relationship with Bill and Hill.

Glenn Beck: Hillary “will win” in 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton embraces Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during an appearance to promote her new book, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)

Prominent conservative talker Glenn Beck is making waves this week in like-minded & non-like-minded alike circles with his prediction that Hillary Clinton will win the presidency in 2016.  Via The Politico:

Hillary Clinton will be the next president, Glenn Beck said on his radio show Tuesday.

Beck said a friend of his spoke with “some Hillary people” about her 2016 campaign strategy and after he heard it, he realized the former first lady and secretary of state would become the next White House occupant.

“You guys are going to all be fighting on Benghazi and everything else,” Beck said his friend told him. “And here is what Hillary is going to do: ‘Do you remember when America was good? Do you remember when America, we had jobs and we were building towards a brighter future? And things were really happening? Clinton administration. We had it under control. Things were good, they weren’t great. We’re going to do better. But we’re going to replant our flag in the traditional things that you understand. But the traditional things in the Clinton administration. We could talk about Ronald Reagan all we want. … But the Clinton years were the golden years.’”

[…]

“While we’re talking about technicalities and the past, they’re going to be talking about a past that was brightly remembered, and they will talk about the America we will become,” he added. “She. Will. Win.”

As much respect as I have for Glenn Beck and his opinions on all things political, I’m not buying it. This is the exact campaign Hillary Clinton ran in 2007-08 against Barack Obama.  ‘Vote for me and we’ll return to the glory years you saw before President Bush was elected’, blah blah.  And she lost.  Granted, she wouldn’t be running against a slick talker like Barack Obama the second time around, but that doesn’t mean it’d be smooth sailing for her during the primaries, especially if Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has become a major darling in hard-line Democrat circles, throws her hat into the ring.  As much as the left would love to “coronate” Hillary as the first female president in US history, they want someone who embodies more of their core left wing values and Hillary is largely seen right now as conveniently “playing it safe” and “down the middle” rather than attempting to appeal to her party’s base – unlike Warren – also a woman, of course, and one who is unashamedly liberal.

There seems to be this growing sense of “inevitability” – even on our side – that Hillary will be elected the next president.  Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I don’t think her election is a done deal.  There’s still a lot of ground to cover – both for her potential Democrat and Republican challengers, and for Hillary as well – between now and the time everyone starts announcing their intentions, and in an era where the “fresh and new and different” kind of candidates seem to be more appealing to the masses, someone like La Clinton who has been a national political fixture since the early 1990s may end up struggling to make it into the top three in the primaries.

Of course, it’s early still – and anything is possible so, as they say, stay tuned …

#RedMeatThursday: Poll shows Gov. Sandoval could beat Senator Reid

Senator Harry Reid

Trouble ahead for “Pinky” Reid?

I know 2016 Senate races are way off but this, my dear readers, is tantalizing for those of us whose top five Senate priorities include either politically neutralizing Reid or ousting him from office completely via the ballot box:

Gov. Brian Sandoval leads Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 10 percentage points in a hypothetical 2016 U.S. Senate matchup, according to a new poll that represents the first public release of results in this potential race.

The survey, conducted by Harper Polling earlier this week, also shows, as other surveys do, Sandoval cruising to re-election (56-34) over Bob Goodman. The robo-survey of 602 statewide voters has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Sandoval crushes Reid among independents, 65-28. Reid’s 55 percent unfavorable rating is all but fatal — you know, just as it was in 2010.

There is a lot of other data in the survey, which pollster Brock McCleary said he paid for himself, likely as an entree into Nevada to try to get business. The numbers, demographics (43-37 Dem/GOP, 53-47 female/male) generally look solid, although Sandoval’s unfavorable number (30 percent) seems a tad high (although possible). Harper is a former GOP operative on Capitol Hill, running the polling operation for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Intriguing, to say the least, but as Andrew Johnson at National Review notes, Reid looked pretty vulnerable in 2010 but ended up winning by 6 points over GOP nominee Sharron Angle.  So who knows?

No matter who the eventual nominee ends up being, look for Reid, a Senator since 1987, to play all his usual dirty tricks and pull out all the stops, maneuvering the state political system to suit his own ends.  Typical of a paranoid entrenched liberal politico who can’t win the conventional way, you know, by earning (rather than BUYING) votes.

Stay tuned.

What happens when you write a book critical of the Clintons

The Clintons

The Clintons

The Politico has published a piece written by Weekly Standard’s Daniel  Harper detailing some of the (predictable) attacks the Clinton machine waged against him in response to his writing of a book critical to both Hillary and Bill Clinton:

When I started to write Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, I knew the reaction to expect. I was well aware that the former (and perhaps future) first family and its massive retinue of loyalty enforcers, professional defamers and assorted gadflies would rue my intent to examine the real Clintons—especially in my search for the real Chelsea Clinton, who until now has been a media-protected nonperson despite her aggressive public activities on her family’s behalf and despite raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from her role as former first daughter.

[…]

But even if I hadn’t known it, many, many people in Washington, on the left and right, popped up to warn me of what to expect from the Clinton PR team. Other authors—legitimate ones with serious pedigrees—who’d written about the Clintons said they were threatened and verbally attacked. Of course, nearly everyone in Washington has seen the much-vaunted Clinton PR machine in action. It’s very predictable. Here’s how it works:

1) Media intimidation tactics: Following their usual method of operation, the first thing Team Clinton would do is attempt a media blackout. A producer with CNN said I’d never be able to get any airtime on her show because the Clintons punish networks that give space to their perceived enemies. So far, even claims in my book that were well sourced with on-the-record quotes—such as Bill Clinton offering counsel to John McCain in how to defeat Barack Obama in 2008—have been all but ignored by the mainstream media.

2) Defame and attack: There would be repeated efforts to turn me into a kook or right-wing hit man. Though they haven’t yet gone so far to label me a “crazed stalker” like they did with Monica Lewinsky, the reliable Clinton aide Nick Merrill has repeatedly deployed a classic Clinton spin line on my work—before it was even on sale, mind you, and presumably he hadn’t yet read it. “It’s sad to see Daniel Halper join the discredited and disgraced ranks” of other authors supposedly out to get them at all costs, he emailed the Huffington Post. Sadly, I received no credit from the Clintons or from Merrill for the praise of both Bill (that he’s a “political genius) and Hillary (that she’s “intensely likable”) in various parts of the book. Merrill also claimed I was just out “to make a buck.” Which I take it means that Bill and Hillary Clinton donated all the proceeds of their millions in book deals to charity?

Heh.

Since it’s inevitable (in my view) that La Clinton is going to run again, I’d encourage you to buy Halper’s book for a refresher course … in case you need it … on who the Clintons are, what to expect in the coming months, etc.  Also, Michael Crowley wrote an illuminating piece on the Clintons at the left-leaning New Republic back in 2007 that  sheds some serious light on the devious Clinton war room in action.  There’s a reason they typically get favorable coverage, folks, and it’s not always because the media leans left.

GOP stakes claim on Ohio as Cleveland is selected for #RNC2016

Ballot box

Via Fox News:

The GOP revealed a portion of its 2016 battle plan Tuesday, selecting Cleveland — the new home of “Johnny Football” Manziel and possible future home of LeBron James — as the site of its national convention. 

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the decision Tuesday on Fox News, in an early play for voters in the battleground state, which President Obama won in 2008 and 2012 but which is also the home to Speaker John Boehner. 

“We couldn’t be more excited,” Priebus told Fox News. “It’s a city that’s on the rise.” 

The contest came down to Dallas and Cleveland. 

The Republicans’ site selection committee met Tuesday to review the two remaining cities’ bids. The full 168-member RNC is expected to ratify the choice next month. 

The plans are for the GOP convention to begin on either June 28 or July 18 of 2016. 

Ohio lawmakers were ecstatic after hearing the news. 

“This is great news for Cleveland and our entire state,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “It’s a unique opportunity to showcase the new Cleveland as one of America’s great cities, and to bring dollars and jobs to Ohio.” 

Ohio, along with Florida, has long been a prized battleground, but Obama has claimed it in the last two presidential races. Priebus acknowledged the state’s political importance in announcing Cleveland as the 2016 selection. 

That’s an understatement if there ever was one:

No Republican has won a presidential election without winning Ohio since Abraham Lincoln in 1860. President John F. Kennedy (D) was the last candidate to win the White House without Ohio.

Ohio is a tough nut to crack – and it goes without saying that it’s not a given that holding the national convention in a particular state guarantees you will win it come November.  Just ask Barack Obama, whose party held their convention here in Charlotte, NC in 2012 but still lost the state.  Still, it’s worth a shot – provided the campaign for the eventual GOP nominee for President devotes every dime and amount of time it can to winning it.

As they say, stay tuned.

Pres. Obama “quietly” backing Sen. Warren over Hillary for 2016?

Hillary and Obama

Has the backstabbing between the two already started?

An intriguing report from the NY Post’s Edward Klein (via):

President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton, sources tell me.

Publicly, Obama has remained noncommittal on the 2016 race, but privately he worries that Clinton would undo and undermine many of his policies. There’s also a personal animosity, especially with Bill Clinton, that dates from their tough race six years ago.

A former Harvard law professor and administration aide, Warren would energize the left wing of the Democrat Party just as Obama did against Clinton in 2008.

Thanks to her outspoken stand against big banks and the top 1 percent, Warren is the darling of progressives. She won her Senate seat thanks to millions of dollars in donations from outside Massachusetts, including from rich environmentalists and Hollywood celebrities.

Obama has authorized his chief political adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to conduct a full-court press to convince Warren to throw her hat into the ring.

In the past several weeks, Jarrett has held a series of secret meetings with Warren. During these meetings, Jarrett has explained to Warren that Obama is worried that if Hillary succeeds him in the White House, she will undo many of his policies.

Back in April, Legal Insurrection’s Bill Jacobson wrote of his belief that Senator Warren would “crush” Clinton in the Democrat primaries because she’s even more left wing than Hillary:

Forget the current polling as between Hillary and Elizabeth Warren. It pits Hillary against someone who “isn’t running.”

For all my criticisms of Warren, and they are extensive, I am convinced that if she ran, she would crush Hillary, just as Obama did.

Warren, as did Obama, has a unique ability to demagogue the core Democratic narrative of victimhood in ways that would make Hillary blush. She is more cunning than Hillary, more popular with the base, would bring an excitement the contrived Ready-for-Hillary movement could only dream of.   Democrats may be “ready” for Hillary, but they don’t really want her.

He referenced a Byron York piece written around the same time that listed several reasons why Warren should run whether or not La Clinton decides to do the same:

1. Life is unpredictable. Clinton will be 69 years old on inauguration day 2017, nearly the oldest president ever. She has had a few health scares. By all accounts, she left her previous four-year stint in government service exhausted. She might not run, and the Democrat in second place in the polls, Vice President Joe Biden — 74 on inauguration day — is too old to be president. Beyond them, Democrats have nobody — except Elizabeth Warren.

2. Parties need competition. The primary process isn’t just to allow voters to pick a nominee. It’s for the candidates to become better candidates. The rigors of campaigning, the day-to-day jostle with competitors and the stress of high-profile debates all make candidates better. Conversely, a cakewalk through the primaries could leave a nominee in poor fighting shape for a general election. Warren would make Clinton a better candidate, and vice-versa.

3. The Left wants a hero. Clinton has never really excited the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party. They see her as an overcautious centrist like her husband, and on top of that, many have never forgiven her for voting to authorize the war in Iraq. Warren, on the other hand, has thrilled the Left with her attacks on inequality, plutocrats and big financial institutions.

4. Hillary ran a dumb campaign in 2008 and might do so again. For a group of seasoned veterans, the 2008 Clinton campaign showed a stunning ignorance of how to win delegates in a Democratic contest. Rival Barack Obama exploited that weakness brilliantly. For example, Obama collected more net delegates by winning the Idaho caucuses, with 21,000 participants, than Clinton did by winning the New Jersey primary, with more than 1 million voters. Clinton just didn’t pay attention to the smaller stuff, particularly the caucuses, and her cluelessness helped Obama win. It might help another rival in 2016.

5. One more time: Life is unpredictable. This is Warren’s only chance to run. She will be 67 on Inauguration Day 2017. (Has any party ever fielded a group as old as Clinton, Biden and Warren?) A run in 2020 or later is out of the question. Hillary, now struggling to define her legacy as Secretary of State, is running on pure entitlement. The only thing about her candidacy that truly excites the Democratic base is that she would be the first woman president. Of course, that applies to Elizabeth Warren, too. And Warren would present a far fresher face to voters than Clinton, who has been in the national spotlight since 1992.

Heck, I dunno what the future holds for either of them – in spite of the fact that I’ve predicted outright that Hillary will make one last try of it in 2016.  As noted above, Senator Warren is an unashamed Massachusetts liberal while Hillary likes to pretend she’s a middle of the road type.  Not only that, there is no love lost between the Clintons and the Obamas – in spite of public appearances to the contrary – especially when it comes to Bill and the President, so it certainly wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility that Obama has already placed his legacy cards in Senator Warren’s basket, believing she would be a viable female contender for President against Hillary.  No matter what happens, though, one thing I’ll be doing over the next few months as decisions are made and announced is stocking up on the popcorn, because things are shaping up to be quite interesting in terms of potential 2016 contenders, at least on the Democrat side …. ;)