Chris Christie Hits Congress, President Over Shutdown

Chris Christie had some words about the crisis in D.C., and they almost sound like they could be part of a 2016 campaign message

Chris-Christie-Hurricane-Sandy

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had few kind words to say for anyone on Capitol Hill:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday blamed President Barack Obama for “not bringing people together” during the government shutdown debate and said the president would be ultimately responsible for a funding stoppage.

“My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with, and say, ‘We’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem, because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said.

“When you’re the executive, if you’re waiting for leadership from the legislative branch of government, whether you’re the governor, or whether you’re the president or you’re mayor, you are going to be waiting forever, forever because they’re not built to lead and take risk.”

Speaking at an event for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation just hours before the shutdown deadline loomed, the potential 2016 presidential contender said blame should also be placed on Republicans and Democrats in Congress. But, the tough-talking Garden State governor said, the chief executive is the one who needs to corral support, no matter how difficult it may be to come by.

Legislators, Christie said, are not “built to lead and take risk.”

“What they are built to do is say, ‘Ok how many votes do we have and how many do we need and do I have to give my vote now or can I hold back a little bit and wait to see which way the wind is blowing?” Christie said. “The only person that forces that in the end, to end that, is the executive.”

These are comments that shouldn’t come as a surprised to anyone who’s been following Chris Christie since he took office in 2009. From the beginning, even though he was a Republican Governor in a state dominated by a Democratic Legislature, Christie has used both the force of his own personality and the power of one of the most powerful Governor’s offices in the country to push through compromises with Democrats on issues ranging from education to property tax reform to budgets, and he’s done so with a blunt style that has resonated very well both in the Garden State and around the country. For Christie what he’s suggesting here is pretty much exactly how he’s handled the conflicts that have arisen in New Jersey politics over the past four years and, for the most part, it has worked, especially in the sense that you certainly can’t say that state government in New Jersey is gridlocked in the manner that the United States Government has been for the past four years. Yes, partly that is due to the fact that legislators at the state level seem to have a better to idea of how to work together, but it also helps to have a Chief Executive who can “knock heads” when needed. Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

The Washington Post’s Jena McGregor, however, thinks Christie misses the point:

[W]here he’s wrong—at least in this situation—is the idea that the president can force other leaders into a room, tell them they can’t leave because he’s the boss, and expect a solution. That’s not only wishful thinking, it’s a simplistic idea of leadership.

As we saw in the debt ceiling crisis in 2011, House Speaker John Boehnerwalked awayfrom negotiations with President Obama about a deal to raise the debt limit. The president may be the chief executive and have the bully pulpit, but he can’t fire John Boehner or Eric Cantor or force them to negotiate with him. That may not be why Obama decided against engaging in talks this time—the president’s position is that a functioning, funded government and paying the government’s obligations are not the stuff of deal-making. But had he done so, the idea that Boehner or Cantor would keep their seats simply because the president told them to is far-fetched.

(…)

The final problem with a group session of party leaders to reach a compromise, of course, is that the forces dictating the terms of the debate would not be in attendance. Christie’s approach might work if Boehner were really leading his party, but he’s not. It’s being led by the far right wing of his party. The idea that a group of leaders can work out a solution presumes that the people in the room are actually the ones in charge.

McGregor is right on this last point, and one suspects that even as powerful a force as Christie would find it difficult to ride herd on a House GOP Caucus that can’t even seem to agree on a unified message at this point. Nonetheless, this idea of the President as the leader who gets in there and gets things done is one, I’d suggest that resonates well with many Americans and could serve well as the central theme of a Presidential campaign should Christie choose to run. At the very least, it seems clear to me that this past week has been bad news for potential Republican candidates in 2016 based in Washington, whether its Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Marco Rubio, and good news for those candidates who are Governors, such as Christie. Indeed, if the Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to see their stock diminish in the eyes of the general public then the GOP may find once again that its time to turn to a Governor as their Presidential candidate since, historically, that seems to be where they’ve had the most success.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Christie’s re-election campaign released this ad today:

That could easily be an opening ad for a Presidential run.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2013, Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    “…New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday blamed President Barack Obama for “not bringing people together..”

    Give me a break…this is just more of your BOTH SIDES bull-$hit.
    Get over it. Both sides don’t do it. This is on the Republicans. Period.
    They’ve been planning on takeing the economy hostage for months.
    Now they have.
    Quoting BS from Govenor Krispee Kreme isn’t going to change that.

  2. Franklin says:

    I agree with McGregor’s analysis almost exactly. First off, it’s called separation of powers. The executive branch is not exactly like a business executive. And yeah, second, Boehner can be negotiated with, but that won’t do much good. It’s the terrorists (hyperbole alert!) that can’t and shouldn’t be negotiated with.

  3. David M says:

    Do I think the GOP would shut down the government if Christie was President? No

    Does that mean anything positive about the GOP or Christie? No

    Does it help with current GOP shutdown? No

    Is Christie making things worse with his “both sides” nonsense? Yes

  4. Moosebreath says:

    “We’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem, because I’m the boss, I’m in charge”

    Someone needs to give the governor so nice they named him twice a copy of the Constitution.

  5. Mark Ivey says:

    First Christie must win the GOP civil war, and he ain´t drinking enough Tea for that..

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans have rejected budget conferences 18 times in the last year.
    That’s on McConnell and Cruz.
    Negotiate that.
    F’ing both sides nonsense…fool.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    Why is anyone getting excited about how the irrelevant Republicans are going to nominate in 2016 when that candidate will have zero chance of winning in the general election. Does anyone really believe that Christie’s act will survive the long presidential campaign.

    The more relevant question for politics is when will the Democrats regain control of House. That is a possibility with each election cycle unlike the zero possibility that a Republican will be sitting in the White House again.

  8. rudderpedals says:

    All this can be yours and you want to have a beer with him, go on admit it you know you do. Send one extra-large Green Lantern costume to: Gov, Gov, Trenton NJ 07001

  9. Rafer Janders says:

    Yes, partly that is due to the fact that legislators at the state level seem to have a better to idea of how to work together, but it also helps to have a Chief Executive who can “knock heads” when needed. Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    Oh my god, Doug, you are a moron. A moron.

    Seriously, I’m at my limit with this deliberate dumbassery of yours. To quote Nick Chait on Jon Gillespie today, “It’s continually amazing to me that this publication publishes commentary on public policy by a writer who lacks even a rudimentary understanding of the policy process.”

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with, and say, ‘We’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem, because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said.

    And if I was one of those people in that room with him? I would laugh in his face, spit on his shoes, turn around and leave.

    Cause “Hey Christie? You ain’t the Boss, Bruce is and he doesn’t like you any more than I, you fat useless piece of junk.”

  11. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    Since there is not going to be another Republican White House, I doubt if the Democrats are concerned about any form of payback in the future. As the Democrats become the one dominant political party in the U.S., the Democratic establishment does not have to care about payback or even care what the last few Republicans do.

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    Yes, partly that is due to the fact that legislators at the state level seem to have a better to idea of how to work together, but it also helps to have a Chief Executive who can “knock heads” when needed. Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    Once more, from Chait:

    Second, blaming the president for failing to “kick the asses” of leaders of the opposing party is a really dumb way to think about government, and especially so for a libertarian. Your analysis is that the president needs to compel the opposing party to accept policies it doesn’t like? That’s a libertarian analysis?

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/10/confused-libertarian-demands-strongman.html

  13. James Pearce says:

    “My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with, and say, ‘We’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem, because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said.

    This approach would work if Christie were president, but that’s mostly because the boneheads that need sitting down are in his party.

  14. wr says:

    This is exactly the same as John McCain’s explanation of how he’d stop the fighting between factions in Iraq: “I get them in a room and tell them to cut the crap!”

    Because of course in both cases there aren’t people on both sides who have passionate beliefs about the way their country should be run. They’re just little kids who need a stern daddy to tell them to behave.

  15. Tillman says:

    Christie’s governorship wields more power over the state legislature than Obama’s presidency does over Congress.

    Christie is speaking from inapplicable experience, and worse, he doesn’t seem to care (if he knows).

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    but it also helps to have a Chief Executive who can “knock heads” when needed. Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    I am in full agreement with Rafer here, Doug. Don’t know about Roosevelt as he was before my time, but if I recall my history correctly, he got his “bell rung” more than a few times (how’d that court packing scheme go for him?). LBJ was a great one for twisting arms and back room deals, but those days are long past (anybody else here want a return to the “backroom deals?). Reagan? Really? The guy who didn’t know half of what his own administration was up to? (shakes head) Clinton??? The guy who got impeached over a few spots on a blue dress? Yeah…. Some real head knocking going on there.

  17. Rafer Janders says:

    They’re just little kids who need a stern daddy to tell them to behave.

    Which is what people with deep-seated authority and inadequacy issues really want, isn’t it? That’s why so many guys on the right are so enamored of these Big Daddy figures.

    I really wish that these people could work out their psycho-sexual kinks in the bedroom or dungeon, like normal people, instead of inflicting them on all of us in the public policy arena.

  18. Rafer Janders says:

    it also helps to have a Chief Executive who can “knock heads” when needed. Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    You know who was real good at knocking heads and backroom deal-making and cajoling and twisting arms? Abraham Lincoln.

    And yet none of that mattered, because the South was determined to defy him at every turn, and no amount of deal-making, even by one of the most intelligent and inspired politicians in American history, was able to prevent secession. You can only make deals with people who want to make a deal in return. Ask the parent of any two-year old.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman:

    Christie is speaking from inapplicable experience, and worse, he doesn’t seem to care (if he knows).

    He doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know, ’cause he’s Christie and that makes it so.

  20. Rafer Janders says:

    Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    Well, we can’t ask Roosevelt, LBJ or Reagan — BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD, DOUG — but sure, let’s ask Bill Clinton!

    BILL CLINTON: Obama Needs To Call The GOP’s Bluff On Government Shutdown

    Former President Bill Clinton urged Obama to stand up to Republicans threatening a government shutdown unless changes are made to the Affordable Care Act, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this may be the time to call their bluff.

    “They [the GOP] haven’t asked for negotiations,” Clinton told Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “They said, ‘Yeah, we negotiate with everybody and we don’t like where it came out. We want our way. It’s our way or the highway. And if you don’t do it, we’ll shut the government down.'”

    “I think there are times when you have to call people’s bluff,” he added.

    ….Instead of offering negotiation this time around, Clinton blasted Republicans as trying to “dictate” over others.

    “We don’t want to negotiate with the Senate. We acknowledge that the Senate Democrats and Republicans have negotiated, but they’re not right-wing enough for us,” Clinton said of Tea Party Republicans. “In other words, we want to dictate over the Senate, over the House Democrats, over the speaker of the house of our own party and over the president, we insist on dictating the course of—[the country].”

    “I’ve never seen a time — can you remember a time in your lifetime when a major political party was just sitting around, begging for America to fail?” Clinton asked.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-clinton-obama-call-gop-bluff-2013-9#ixzz2gUu8JuCd

  21. Rafer Janders says:

    Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    What? No love for the strategic genius of George W. Bush?

  22. al-Ameda says:

    This is pretty much dead on:

    The Washington Post’s Jena McGregor, however, thinks Christie misses the point:

    As we saw in the debt ceiling crisis in 2011, House Speaker John Boehner walked awayfrom negotiations with President Obama about a deal to raise the debt limit. The president may be the chief executive and have the bully pulpit, but he can’t fire John Boehner or Eric Cantor or force them to negotiate with him. That may not be why Obama decided against engaging in talks this time—the president’s position is that a functioning, funded government and paying the government’s obligations are not the stuff of deal-making. But had he done so, the idea that Boehner or Cantor would keep their seats simply because the president told them to is far-fetched.

    Actually, Christie knows all that, he’s throwing a little red meat to the base Republican jackals.

  23. Matt Bernius says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually, Christie knows all that, he’s throwing a little red meat to the base Republican jackals.

    There is a time honored, bipartisan tradition, especially among Presidential hopefuls to lecture the sitting PoTUS on what he should do in any given situation.

    Usually when folks get into the office, they rarely do what they said they would do when the same type of situation rears its head.

    And on this note, Obama was/is just like everyone else. And if Christie through some divine intervention ends up in the Oval Office, he’ll discover the same thing.

  24. MattT says:

    Props to Doug for not actually buying Christie’s President-as-Green-Lantern, “both sides do it” nonsense, and recognizing this as a campaign speech.

    Now, any comments on Nick Gillespie’s recent emission?

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, it’s also setting up for the next statement, chastising Obama for not being REEEASONable.

    Good lord. They really are like two-year olds, aren’t they?

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Good lord. They really are like two-year olds, aren’t they?

    This is all about Republicans trying to be sure enough people start believing that notion that Democrats in general (and Obama in particular) are responsible for this completely Republican-induced shutdown. I can hardly wait for the upcoming second bi-annual Republican-induced downgrade in the credit rating of Federal debt securities.

  27. john personna says:

    Of the zingers Christie could attempt, in an effort to restore himself with the base, this is about the best way he could go.

    It’s a weak charge, as if Obama could just talk his way to love with the Tea Party, but it’s not as crazy as the truly crazy things we’ve seen, the “cuz socialist” stuff.

  28. beth says:

    Obama should call Christie’s bluff and ask him to come to Washington to act as “special budget envoy” to sit down with both sides and work things out. You’d sure see Christie running away faster than he’s ever run in his life.

  29. Steve V says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually, Christie knows all that, he’s throwing a little red meat to the base Republican jackals.

    Yep, Republicans are good at this tough-guy electioneering piffle. I think a lot of people like it, too, even if it doesn’t reflect reality.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @beth: You’d sure see Christie running walking away as faster as a box turtle than he’s ever run in his life. ’cause that’s all he’s capable of.

    FTFY

  31. C. Clavin says:

    Rand Paul:

    “You know, I think it was helpful to talk more about it…We haven’t had a big debate about Obamacare really since it passed in Congress. And so I think it was helpful to have the debate.”

    Is there anything dumber than a Libertarian????

  32. Rob in CT says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    This.

    Christie tries to project himself as the reasonable grownup who, while Republican (and therefore required to produce Republican shibboleths), could (magically, somehow) make everything ok.

    It is understandable, in a way. It’s bullshit, but I get it. It’s the sort of bullshit I can tolerate. YMMV.

  33. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I would actually think Rand is damning the effort with faint praise, there.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @ JP…
    Maybe…or maybe you give him too much credit…

  35. John D'Geek says:

    While I am socially required to insult New Jersey at every turn, I find myself needing to defend it. What a crazy world …

    @beth:

    Obama should call Christie’s bluff …

    Bluff? no.

    @Steve V:

    Yep, Republicans are good at this tough-guy electioneering piffle. I think a lot of people like it, too, even if it doesn’t reflect reality.

    Y’all obviously know nothing about New Jersey. NJ is a “no-holds-barred-lay-everything-on-the-line” state. Democrats and Republicans alike.

    Should our President do as suggested and invite Chris Christie to DC to run the negotiations, he would be on the plane immediately. He would arrive at DC, immediately demand the feuding parties show up to his conference (probably from a news conference right off the plane) … and offend pretty much everyone on Capitol Hill (well, except the NJ or NYC members; they’re familiar enough with the subculture to find it refreshing rather than offensive).

    1) Christie gets a ratings boost; 2) Everyone else other than Obama gets a ratings drop; 3) Obama would get a ratings boost for “leadership and reaching across the isle”.

    Chris Christie is many things … but a bluffer is not one of them. And the “tough guy” thing isn’t an act.

    It’s New Jersey.

  36. John D'Geek says:

    @Rob in CT: You’re not really in CT, are you? I would think you’d get enough “Jersey Boys” up there to know that they don’t try to project “reasonable”.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    Someone has been watching too many Soprano re-runs.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John D’Geek:

    And the “tough guy” thing isn’t an act.

    If Christie qualifies as a “tough guy” in New Jersey, than somebody stole Tony Soprano from another state. Really, who buys this act? Not me. And I’m not a tough guy. I just know a phony bloviator when I see one.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John D’Geek:

    I would think you’d get enough “Jersey Boys” up there to know that they don’t try to project “reasonable”.

    John, if that is what Jersey Boys do, they better not come down to our hills and hollers here. If they do, they will probably end up squeeeeeeeling like a pig ’cause they sure do have purty lips….

  40. wr says:

    @John D’Geek: “And the “tough guy” thing isn’t an act.”

    Um, yes it is. Christie isn’t a “tough guy.” Tough guys take on opponents who are bigger and stronger than they are.

    Christie is a bully. He picks on schoolteachers and poor people. He picks on people who are weaker than him and who can’t fight back and he does it in front of crowds of acolytes who cheer him on. He’s a bully and a thug.

  41. rudderpedals says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If memory serves me he started out on Long Island…?

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rudderpedals: I really don’t know. I only watched the first season and it just didn’t “grab” me. So I never got any of the other seasons from Netflix. Breaking Bad on the other hand…. (pls no spoilers, I am waiting for the price on the last 2 seasons to come down)

  43. CB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    No, I think John is dead serious. I love my state, and I love being from Jersey, but he’s right on.

  44. Rafer Janders says:

    @rudderpedals:

    No, he’s from Newark originally. He and his family are friends with one wing of my family, so I’m fairly sure.

  45. C. Clavin says:

    “…No, I think John is dead serious. I love my state, and I love being from Jersey, but he’s right on…”

    I’m glad you love your state…but everyone thinks their state is the meanest or the toughest or whatever.
    Just look at those idiots from Texas.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    Dean Chambers of “Unskewed Polls” fame:

    I do believe that Barack Obama is in fact our first gay president. But I believe this for entirely different reasons. I believe the man actually is gay. Don’t tell me his marriage to Michelle and having two children disproves that he’s gay.

    Stay classy, Republicans…

  47. C. Clavin says:

    Mary Landrieu…Red State Democrat;

    I don’t think all Republicans will get the blame. I think the tea party will get the blame and they deserve it. It’s not the whole Republican Party…I mean John McCain, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham have been trying to find — you know Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins — have been trying to find a mainstream way forward to get back at the basics of governing.
    The problem is they have a faction in their party, that I think is actually a minority, that they’re very vocal. That they’re very loud, loud and vocal and they’re saying things with a lot of fervor and a lot of inflammatory language. It might be inflammatory but it’s not informative.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CB:

    No, I think John is dead serious.

    Oh, I’m sure John is dead serious. But I came of age on the south side of St Louis and I can assure you that if Chris Christie passes for tough in New Jersey (he doesn’t but let us say, for the sake of argument, that he does) Jersey is the most pussy assed place in the US. Now, I know it isn’t, but I also know that Christie wouldn’t last 5 seconds in Washington Co, MO, much less the s side of St Lou. If Christie tried to pull his sh!t in Newark (I used to know some Newark boys) without his state cop body guards??? He’d soon be washin’ up on the Jersey Shore.

    Jus’ sayin’…

  49. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    but everyone thinks their state is the meanest or the toughest or whatever.

    Not people from Connecticut, no.

    I mean, god love ’em, but…no.

  50. mantis says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I’m glad you love your state…but everyone thinks their state is the meanest or the toughest or whatever.

    C. Clavin doesn’t think his state is exceptional! The above is wingnut-approved proof! Get im!

  51. al-Ameda says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Dean Chambers of “Unskewed Polls” fame:
    I do believe that Barack Obama is in fact our first gay president. But I believe this for entirely different reasons. I believe the man actually is gay. Don’t tell me his marriage to Michelle and having two children disproves that he’s gay.

    He believes it because he has an especially prurient interest in homosexuality. Honestly, Dean needs to attend one of Marcus Bachmann’s counseling sessions.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Just look at those idiots from Texas.

    HEY!!! I used to be from Texas!!!

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Not people from Connecticut, no.
    I mean, god love ‘em, but…no.

    I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, and if we need to kick a**, we hire someone from Oakland (and that’s as tough a city as there is in America).

  54. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This would be the reason for Paul to use those weak words of “praise”:

    Cruz has redefined extremism in the Republican Party to such an extent that Paul doesn’t come across as such a dangerous fringe candidate anymore.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al-Ameda:

    (and that’s as tough a city as there is in America).

    Does Oakland measure up to E. St Louis? (never been there, just askin’)

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    (never been there, just askin’)

    To Oakland that is. Spent plenty of time in E St Louis. Funny thing about E StL…. Most of the people there are just like people anywhere.

  57. Rafer Janders says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I do believe that Barack Obama is in fact our first gay president. But I believe this for entirely different reasons. I believe the man actually is gay. Don’t tell me his marriage to Michelle and having two children disproves that he’s gay.

    He’s thin and neat! What more proof do you people want???

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…..

  58. john personna says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Right, remember when he was caught with high fashion?

    Probably wishing he could design dresses like that.

  59. al-Ameda says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Does Oakland measure up to E. St Louis? (never been there, just askin’)

    E. St Louis is really tough, just as say Camden NJ is. However Oakland is about 400,000 people and E. St Louis and Camden are much less populous. Either way, those places are tough.

  60. rudderpedals says:

    @C. Clavin: Sounds like something whipped out to muddy up Sen. Barasso’s uncloseting.

  61. C. Clavin says:

    @ Ozark…
    I used to be from Texas too…and FLA, and Cali, and CO, and VT, and CT.
    Everyone has pride in where they’re from…and they should.
    But that’s the same crap that leaves us with the worst health care results and the highest costs.

  62. Grewgills says:

    The bit about calling them in to negotiate would be a good idea, though not for the reason presented. Boehner can’t accept or negotiate in good faith without further angering and alienating the Tea Party base, so either he accepts and hurts himself politically with the base or he refuses and hurts himself and his party with everyone else. It would make it clear to everyone, just who the obstructionists are.

  63. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Most of the people there are just like people anywhere. ”

    Which pretty much ends the whole “my state/city/block is tougher than yours” nonsense.

  64. C. Clavin says:

    Elizabeth Warren:

    “In a democracy, hostage tactics are the last resort for those who can’t otherwise win their fights through elections, can’t win their fights in Congress, can’t win their fights for the Presidency, and can’t win their fights in Courts,” Warren said. “For this right-wing minority, hostage-taking is all they have left – a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy.”

  65. anjin-san says:

    @John D’Geek

    How are things at the Bada Bing?

  66. An Interested Party says:

    That could easily be an opening ad for a Presidential run.

    As if Christie could ever get past the loony right fringe in the GOP primaries…sure he’ll stage a Presidential run, if he runs as an independent…

  67. but it also helps to have a Chief Executive who can “knock heads” when needed. Just ask Presidents like Roosevelt, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton.

    Huh, I thought that the GOP constantly said that Reagan was beaten and tricked by Tip O’Neill through Reagan’s turn.

  68. Corey Mondello says:

    First fat-ass Christie uses tax payer money to use a helicopter to get to his sons sporting event. Second WTF did BonJovi do by mixing his name up with tubby? I thought he respected hard working common folk. Wow, he has gone the way of Meatloaf. We all knew Nuggent was a duct-tard so he has never been a surprise with his actions

  69. Rob in CT says:

    @John D’Geek:

    I tend to refer to NJ as “f*cking Jersey” with a fair amount of contemp, my friend. Oh so much of it is an act. If you can’t see that… ok.

  70. Rob in CT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Heh, this is Truth. Nobody from CT would ever assert we’re a “tough” state. It’s ridiculous. It’s the sort of think people from f*cking Jersey do…

    😉

  71. Rob in CT says:

    And really, what the hell is this with people being thrilled by “toughness?” You’d think we’re descended from apes or something… oh.

    Carry on.

  72. Rob in CT says:

    You tell me, how is Obama, or Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi for that matter, supposed to deal with this:

    The keynote address was delivered by Rafael Cruz, the father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and sometimes mentioned as a possible candidate for office in his own right. Based on audio we were forwarded over the weekend, Cruz’s speech to the Adams County GOP was … memorable to say the least. Transcribed excerpts:

    RAFAEL CRUZ: So Barack Obama said: If the winds shift, I will side with the Muslims.

    IN CROWD: He is Muslim!

    CRUZ: [Exclamation] McCain couldn’t say that, because it’s not politically correct. It is time to stop being politically correct! [Pols emphasis]

    CRUZ: Our lives? Well, look at what’s happening with our lives. From the cradle, 55 million babies have been murdered by abortion since 1973. At the other end, Obamacare, with denying care to the elderly, with care being rationed, with care being postponed for 12 to 18 months, with care being controlled by a group of bureaucrats, that on the basis of cost/benefit, will decide whether you get a medical procedure or not, they’re destroying our end of life. As a matter of fact, one of the things in Obamacare is that the elderly, every five years you must have end-of-life counseling. Translation: suicide counseling! [Pols emphasis]

    CRUZ: I know I am in a Republican Party meeting. If you want to throw tomatoes at me, throw tomatoes at me. But unfortunately, you cannot say that the Republican Party is without blame. We have too many RiNOs in the Republican Party!

    CRUZ: They have their minds made up, and basically their idea is this: you’re too stupid and I know what I’m doing. Well I’ll tell you what, we the people are not stupid. We the people ought to be smart enough to throw them out of office, or primary them, and put constitutional conservatives in their place!

  73. John D'Geek says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I tend to refer to NJ as “f*cking Jersey” with a fair amount of contemp, my friend. Oh so much of it is an act. If you can’t see that… ok.

    I’m from PA; we tend to use similar language when referring to NJ.

    I’m not referring to “actual toughness” (for those in the peanut gallery); I’m referring to body language and the cultural framework of communications. People from NJ or NYC often come across as “rude” or “tough guys” or “tough guy impersonators” to those who are not from the area … but that’s just the way they communicate. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

    It may be many things, but it’s neither an act nor a bluff.

    It’s New Jersey.

  74. Rob in CT says:

    Ok, we have different ideas of what consitutes acting.

    I’m referring to body language and the cultural framework of communications. People from NJ or NYC often come across as “rude” or “tough guys” or “tough guy impersonators” to those who are not from the area

    I don’t disagree with this. I just think that qualifies as acting. It’s cultural, sure. Of course, a politician has every reason to play it up. Which I get.

    Christie’s thing is to be both “tough guy” and “reasonable” at the same time. There is a certain mythology around the idea that a tough guy who doesn’t stand for bullshit can just come in and fix things. He’s aiming for that, which is politically smart because lots of people buy into it. I do not.

  75. Ken says:

    @wr: This is exactly the same as John McCain’s explanation of how he’d stop the fighting between factions in Iraq: “I get them in a room and tell them to cut the crap!

    If I recall correctly, it’s pretty much the same thing candidate George W Bush said he would do to keep oil prices low. It’s the rallying cry of authoritarian morons everywhere – a simple, daddy knows best, iron-fisted solution that is as stupid as it is doomed to fail.

  76. sam says:

    I have my doubts that even Jesus Christie could sway this Insane Clown Posse.

    Besides, what John D’Geek is overlooking, if I’ve understood him re the efficacy of the governor in the “negotiations”, is that the ICP (see above) hates him just a tad less than they hate the president. I mean, the guy put his arm around the president and praised his efforts in the aftermath of Sandy. Those folks know no greater sin.