"America is tired of weakness in the Oval Office!” Christie bellowed to the gathered crowd at Livingston High School in New Jersey.
Christie tried to give a heartfelt, earnest speech. But it came off as a complete put on. It’s the faux humility that’s hard to swallow. That's not going to be enough to stand out in a crowd of 13 other Republicans seeking the party's nomination.
He tried to reach out to women by talking about his grandmothers and their impact on his life. He even gave an aw-shucks nod to his wife, Pat, who he said came thisclose to being the politician in the family, save for a coin toss that happened to drop in his favor. I guess the Christies have a "one politician in the family" rule. But instead, Christie gave his old lady snaps for raising the kids. Well done, girl. Ass slaps all the way around!
Christie turned earnest as he talked about his family’s struggle. His dad’s tough slog through night school at Rutgers, and honest, hard-working career at the Breyer’s Ice Cream plant in New Jersey sound like the stuff of American fan fiction. His dad sounds like a totally admirable guy.
His son could definitely use a little more of that kind of narrative applied to his own career if he's going to get enough votes to make a serious bid for the White House. Recent polls in New Jersey show Christie only has about a 30 percent approval rating on the job he's doing as governor. He's so deep in the field in the Republican primaries that pundits are questioning whether he’ll have enough support to even qualify for the first Republican presidential debate in August.
Just a few years ago Christie was true political star, known for plain talk and a willingness to reach across the aisle. But now that once-admired reputation is badly damaged. What was once viewed as "plain talk" has started to look an awful like the ranting of an egomaniac, like when he yells at teachers or tells reporters to "Clean the shit out of your ears." And his "get things done" attitude, in light of scandals like Bridgegate, appears to employ back-room bullying over no-nonsense governance.
And if media coverage like this recent, devastating editorial from New Jersey Star-Ledger reporter Tom Moran is any indication, Christie is going to have to run a tough campaign to make any impact at all among the national electorate.
Moran covered Governor Christie's day-to-day dealings for 14 years and wrote this blistering take-down of Christie’s ongoing issues with the truth.
“My testimony amounts to a warning: Don't believe a word the man says,” Moran writes. And it gets worse from there.
And so to counter questions about his credibility like this one, Christie will kick his campaign into full swing with messages like this one from today’s speech.
“I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that’s what America needs right now,” Christie said. He certainly looks like he believes it; let’s see if America is willing to go along for the ride. Perhaps this once-giant on the national political scene can get a crowd behind him again, but he's going to need all of his tough-guy grit and will to make that happen.
On another note, did anyone else notice that weird look Christie's wife Pat had on her face throughout the speech? Kinda strange, right? Like she wasn't listening to the same speech as everyone else?
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