February 4, 2016

"Over the past 48 hours, Mr. Christie has mocked Mr. Rubio as a cosseted 'boy in the bubble,' derided him as 'constantly scripted,' likened him to 'the king of England'..."

"... and, perhaps most creatively, compared his Senate career to that of a helpless fourth grader who is told which chair to sit in at school...."
At Londonderry High School, he found a fourth-grader named Matthew in the audience and posed a series of questions to him about his daily routine.

Did he have a set time when he had to be at school? Yes, the boy said.

An assigned desk to sit in? The boy nodded.

A list of questions to answer each day — and a summer break? Matthew answered affirmatively.

Mr. Christie pounced: “They do that in the United States Senate, too!” The audience roared.

The Senate, he said, was a foolhardy place from which to pick a president.

“What we are all wondering is: How does that train you to be president?” Mr. Christie said. “Because that’s not the way the presidency works, and it is certainly not the way the governorship works.”
That's from a NYT article titled "Chris Christie and Jeb Bush Team Up on a Mutual Target: Marco RubioChris Christie and Jeb Bush Team Up on a Mutual Target: Marco Rubio" ("Members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt Mr. Rubio’s rise in the polls, according to Republican operatives familiar with the conversations").

My position, stated the morning after the Iowa caucus, is: "Time for every GOP candidate who is not Cruz or Trump to endorse Rubio. It's that simple." But that's not what Jeb and Christie are doing. They're trying to tear down Rubio, so that one of them can get to the front of the mainstream lane and run alongside Cruz and Trump. I can't picture that happening, but Rubio needs to be able to stand up to the criticism that we don't need another Senator to become President. Jeb and Christie both have the experience of being state governors, and it did seem — a year ago! — as if it was obvious that the next President will be a state governor. There were so many of them! But all the governors have gone down or are going down, and we're looking at a race led by Senators and a businessman and a surgeon. Somehow we just haven't loved our governors enough. Isn't that strange?

35 comments:

David Begley said...

You forgot Kasich.

Chris should attack Trump. Trump is in his lane.

Do over on an election? Even a fourth grade knows that's absurd. Trump is absurd. Chris should man up and go after Donald.

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse said ...
Rubio needs to be able to stand up to the criticism that we don't need another Senator to become President. Jeb and Christie both have the experience of being state governors, and it did seem — a year ago! — as if it was obvious that the next President will be a state governor.


In other words, he needs to show that he is just as qualified as Obama was to be president.

traditionalguy said...

The fantasies are out in force.

We want our Santa Clause, our Eastar Bunny and eternal boy President Rubio who only answers to the Good Billionaires who own every moment of him.

Trump is DANGEROUS to Donors.

Brando said...

Christie does have a point though--Senator isn't an executive position, and Governor is probably the most similar job to president (even compared to a company CEO or a general) out there.

But a lot of governors have been ineffective presidents (Carter) or power-abusing (FDR, Wilson) or corrupt (Clinton). We've also had presidents who were rather effective even though their only political experience was legislative (Lincoln, Truman, LBJ, Nixon--and VP is not really experience at all). Experience matters of course, but we have to take the measure of the man running, and examine their judgment, their intellect, their ideas and their temperaments as all of those will be tested by the job.

The biggest knock on Rubio is that he seems the GOP answer to Obama--very analogous backgrounds and experience, effective speakers, and running on the strength of biography and their ideas (for better or worse). Rubio seems the best chance the GOP has of taking the White House, but I'm not sure he can get his party's nomination.

Hagar said...

I have long said I am up for a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting congress critters - and especially senators - from running for president until they have sat out for at least 2 full years.

Brando said...

This is also another example of how the GOP is best at tearing one another down. It would be refreshing to see Bernie and Hillary go at each other with even half the gusto with which the GOP candidates go at each other.

Bay Area Guy said...

Jeb! & Christie have plenty of $ and have had plenty of debates, but are simply losing,

So, what does it say about them to be losing to the "Boy in the Bubble?"

Mac McConnell said...

Mickey Kaus calls Rubio the Republican John Edwards. I call Rubio the soon to be GOPe-Chamber of Commerce amnesty frontrunner candidate.

Danno said...

Ann, I agree with your statement that Rubio is probably the best option to Trump/Cruz, but Jeb must still think he is entitled to the nomination

JAORE said...

Jeb and Christie, tearing down Rubio for a slim chance of occupying third place.

tim maguire said...

Did Mr. Christie really "pounce" on a fourth grader? I wouldn't put it past him, but hopefully he conducted himself better than he is painted to have in this excerpt.

SayAahh said...

The New Jersey Capo can't repress his mob instinct.
Rubio needs to avoid il bacio della morte.

Mike Sylwester said...

Because the main issue in the Republican race has been resistance to massive illegal immigration, the governor candidates have performed badly. Governors are under relentless political pressure to provide state benefits (e.g. in-state tuition and driver's licenses) to illegal immigrants and have been succumbing to that pressure.

In general, the politicians who have most successfully resisted massive illegal immigration are the legislators in the US House.

The biggest traitors in that resistance have been the legislators in the US Senate.

The prominent leader in the resistance against massive illegal immigration has been a non-politician -- businessman Donald Trump.

Writ Small said...

The smarter play for Christie and Jeb would be to sit back and let Cruz and Trump do the dirty work on Rubio. The problem is that time is short and Donald is completely fixated on Cruz.

In a way, this is good for Rubio. The perception of distracted inexperience is his liability, and weak attacks from second-rate candidates may inoculate him more devastating, future attacks from Hillary and her media allies. If Christie and Jeb can take Rubio down, better to know that now.

Anglelyne said...

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Even the hapless ¡Jeb!, who sought to be King Tool himself, may yet help strike a blow against the monstrous regiment of tools. Stay bitter, ¡Jeb!

Mike Sylwester said...

Did he have a set time when he had to be at school? .... An assigned desk to sit in? .... A list of questions to answer each day — and a summer break?

They do that in the United States Senate, too! ... The Senate, he said, was a foolhardy place from which to pick a president.


This argument is inane.

TCom said...

We have Corporations who donated to runners in a race volunteering to count votes for free, we have at least one camp (likely two) that pushed a heinous drop-out rumor as the caucuses were ongoing (Who drops out right when the vote is going to happen? Don't even try to say that wasn't foul play), and people call a candidate who mentions any of this a 'crybaby'?

Yes, we know "real politicians" go right along with all the sleaze. By attacking Trump for this, you merely polish his outsider credentials.

So keep it up, I'm sure it'll hurt his polls just like it has for the last 7 months.

Humperdink said...

"Mr. Christie pounced...."

Fourth grader crushed. Film at 11.

Ficta said...

Well we all did what we could do.

buwaya puti said...

Christie and Bush just haven't made a case for themselves as agents of change.
I haven't heard either of them lay out the problems of the day, identify the causes, and say what they intend to do about them.
Trump does that (crudely but emotionally), Cruz does that (logically and ruthlessly), even Rubio tries to do that (more sympathetically). The other gentlemen are simply unable to.
I am most surprised by Christie. He once had the promise of fire and wit in him.

jr565 said...

That's probably a bad idea. Rubio might actually outpace Cruz and/or Trump. And Bush, particularly might want his name in the hat to be his VP.

Big Mike said...

The other day, Professor Althouse, you made a plea that the candidates running around one or two per cent should drop out and get behind Rubio. Christie and Bush are why Reagan came up with his "eleventh commandment." Right now it doesn't matter whether they drop out and (grudgingly!) endorse Rubio; the damage has been done. And no one will believe that they're actually endorsing a candidate they've been so eagerly tearing down, so the endorsement, grudging or heartfelt, will be discounted.

I'll never understand why Christie didn't know that the day he threw his arm around Obama his chances of being the Republican nominee went to about one per cent. When he didn't go on TV in late October before the 2012 election and complain that Obama had promised to cut the red tape but why were Jersey residents still having to deal with as much bureaucratic crap as ever (which I understand was the case), his chances went to zero. Is mathematics that difficult for him?

Bob Boyd said...

Christie's always hugging the wrong guy.
He was absolutely loved by conservatives for a while there. Even Glenn Beck used to play clips of him talking the tough talk. Beck called it "Chris Christie Porn" because it was a pure pleasure to hear his straight talk style and giving the liberals Hell.
Then Christie went and hugged Obama after Hurricane Sandy right before the last election. He's had nothing but problems ever since.
Now he and Jeb are pushing their beds together and spooning? WTF?

buwaya puti said...

Christie simply stopped giving the liberals hell.
And this in a year when that was the most effective tactic.
I wonder, there may be a story there that has nothing to do with Obama. Or maybe it does but not the way we think.

AReasonableMan said...

Mac McConnell said...
Mickey Kaus calls Rubio the Republican John Edwards.


I also saw this. It is not really fair to Rubio. No one is quite the complete empty suit that Edwards was.

Mac McConnell said...

What does Rubio say on Univision?

“Let’s be clear,” Rubio said. “Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”

One wonders, does the Gang of Eight drop trou when circle jerking for amnesty?

mtrobertslaw said...

I have noticed the Rubio seldom answers the question he is asked. He seems to have about 10 different speeches locked into in his memory bank and his answers are always cut and paste jobs taken from those speeches.

That blank look he has indicates suggests he lacks critical thinking skills. And that means when it comes to policy, especially foreign policy, he will be easily manipulated.

Maybe this is why he has become the poster boy for the Republican establishment.

Unknown said...

Christie is correct. Senate experience is nearly worthless in a president. I am not to fond of lawyers being up there either.

Sebastian said...

"I have noticed the Rubio seldom answers the question he is asked. He seems to have about 10 different speeches locked into in his memory bank and his answers are always cut and paste jobs taken from those speeches." Shocking! What politician ever does this?

"Maybe this is why he has become the poster boy for the Republican establishment." Yeah, having the GOP governors of three of the biggest states going after you means you've become the poster boy of the establishment.

Meanwhile, the candidate who supposedly "lacks critical thinking skills" is following a crafty TINA (There Is No Alternative) strategy. AA got it. It might not work, but it's rational politics.

Christie is good but can't get much of the party behind him. Possible VP pick. Bush is good but can't get much of the party behind him. Possible next head of homeland security, charged with reforming (gasp) immigration law. Kasich is good but can't get much of the party behind him. Possible OMB head. Provided they don't pile on.

Rubio/Cruz might not be as enticing as, oh, Daniels/Haslem, or, immigration aside, Bush/Jindal, or Romney/Sandoval, or Snyder/Haley, but it will have to do.

Anglelyne said...

Mac McConnell: What does Rubio say on Univision?

No Real Conservative(tm) commits the impiety of paying attention to what candidates say on Univision.

Snarking aside, though, I don't think most Rubio supporters care, because it simply isn't a high-priority issue for them. You and I care, because we think this is an issue of the gravest importance. But a huge portion of political "argument" is just people who don't share the priorities of other people yelling at them for, well, not sharing their priorities, instead of trying to persuade them to re-arrange their priorities.

Most people who like Rubio would be fine with amnesty, and the continuation of the immigration status-quo. Or, if they don't like it, don't dislike it enough for it to qualify as any kind of deal-breaker. So, quite rationally, they don't really care what Rubio says about amnesty on Univision.

Wilbur said...

He'd never admit it, but I have to think Christie wishes - and oh, how he wishes - he had never bro-hugged Obama. He lost any chance at the nomination there and then.

Rocketeer said...

If the comparison illustrates the inadequacy of the senate as a training ground for leadership, it indicts our education system too, doesn't it?

Shawn Levasseur said...

Also of note: Former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is still in the race, currently running for the Libertarian Party nomination.

M Jordan said...

I divorced Trump this week. I went from sorrow at him losing Iowa to joy at the same thought ... in about 24 hours. The saddest part of this process is I gave up on a non-politician in favor of ... Rubio, a senator.

The "Senators make bad presidents" argument has always resonated with me but, whadarewegonnadothistime? Rubio is without a doubt the best left standing. Christie? Sorry, your act has grown stale. How about that approval rating in New Jersey, Mr. Hug-Obama?

Trump's emotional retardation blew it. Sad.

mccullough said...

Rubio, like Obama, is a good candidate. The optics are good and he speaks well. A governor who had the same soft skills would do as well. Walker, Perry, Jindal, Kasich, and Chrisitie have records to support their run but those hard skills don't matter as a candidate of you can't effectively communicate. Christie is the best communicator of the governors but his style is Trump lite. If Trump weren't around, Christie might be doing better because his style would stand out more.

Kaus is pissed because he knows Rubio is much closer to Obama than Edwards. The crack comparing Rubio to Edwards is just bitter helplessness.