WASHINGTON, January 21, 2014 – I’ve never believed the twaddle, produced mostly by GOP propagandists, that Hillary Clinton is “inevitable.” Presumably her opponents must all pull together and vote for some RINO picked by the Republican National Committee, in order to keep this she-devil from becoming president.
It may be to Christie’s advantage, assuming the electorate is moving toward the Left, that there is so little ideological space between him and Hillary. But that suggests that the outcome of the race will have no ideological significance. Neither candidate if elected will likely pull this country toward the right, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the “moderate” Christie ran to Hillary’s left on immigration during the presidential campaign. Christie has already upped the GOP ante on illegal immigrants by granting these residents the right to attend state universities in New Jersey. I predict the two candidates will compete for the Latino vote by seeing who can coddle undocumented residents more ostentatiously.
I doubt, moreover, that Christie has been mortally wounded by the fallout from the three-day lane-closing on the GW Bridge in September. This act of revenge against Democratic voters, masterminded by Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, has been getting headlines in the predictable quarters. The pro-Hillary media have stressed this incident for weeks (although it has still to be linked directly to the governor), and the people who were stranded on the bridge have been encouraged (by guess-whom?) to bring charges against Hillary’s likely rival. Yesterday I watched on TV as West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller began tearing out his hair over those who were caught in the manufactured traffic jam. I’m still waiting for Jay to show similar solicitude over the victims of the Benghazi killings.
None of this amounts to a hill of beans.
Thomas Sowell, who can’t stop cheering every time he mentions Christie, notes the obvious when he points out (January 15):
“ The fact that Christie is the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and ahead of Hillary Clinton in the polls, makes him a target for a partisan media.”
Sowell may be stating something that is self-evident, that the media are desperate to stop Christie before he overturns what may be the last presidential bid of their perennial sweetheart (except when Barack Obama suddenly appeared on the scene in 2004 and outscored Hill on the left). The “partisan media” are are working overtime to dig up and throw dirt at Christie, before the GOP can go after their candidate. And let’s not doubt that the Republicans have accumulated a brief against the war-worn Mrs. Clinton that could sink a ship.
From Whitewater to the apparently philanthropic Clinton Foundation, which has been used to enrich Bill and Hillary (according to the New York Times, August 14), to Hillary’s involvement in the Benghazi cover up, the Republicans have a lot to throw against their likely opponent in the presidential race.
Allow me to bring up certain other problems that Hillary will face in a race against Christie. Despite the pounding that Christie has taken from the usual suspects, his popularity ratings, which were formerly at over seventy percent, are shooting back up. It also can’t be lost on the public that the media attacks were made to coincide with the revelations about the Senate’s findings concerning Hillary’s entanglement in the Benghazi affair.
It may be be hard to overcome the effect of Hillary’s statements as Secretary of State about what the Obama administration could have done to prevent the killing of four Americans attached to the Libyan embassy. Hillary is also hampered by her soporific speaking style and her reliance on feminist slogans that have outlived their rhetorical usefulness. Finally she won’t be able to depict Christie as a Republican right-winger since as a presidential candidate he’ll be all over the political spectrum “reaching out.”
He’ll say what it takes to win and never bother, for good reason, to look to his right.
I predict the “conservative” vote, which is by now is an automatic Republican vote, will stay with Christie no matter how he slips and slides across the ideological map. For years the establishment conservative media have been feeding the faithful red meat every time Hillary’s name is dragged up. Indeed it would be no exaggeration to say that Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Rush and the rest of this establishment have worked their audiences into a frenzy against the former New York Senator.
Moreover, the recent endorsements of Christie that are coming from some of these figures are not likely to fall on deaf ears because their fans have been so driven into an anti-Hillary frenzy that they’d do virtually anything to prevent her election. For the GOP party bosses 2016 will bring a do-or-die election. The party bosses have seen their base erode over the years and except for the Bush-years, Republicans have not occupied the executive since 1992. There was a time when “conservative” and Republican did not mean the same thing. Now with the creation of a vast, unified GOP media empire, thanks largely to Australian press baron Rupert Murdoch, the conservative movement has become a mere adjunct of the GOP.
By the time the next presidential race rolls around, Christie will have been elevated to the rank of Mr. Conservatism.