Given the media attention on New Jersey and our “should I?” or “shouldn’t I” governor, I decide to turn my attention to the national political stage. The only trouble is I can’t make much sense of it. Is it just me, or does anyone else believe the following about our national political scene:
That Sarah Palin has no chance of ever being elected again to any political office.
Minutes after Chris Christie makes his final, final statement that he will not run for president this time around, I see a report from the Sarah Palin camp: She is still weighing the possibility of a run.
I doubt it. I for one didn’t feel sorry for Sarah when author Joe McGinnis described a sexual escapade the family value candidate had with a future NBA player back in her early days as a single woman covering sports for an Alaska television station. The fact is that a substantial component of her political attraction is her physical appeal, and she hasn’t discouraged that. Just check out her recent Newsweek magazine cover, with the starlet pose and the tight sweater, and you will see what I mean.
That approach won’t carry far with voters concerned about finding or keeping a decent job. And her right-wing, family value voter base is going to have a hard time holding her up as a role model to their children.
Is it just me who thinks that most of us everyday heathen have a greater sense of morality than the politicians on stage at the recent Republican presidential debates?
Just think about this. Here I am leering at Sarah Palin in the paragraph above and now I am claiming some moral superiority over the announced (so far) Republican presidential candidates.
But they make it so easy. There they are — all right-to-life candidates, some with positions that oppose common forms of contraception — standing silently by as their supporters cheer for the number of people executed in Texas; holler out against a hypothetical man on a gurney with no health insurance; and jeer at a soldier in Iraq who happens to be gay.
You would think one of them would stand up and say, “Listen, friends, we shouldn’t celebrate someone else’s death, and while do not want that gay soldier to be in a foxhole with us, we still have to thank him for serving his country.” Given the low bar of this crowd, the high road seems wheelchair accessible.
Is it just me who thinks that Chris Christie is wise to believe his own gut instinct — rather than the desperate Republican fat cats arguing otherwise — and not run for president in 2012?
Forget the obvious fact that Christie has little governing experience and zero foreign policy experience. In my mind he has another flaw, far more dramatic. Chris Christie has a thin skin.
It seems like just yesterday, I was calling the newly elected governor “fat.” But let’s remember the context of that statement. U.S. 1 was presenting a round-up of advice for the new governor, on subjects ranging from property tax relief to affordable housing.
I weighed in on the weight, prompted in part by his response to a Corzine campaign commercial alluding to the subject. “Man up and say I’m fat,” Christie was quoted as saying. Corzine never did. But I did in the December 16, 2009, issue of U.S. 1, with the following explanation:
“Obesity leads to illness, illness leads to dysfunction. A lot of us think that we have enough dysfunction in New Jersey. So, just as we in the media have given Barack Obama grief about his cigaret smoking, and just as we came down hard on Jon Corzine for failing to wear his seat belt, so we should give you some, let’s say, encouragement about living a healthy lifestyle. The election is over, and lots of us would like to see the governor do well, not get sidelined by a car accident or fall on his face from a heart attack.”
Christie’s bully approach works when he is confronted by an ordinary citizen. Remember the woman who asked him why he sent his own kids to private school? His response: “First of all it’s none of your business.”
Actually, some would argue, it is our business. If you were a stockholder in American Airlines, for example, and you noticed that the CEO always chose United for his own personal travel, you might want to know why.
Give Governor Christie a few more years in New Jersey and he very likely will have some success stories to talk about, and he won’t need to bully anyone to make his point.
Finally, is it just me or does anyone else believe that the reports of Barack Obama’s political death are greatly exaggerated? One of the polls flying around the cable talk shows this week showed that nearly 90 percent of Americans think the country is on “the wrong track.” Devastating news for Obama, the commentators concluded.
But of those 90 percent, I wonder, how many people blame Obama and how many blame his opponents in Congress?
Vice President Joe Biden told a story the other day attributed to Boston Mayor Kevin White. He had failed to live up to the high expectations of his political base and his poll numbers were dismal. Things will get better when we are running for re-election, he told the faithful. Now I’m running against the almighty. Then I’ll be running against the alternative.