[Vision2020] Loud Is a Losing Proposition

Art Deco art.deco.studios at gmail.com
Thu Aug 8 06:01:23 PDT 2013

  [image: The New York Times] <http://www.nytimes.com/>

August 7, 2013
Loud Is a Losing Proposition By GAIL

Let’s talk about Gov. Chris Christie. Everybody is; he’s the politician of
the hour. At the top of the latest poll of likely Republican presidential
primary voters in New Hampshire. (Just two-and-a-half years to go until the
Iowa caucuses!)

If he winds up running, it could be a fantastic test of my theory that
women won’t vote for men who yell.

We don’t need to have a discussion about whether or not Christie is a
yeller, right? You just have to call up that video of him pursuing a
heckler down the boardwalk, waving an ice cream cone. And while Christie is
probably not any more in love with himself than your average major league
politician, he is a little less good about concealing it. Dan Balz of The
Washington Post interviewed him for the newly released book, “Collision
2012,” in which Christie happily recounts the way the rich and powerful
begged him to run for the White House. (Henry Kissinger, the governor
reported, told him: “Being a successful president is about two things,
courage and character: You have both, and your country needs you.”)

Also, we all remember the Christie keynote speech at the Republican
convention, in which he told the crowd how wonderful he had made things in
his home state and urged them to support whatshisname, who would carry out
the New Jersey agenda in Washington. (Before which, Balz reports, the
governor had a meltdown over plans to cut his introductory video in the
interest of time and threatened to either walk away or go onstage and say
the world’s most popular obscenity on live TV.)

On the other hand, he really, really likes Bruce Springsteen.

There’s a side to Christie that reminds women of their worst boyfriends. In
his race for governor in 2009, he won male voters by a wide margin. But
women went for his opponent, Gov. Jon Corzine, 50 percent to 45 percent. *This
is a particularly startling figure when you add in the fact that Corzine
had the personal warmth and communication skills of an unconscious
flounder. *

Democrats were eyeing that gender gap when they chose Barbara Buono, a
state senator, and Milly Silva, a labor leader, to run for governor and
lieutenant governor this fall. They’re bucking long odds. Christie’s record
has a lot of weak spots, but he was terrific when it came to the cardinal
rule in politics, which is to show up for bad weather. Voters never forget
good behavior in a storm, and Christie was pretty near pitch-perfect during
Hurricane Sandy.

But let’s get back to that infant race for the Republican presidential
nomination. The WMUR Granite State Poll, which had Christie on top in New
Hampshire, put Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky in second. So it was kind of
fascinating last week when they got into a fight, carried out long-distance
at top volume.

Christie started it, when he laced into a “strain of libertarianism” that
he termed “very dangerous” to national security. This was a garbled
broadside against Paul’s recent campaign against the government’s mass
collection of phone and e-mail records. “I want them to come to New Jersey
and sit across from the widows and the orphans (of 9/11) and have that
conversation,” he concluded.

Terrible opening. You cannot win a serious argument by bopping your
opponent with the widows and orphans of 9/11. That was a tactic well-honed
by Rudy Giuliani, a person whose race for the presidency will be forever
remembered in the annals of totally disastrous political campaigns.

Senator Paul, in response, trotted off to Fox News and announced that if
Christie “cared about protecting this country maybe he wouldn’t be in this
gimme, gimme, gimme.” *His* garbled broadside was a suggestion that by
demanding so much money for hurricane relief, Christie was depriving the
country of funds for national defense.

Double error! First of all, you do not mess with weather-related disasters.
Also, Paul left the door wide open for Christie’s next retort, which was to
point out that New Jersey gets 61 cents back for every $1 its residents
send to Washington, while Kentucky gets back $1.51.

So, in the battle for the incoherent defense of the indefensible, Christie
won Round 2. There was further sniping, during which Paul called the
governor “king of bacon,” then made a peace offering that Christie swatted
down. (“I don’t really have time for that.”) And then life moved on.

In the end, the governor scored points only when the Yelling Guy was
replaced by the rational politician with an actual point to make. What if
it turns out that the most celebrated aspect of Chris Christie — his
high-decibel tough-talking — is really his biggest handicap as a national

In that New Hampshire poll, Christie got 27 percent of the male vote and 14
percent of the women. All the other candidates mentioned were pretty much
gender gapless. It’s just one little poll, but maybe we’re onto something.
Maybe quiet and sane trumps loud and crazy, even in Republican primary

Could be the start of something soft-spoken.

Art Deco (Wayne A. Fox)
art.deco.studios at gmail.com
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