Today at Gay Patriot, V the K has a guest post giving 10 reasons why possible 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie is comparable to the Democrats 1988 guy Michael Dukakis. Here is a summary of the list. I will comment on each one as as presented:
1. Christie and Dukakis are both blue-state governors with mediocre records. Both campaigned for governor as reformers, but achieved little in the way of actual reforms while in office. (For all Christie’s screaming at schoolteachers, all he’s really accomplished is increasing the number of years to get tenure from 3 to 4. Yeah, that’ll break the back of the teacher’s union.) Both are supporters of gun control, Amnesty for illegal immigrants, and massive Federal spending in their own states. (BTW: New Jersey’s economic performance under Christie: No so great.
Having a mediocre record has not been much of an impediment to many Presidential winners on both sides of the fence – Jimmy Carter was a mediocre governor of Georgia, Clinton wasn’t considered a great governor of Arkansas, G.W. Bush’s Texas stint had holes in it, and, to put the icing on the cake, even Ronald Reagan had, it put it kindly, a mediocre record as the governor of California.
Summary on Reagan’s Legacy as Governor
- His legacy as a conservative – and as a successful conservative – governor was “mixed.”
- He was unable to keep his campaign promises to reduce taxes and the state budget, but this was largely because such actions were probably impossible at the time. Instead, he instituted the largest increases in the state’s history.
- Most policies he supported were negative, requiring reduction or elimination of programs without alternative proposals.
- Passed the most stringent air and water standards in the nation.
- Reagan lacked the skills or experience to effectively deal with lawmakers.
I could elaborate, but you get the picture. On the economic record of Christie, I’ll comment on that at the end of this critique.
2. Both gained notoriety by dealing with natural disasters…. Dukakis went on TV during the Blizzard of ‘78 to deliver weather bulletins. Christie famously hugged Obama in the aftermath of “Superstorm Sandy” and yelled at Republicans to pass a massive “Relief” Bill that contained more pork-barrel spending than actual hurricane relief.
The problem with this critique, is that while Dukakis may have gained national attention as a result of his actions during the 78 blizzard, Christie had the public eye long before hurricane Sandy. On the Federal aid, it’s convenient when Conservatives don’t mention that other Conservative governors take aid when given. Texas and Governor Perry, I’m looking your way! Another case of “Do as I say, not as I do” from Rick Perry.
3. Both had rivals who were taken out by bad judgment. Before the 1988 primaries, the Democrat frontrunner was a good-looking senator who was the darling of his party; Gary Hart of Colorado. Hart took himself out of the race after being caught en flagrante with Jessica Hahn. Going into 2016, the Republican Party also had an attractive, much adored senator who was the clear frontrunner… until Marco Rubio got caught in bed with Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin.
This is just silly. It’s 2013… There have been no primaries. There IS NO FRONTRUNNER! This is like saying the San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl… in April, before the NFL draft or a single pre-season ball has been snapped.
4. The Republican Primary Field of 2016 is a Bizarro-World version of the 1988 Democrat Primary Field. Christie, like Dukakis, may face in the primaries: an ideological stalwart beloved by the activist base (Jesse Jackson/Ted Cruz), a congressman with deep ties to the party establishment but little appeal outside of it (Dick Gephardt/Paul Ryan); and a senator representing a political dynasty (Al Gore/Rand Paul). Should he prevail, Christie is likely to emerge as a candidate with an unenthusiastic party behind him, just like Dukakis in 1988.
See my comment above. It’s 2013…. Blah, blah, blah. Plus, in 2005 was anyone going on record to predict Barack Obama would run and win the White House. Those were some great Vegas odds there.
5. Christie has his own Willie Hortons in the form of Abel Hernandez, Andy Maguino, and Jose Luis Galindo-Sanchez… illegal immigrants benefiting from New Jersey’s “sanctuary cities” who killed Americans. Maguino, notably, was sentenced to probation and community service after running down an old lady in his car and fleeing the scene. [Link]
This one might have some legs. Former Ark Governor Mike Huckabee, who had had his eye on the Presidential prize in the previous election cycle, would have dead in the water had he run in 2012, due to the Seattle area shooting of four police officers by Maurice Clemmens, who was granted clemency by Governor Huckabee.
No real “Oops” here.
6. Like Dukakis, Christie will also have his “tank” moment. For Dukakis, his desperation to prove he was not a weak-on-defense northeastern liberal led to a photo op riding around in a tank and looking like… a weak-on-defense northeastern liberal riding around in a tank. Christie has to do something to disavow his post -Sandy bromance with Obama. At some point, he is going to have to denounce his BFF, and in doing so, he is likely to end up looking very foolish because the gesture will be so transparently fake… like Dukakis in the tank.
More pure speculation. Christie is a smart, cagey politician. Plus, after Iraq and Afghanistan and Lybia and the general publics push back against even sending a few bombs Syria’s way, and the Ron / Rand Paul stance of less-interventionism gaining ground among the rank and file, being “strong on defense” may not have the same luster it has had in the past.
7. Christie Will Need a Running Mate to Pick Up Voters His Party Is Losing. Dukakis picked Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate to reach out to “Reagan Democrats.” Christie will also have to choose a running mate more appealing than he is to a key voting bloc, in his case, women. He may choose someone like New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte; a northeastern moderate who shares his support for Amnesty and Gun Control.
Given Christy’s loud and bombastic ways, I doubt the VP is going to get much publicity, unless he picks Sarah Palin. And, seeing that there are no primaries yet, this again is pure speculation and not based on facts of any kind. See my replies to both points 3 and 4.
8. Christie, Like Dukakis, will try and turn a negative personality trait into a positive. Dukakis tried to pass off dull detachment as “competence.” Christie tries to pass off being a jerk as “leadership.” The problem is that leadership and competence are just empty slogans. Bush 41 beat Dukakis by promising to continue Reagan’s policies; a promise he almost immediately broke by imposing massive tax increases, but “Read My Lips” got him into office, because he presented voters with something tangible – a continuation of Reagan Era prosperity. Dukakis lost, and Christie will lose, because neither man presents a compelling alternative to the person he did/will run against.
9. Both face opponents who are mediocre politicians riding the coat-tails of better politicians. If Christie is the Mike Dukakis of 2016, Hillary Clinton is the George H.W. Bush. Like Bush 41, she is the heir-apparent to a two-term president who wrought major changes to the country. Like Bush 41, she is an awkward campaigner with a grating speaking style.
“Christie, Like Dukakis, will try and turn a negative personality trait into a positive.” Well DUH! Every politician is faced with that.
“Bush 41 beat Dukakis by promising to continue Reagan’s policies; a promise he almost immediately broke by imposing massive tax increases, but “Read My Lips” got him into office” Not quite accurate. The budgets for 1989 and 19090 had no tax increases.
So. Double Oops!
10. Like Dukakis, Christie will lose massively. A lot of people are claiming Chris Christie is “the only man who can beat Hillary.” Most of those people want Hillary to win. Hillary will win by promising a return to the era of her husband’s presidency; and a large number of voters are incapable of critical thinking beyond “the last time a Clinton was in office, I was doing all right.”
It’s 2013… We don’t even know if Hillary is going to run. Plus, who knows if she will even be the choice if she does. See criticisms 3 and 4.
Now, back to point number 1… On those weak economic numbers.
Chris Christie might not be your favorite Conservative, because he’s squishy on social issues and he — gasp – hugged Barrack Milhouse Obama, but he has been a very steady Fiscal Conservative. Lets go through the check list. Has he:
Not raised taxes?
Forced government unions to accept pension and pay reductions?
Given large tax breaks to businesses and the wealthy?
Actually deleted and dismantled a government agency (something that’s often talked about by is in reality actually pretty hard to do)…
Expanded the charter school program in the state?
Limited property taxes increases?
You know the answer.
And yet, despite all these very Conservative reforms that Governor Christie has managed to push through in his state, the link provided by V the K show the New Jersey economy is, despite that, still in the tank.
A phrase Rush Limbaugh has used quite a bit in his years as a political commentator goes something like this: “Conservatism Has Worked Everywhere It’s Been Tried”…
Well, as I showed in a previous post regarding Wisconin Governor Scott Walker, and has been accidentally shown here by the Tea Party Conservative known as V the K…. Um… No. It doesn’t.
One… Huge… Big… Fat…