There are two relative certainties when it comes to presidential elections nowadays: one is that the outcome is likely to hang on the cult of personality, and the second is that the media will let it be known who presents the biggest threat to the Democratic Party.
And it beginning to look as if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may fit both bills.
Seen as a feisty politician who doesn’t back down from a challenge, Christie was in the headlines again this week when he ripped into a protester who was disrupting a press conference marking the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
“Sit down and shut up!” he would eventually tell the man.
The New York Daily News tagged Christie as “New Jersey’s biggest bully,” saying his “thuggish style reared its ugly head” at the press conference and that his “penchant for channeling Tony Soprano may have snuffed out his presidential chances.”
To be clear, in the eyes of the media, Christie is a thug and agitators verbally assaulting police in Ferguson, Mo., are “protesters.”
David Axelrod, the former senior advisor to President Obama and Democratic strategist, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday and questioned Christie’s chances as a presidential candidate.
“This has always been the fatal flaw of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign,” he said. “I’ve been through a few presidential races, and I’ve got to tell you, every day is filled with aggravations and provocations, and if that’s the way he’s going to react, he has no future in this.”
The Daily News quoted a Manhattan psychotherapist — you can’t make this stuff up — who said Christie is having the experience “of saving his own life” when he stands up to hecklers. Not surprisingly, he said a President with Christie’s style “would be a disaster.”
What is being missed here is that the governor’s feistiness may be his most endearing quality with many Republicans.
Christie’s somewhat moderate policies are not too popular with the base, but after the debacle of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections where the GOP candidates refused to challenge Obama, conservatives may be looking for a fighter.
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