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So, unexpectedly, Chris Christie won a second term in New Jersey.

The shocking, and sad part, is the democratic crossover: 32% of democrats voted for Chris Christie. This is highly perplexing to me, as this is the same man who degrades teachers, vetos minimum wage hikes, and other various things that should infuriate democrats.

There are a multitude of articles out there that are lay out Christie's conservative credentials.

Christie reminds me to another politician who used to be in a similar situation, one I wrote many a Kos diary about. Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts (and, amusingly, Scott Brown may have been more moderate than Chris Christie).

The defeat of Scott Brown and triumph of Elizabeth Warren should have been a very clear and concise blueprint on how to defeat a popular Republican in a very blue state.

What people liked (and arguably still like about Scott Brown) is his style. His campaign ads amounted to nothing more than pointing at his vehicle and going "TRUCK!", but it clicked with people in Massachusetts. Add into that mix a politician who has the persona and air of bucking his party when it's politically expedient to do so, and all of a sudden, you have a republican emerge out of a blue state.

Ultimately though, what made Brown fall out of favor was the guy had no substance to his style. His positions were politically expedient, and he found it impossible to balance both the blue state he represented and the red faction that threatened to primary challenge him.

Add into the mix Elizabeth Warren. She was unrelenting in her attacks on Scott Brown. She successfully was able to show that, yes, being a liberal in a blue state is a GOOD thing; and point out how anathema Scott Brown was to everything that represented.

In other words, she had both style AND substance. And on election day, the senate seat not only flipped back into democratic hands, but so had returned the liberal lion that once represented it.

Christie, like Brown, has good style. It resonates with the people in New Jersey. But when you look under the hood, there's nothing there. New Jersey is, ultimately, a blue state. But rather than confront this issue head on; New Jersey democrats panicked. Cory Booker (arguably the best democrat to take on Christie) ran for the hills, and Barbara Buono had almost zero support in her campaign.

Now what we're left with is murmurs and utterings of a Chris Christie 2016 presidential campaign; right on the shoulders of democrats. They said the same thing about Scott Brown when he won in 2010. However, MA democrats fixed that mistake swiftly and promptly, and now the guy is a running gag last seen on Fox News.

And yet, no one, even now, seems to point out that Chris Christie is all style and no substance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you'll need to define (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Jon Says

    'substance' so i can see how you detect it in some candidates, but not in others.

    What makes Warren more substantial than Christie?

  •  Massachusetts and New Jersey are very different. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    Massachusetts is essentially a one party state (you'll notice that both of the candidates for Boston Mayor were Democrats; one, the one who won, the "labor" candidate and the other representing a different demographic). Massachusetts, therefore, has lots of different kinds of Democrats; liberals/progressive, labor, conservative. As a result, sometimes a conservative Democrat voter will vote for a Republican. Furthermore, because it's a one-party state, it's full of independents. Some tend liberal, some tend conservative, and many will vote for a GOP candidate (especially for Governor) just to "mix things up".

    New Jersey is very different. It actually has a legitimate Republican party. While I get your analogy, it's important to remember that politically, Massachusetts and New Jersey couldn't be more different places.

  •  Corey Booker didn't run for the hills (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, a2nite

    he ran for the Senate, an office that has no term limits. It would not surprise me to see Booker run for Governor of NJ at some future date as part of a long term plan to run for POTUS. Booker is young, and has plenty of time. Serving in the Senate will expose him to broader national and international issues. It was a smart move on Booker's part.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:42:39 AM PST

    •  While I didn't like Booker's criticism of Obama (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Stude Dude

      during the 08 campaign, I agree that Booker's successful Senate run is, in the long run, a boon for him. In the short run, it was a boon for Christie, too, and you'll notice Christie wanted to keep him off the same ballot he was running on. That was real political machination, and it shows that Christie--whatever you might think of him--is a much better politician than Scott Brown and Mitt Romney combined.

      To bring it back to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I think the President's good friend Deval Patrick might have some future, too, and he's also fairly young.

    •  Cory has national ambitions, but the Senate was... (0+ / 0-)

      ...not part of the plan.

      Not only does he not get executive-branch experience, but he's forced to go on the record on many multi-dimensional issues (i voted for x before i voted against it).

      CB ran for the Senate b/c he would have lost against "The Hug".

      If Christie does become president, Booker will run and win the governorship.  But, unlike most Kossacks, I don't see Christie becoming the GOP nominee.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:31:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that Booker made the smart move (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think he could have beaten Christie and it seemed clear that Cristie was going to run for a second term. Being Mayor of Newark for four more years probably had more downside than upside. I agree that being in the Senate requires you to go on the record frequently, but we have seen multiple Senators become Presidential party nominees recently after going decades with only a few such candidates. It will be interesting to see if Booker runs for Governor whenever the job is next available. That wouldn't surprise me.

        I am in the camp that Christie will be one of the top candidates in the 2016 GOP primaries. At this time I have no idea who will win, but Christie has a solid chance. The Tea Party seems to not have the same level of influence on national candidates as they can have on local or statewide candidates. In 2012 the GOP nominated Romney, who is hardly a conservative.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:15:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Deval - Devil (0+ / 0-)

    Just getting some silly grade school level giggles there....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:10:28 AM PST

  •  To be fair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Buono was a pretty weak candidate and the DNC virtually ignored her. I voted for her but it was more an anti-Christie vote than a vote for Buono. I think Dem turnout will prove to be down because Buono failed to excite anyone. If only Booker had been on the ticket... but Gov. Fiscal Conservative rigged the special election process to the tune of $20M+ in taxpayer money. Christie will be spending more time crossing the country to raise his national profile and less time governing NJ. That may be a good thing in the long run.

  •  No comparison (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smileycreek

    The only similarity between Brown and Christie was that they are Republicans elected in states that tend to vote Democrat. No matter what you think of him (and I don't think much), Christie is obviously very good at politics. He speaks well, can be appropriately aggressive or faux-concerned/introspective when the situation calls for it, has a pretty keen sense of humor, and keeps himself in a position of control on issues. He takes potentially unpopular stands and gets out in front of them. Personally, I think too much is made of this last one in political coverage - being "transparent" is often given more weight than being correct - but that frustration ignores the political realities. I hate to say it, but there's a lot of Joe Biden in Chris Christie - he's a bit rough around the edges, but he doesn't try to run away from his own positions or gaffes. It's big part of his charm. It makes people forget that he hates poor people and teachers. Maybe that's style over substance, but it's a hell of a lot more than Scott Brown did successfully.

    Brown had none of those gifts. He won because Martha Coakley ran a disastrous campaign at the worst possible time, in a short election cycle where there was no time to take substantive policy positions. Brown spent his entire re-election campaign running away from his own party, pussyfooting away from his own votes, and wearing a barn jacket. He was annihilated by a first time candidate for office. Yes, Elizabeth Warren is an exceptional progressive and my favorite Senator, but let's not pretend her campaign was smooth sailing and without flaw. Scott Brown's only plus as a politician was that he happened to run into the Coakley disaster. People attributed his victory to a bunch of other stuff, including his own skill, but the full campaign season showed that was a crock. Scott Brown is a historical footnote, Chris Christie has a real chance to be President.

    •  I'm afraid you're right about that, (0+ / 0-)

      despite the massive size of Christie's ego (or, perhaps, because of it). Listening to his speech last night made me recall his lengthy, self-serving speech at the RNC, or as one person tweeted during Christie's speech last night:

      I me my I me mine I me me me mine mine I me my
      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:43:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WTF (0+ / 0-)

    ". . .32% of democrats voted for Chris Christie."

    How can they look at themselves in the mirror?

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