The first Republican presidential primary votes won't be cast for more than two years, but you need not look beyond New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's carefully staged press conference to see that the GOP's clown show is already in full swing:
Chris Christie isn't the GOP's only presidential wannabe, but he's clearly the flavor of the moment, and yesterday Rand Paul was more than willing to play the media's game in order to capture some of the spotlight:
During a Senate committee hearing on post-Sandy recovery efforts, Paul asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan whether it was appropriate to use federal relief funds for television ads, a clear jab at the New Jersey Republican who starred in ads touting the Jersey Shore.That somebody, of course, was Chris Christie, and while Paul did not name him by name, the fact that he engaged Christie seems to have paid off, as he got broad coverage for it in the political press. And even better for Paul (in the context of a 2016 primary battle), Donovan defended Christie's action—so not only did Paul throw a punch at Chris Christie, the Obama administration came to Christie's defense.
“Some of these ads, people running for office put their their mug all over these ads while they’re in the middle of a political campaign,” Paul said at Senate Homeland Security hearing on recovery from superstorm Sandy. “In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. Do ya think there might be a conflict of interest there?”
How will Chris Christie respond to Paul's barbs? We'll get a chance to find out pretty soon: On Sunday, he'll appear on Meet the Press.