Tag Archive: Chris Christie

Republicans pummeled by two hurricanes

President George W. Bush's "Brownie" moment, Sept. 2, 2005

President George W. Bush’s “Brownie” moment, Sept. 2, 2005

The anniversaries of Hurricane Katrina (landfall in Louisiana August 29, 2005) and Hurricane (Superstorm) Sandy (landfall in New Jersey August 29, 2012) represent a perfect storm that continues to damage the Republican Party. Katrina showed President George W. Bush‘s detachment, and the criminally negligent incompetence behind his administration’s hands-off conservative Republican governing philosophy (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”) Sandy is said to have helped President Barack Obama win and the Democrats do well in the 2012 elections, but that’s only true if one rejects the Republicans’ “government is bad” frame and accepts the Democrats’ “good government” philosophy. Apparently, many Americans have done just that.

Iowa Fair

Trump copter

Trump helicopter

One advantage of America’s long presidential campaign is that, eventually, each candidate’s character, intelligence and fitness to be president (or lack thereof) emerges. That process is currently on display at the Iowa State Fair. Thanks to C-SPAN, we can see and hear the candidates in Iowa, in long form.

Donald Trump showed up in his TRUMP-badged helicopter. No stranger to branding, Trump spoke with his helicopter in the background, a symbol of power and status similar to a president standing in front of Air Force One. In a bright red hat with his slogan “Make America Great Again,” Trump aggressively addressed or swatted away reporters’ questions, attacking his rivals, especially John Ellis Bush, in the process. Then Trump handed out helicopter rides to local kids and their moms, posing for selfies. Trump may know more about what the American people want than anybody in this presidential race.

Huckabee and Christie help Trump tear down the GOP

 Donald Trump, GOP destroyer


Donald Trump, GOP destroyer

First it was Donald Trump destroying the Republican Party brand by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” denigrating John McCain‘s military service and calling  a female professional who had to pump breast milk for her baby “disgusting.” But as Trump has surged in GOP polls and sucked all the air out of the room, other Republican presidential candidates have had to scramble for attention. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham pulled stunts involving chain saws, fire and baseball bats. But Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie apparently have decided the best way to compete with Trump is to out-Trump Trump in making outrageous statements.

Republicans on a losing streak

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

If someone had told you that, in the months after the Republican Party’s historic 2014 Congressional election wins, Republicans would suffer one self-inflicted defeat and embarrassment after another, you might have told that person that he was nuts. But that is exactly what has happened to the Republican Party since last November’s elections. Here are some of the highlights, or more accurately, lowlights:

For climate change reality, watch the insurance companies and local officials

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks at Maryland Climate Change Summit, 2013

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley speaks at Maryland Climate Change Summit, 2013

The Obama Administration’s latest move to battle climate change — new Environmental Protection Agency rules designed to cut power plant emissions by 30 percent — will likely set off a Republican response not unlike their response to the Affordable Care Act. We can expect lies, delays and lawsuits from Republicans and their Big Coal corporate backers to block the EPA rules. However, while many Republicans have the luxury of being climate change deniers to score political points, insurance companies and state and local officials do not have this luxury. Even insurance companies run by Republicans, and Republican state and local officials, will have to deal with the actual effects of climate change, such as an increase in claims by homeowners and business owners for damage related to rising sea levels, storm surges and fires, increased health care claims, and state and local budgets depleted by disaster response and rebuilding. That’s why it will be important to watch what these insurance company executives and public officials do.

Would Chris Christie’s resignation help him run for President?

Gov. Chris Christie Town hall meeting

As Chris Christie faced a devastating weekend of Bridgegate accusations, staff resignations and Super Bowl-related boos, some in the media, such as CNN’s Candy Crowley, openly wondered whether Christie should resign his new position as Republican Governor’s Association Chair. Political talk show host Mark Thompson of the Sirius Progress satellite radio channel recently went a step further, stating that, if Christie resigns as Governor of New Jersey, the Bridgegate investigations that are hounding him could go away, preserving Christie’s ability to run for President. The premise of Thompson’s theory, apparently, is that the voters have a short memory and won’t be thinking about Bridgegate in 2015 and 2016 should Christie toss his hat into the ring.

Chris Christie’s American Hustle

Gov. Chris Christie Town hall meeting

Gov. Chris Christie Town hall meeting

It’s no secret that “American Hustle,” one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2013, is based on the “Abscam” scandal that ensnared New Jersey lawmakers. Watching the movie during the past week, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal unfolds, it’s nearly impossible not to think of Bridgegate and Abscam together.

Could Chris Christie’s bullying help him in the 2016 election?

 

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey speaking at an event hosted by The McCain Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey speaking at an event hosted by The McCain Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/10999009153/

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie‘s “Bridgegate” scandal has cemented Christie’s reputation as a bully. However, some folks are wondering whether being known as a bully could actually help Christie secure the 2016 Republican Party nomination for President, should Christie decide to run.

Chris Christie: “bully” and other word games

Republicans successfully use neuro linguistic programming (NLP) in their political messaging. That is, Republicans use and repeat loaded words or short phrases connected with names, issues, programs, bills, laws etc. in order to make voters feel a certain way. Thus, you can find many examples of Republicans praising other Republicans as “strong leaders” who take “decisive action.” On the flip side, Republicans use negative-sounding (and often flat-out false) terms like “liberal media” and “death panels” to achieve a negative effect. Republicans frequently use words such as “Muslim,” “Kenyan” and “socialist” for this reason after uttering President Obama‘s name. A list of many of these loaded Republican phrases is contained here. Through repetition, these Republican terms often sink into our brains and affect the way we feel.

Chris Christie has a Mitt Romney problem

Messaging Matters2

Chris Christie‘s “Bridgegate” scandal feeds into an existing narrative about Christie. Thus, Christie might be about to learn the lesson that Willard Mitt Romney learned in 2012 after his “47 percent” remarks were caught on video — that stories which reinforce an existing narrative about a politician typically won’t go away quickly.