Friday, September 21, 2012

Saving The Party From A Worse Candidate

Now we know that far-right flamethrower Ann Coulter was right, and she was wrong.

Last December, GOP strategist Sean Hannity, playing his role as Fox News host, played for Ann Coulter the famous statement she made at the Conservative Political Action Conference nine months earlier.   "I think, well," Coulter predicted, "I'll put it in the nutshell.  If we don't run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose."

Chris Christie didn't run, and Romney has been nominated.   But her remark implied that were Christie to run for the nomination, he would be nominated and defeat Barack Obama.

We can now tell- with greater certainty than that Mitt Romney will lose- that, had the New Jersey governor competed and actually been nominated, he would have been pummeled.  We read today (or yesterday, online) from Christiephile Matt Katz of The Philadelphia Inquirer

Capping off 10 days of poor economic news for Gov. Christie, the state announced Thursday that New Jersey's unemployment rate inched up to 9.9 percent in August even as it continued a yearlong trend in adding 5,300 jobs.

The varying economic indicators were described as "kind of nuts" by Christie's top economist and became a launching pad for the administration's criticism of the federal Department of Labor's methodology for determining the unemployment rate.

The monthly jobless numbers - if they hold when they are finalized early next year - would be the highest for the state since the 1970s.

The national jobless rate, on the other hand, fell in August from 8.2 to 8.1 percent, while Pennsylvania's rate went from 7.9 percent to 8.1 percent.

Republican presidential nominee Chris Christie would have found it rather difficult to attack President Obama over the national jobless rate while the unemployment rate in New Jersey stood almost two (2) percentage points higher.

Perhaps the NJ governor instead would have emphasized his management of the budget and general stewardship of the economy.   That would have been almost as perilous, given  

In recent days, three bond-rating agencies have criticized Christie's optimistic revenue expectations for the $31.7 billion budget that went into effect July 1. Revenues have failed to reach administration projections in July and August, so New Jersey would have to collect 8.2 percent more in taxes this fiscal year compared with last year in order to preserve its budget.

Christie is hoping to use a surplus in that budget to push through a tax cut, which his office plugged again Thursday.

The last budget year may be an added complication.

The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Affairs announced 10 days ago that the administration was on pace to bring in $254 million less than expected from the budget year that ended in June. Christie disputes this number.

Christie, who is striving to make the state safe for radioactive waste, disputes those numbers, just as he disputes those unemployment numbers.  But he is being roundly criticized by Democrats in Trenton, even though a few of their leaders do fine imitations of Republicans.   The governor would have been far less able to withstand scrutiny in a presidential campaign than has been (even) Mitt Romney, of which we are reminded by a spokesman for the Democratic Party in Missouri (where Christie currently is stumping for the GOP gubernatorial nominee), who asks "Does Dave Spence really want Missouri's economy to look like New Jersey's?"

Coulter said she "remain(s) in love with" with the N.J. governor, whom she says "is going to be our cleanup guy in eight years."  Inasmuch as Christie would be extremely unlikely to challenge an incumbent GOP president for re-nomination, Coulter's statement suggests she believes Romney will be elected this autumn.   That would make the pundit and author 1 for 3 and, if his state's employment doesn't improve markedly, he whom Coulter believes will be the standard bearer in 2020 may become ex-New Jersey governor in 2014.

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