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The first woman president

January 11, 2014 - Harry Eagar
Did a Republican woman in New Jersey just engineer the election of Hillary Clinton as president?

If she can get the nomination, yes. The Chris Christie bridge collapse has finished off the best (or only) chance the Republicans had to nominate someone who can collect votes from the center.

Nobody can win with only firm partisan votes, and the number of Republicans who can run against the Tea Party crazies who have taken control is tiny. Mitt Romney couldn't run to the center. Two kinds of candidates might manage it: an Eisenhower, who managed, although just barely, to evade the McCarthy crazies in '52; or a hard-nosed SOB who manages to combine broad appeal with a damn-your-eyes attitude to troublemakers in his own party, which Christie might be.

He's finished now, thanks to his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly. Commenter Sue McAndrew at the New York Times summarizes Christie's failure perfectly:

"Mr. Christie's personality and way of doing business are well known. So ask yourself,

"1. If a major event impacting NJ residents occurred, would Mr. Christie withdraw quietly and say nothing or would he put himself front and center to be seen as the hero who fixed it all?

"2. If an event occurred that smelled of political retribution. possibly retribution against NJ by NY, would Mr. Christie say "no biggie, whatever, I'm not curious" or would Mr. Christie make sure he knew exactly what was going on.

"Assuming Mr. Christie did not know what was happening at 6:00 Monday morning, there is no chance that Mr. Christie would not have demanded facts by 10:00 am.

There is no way Mr. Christie would stand by quietly out of sight as NJ residents were harmed unless he personally approved of the harm. In all other scenarios, he would have been all over this like flies on honey."

McAndrew neatly sidesteps the question whether Christie was in on the plot. Doesn't matter. She also provides a framework for the reason Christie's apology won't matter. Sincere and heartbroken he may have been, but he wasn't being Chris Christie.


Article Comments



Jan-12-14 8:40 PM

She hadn't crossed my mind, and while she has just as much personal political record as Hillary Clinton did when Democrats first started talking about her for prez (none), I don't see any possibility.

I expect a hard, unpleasant battle among the Dems for and against Hillary, so it is not even highly probably that she will get the nomination.

Today's Maui News calls Christie and (a possible) Jeb Bush the only moderate Republican possibilities, which surprised me and shows how flexible the concept of "moderate" can be. But with Christie out, it's flaming crazies all he way down.


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