Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Mighty Wind

The irony was almost too good to be true.  Virtually seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf coast, another gust of wind unleashed its venomous fury upon its intended victims.  Only this time there was nowhere to run.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave his keynote address Tuesday night before the Party faithful.  Let’s just say for the sake of argument that about the only thing bigger than the Governor’s waste size was his ego, which if unleashed would’ve easily filled every square inch of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

What struck me as interesting was that some of the biggest critics of the speech were from the Right. David Frum called it a “poorly planned mess.”

An opposition party in hard times needs to offer hope. Such hope was notably absent from a speech that talked more about hard truths and unpleasant realities. Nor was it wise to talk so much about shared sacrifices when the centerpiece of the Romney campaign is a big tax cut for upper-income earners. Argue the case for the tax cut on growth grounds, but don't generate a clip that can appear in an Obama attack ad alongside a debunking quote from the Tax Foundation.

Chris Wallace of Fox News, who every once in a while allows his inner journalist to come out, called it “off-key” and noted that Christie used the word “I” 37 times, “Romney” seven times and “jobs” once.

“It seemed sometimes as if he was promoting his own candidacy more than he was Mitt Romney's. People liked the speech, but not nearly the kind of intense reaction to it and intense listening to it that there was for Ann Romney.”

Of course for those of us living in the New York metro area, who’ve had the “privilege” of listening to this gasbag, this was hardly newsworthy.  Since his election as governor three years ago, Christie has had one thing – and one thing only – on his mind: himself.  Everything about the man reeks of self-importance.  He dominates every conversation, bullies everyone who dares disagree with him and, above all else, must be the center of the universe everywhere he goes. 

You want to know the real reason that Chris Christie removed himself from VP consideration?  You saw it on that stage.  If he couldn’t even lower himself to share the spotlight with his Party’s presumptive nominee, how in the world could he ever be expected to play second fiddle to him?  Why should it be a surprise to anyone that he would use a platform like the Republican National Convention to further his agenda?

In case you weren’t paying attention, what you heard Tuesday night wasn’t the keynote address for Mitt Romney; it was Chris Christie’s 2016 acceptance speech.  I’m sure he’ll dust it off and freshen it up some.  By then, hopefully, his state’s unemployment rate will be lower than what it is now, which is about one and a half points above the national average.  I guess he forgot to mention that little tidbit of information while he was bragging about all those hard choices he had to make.  Oops.

Way to go, Gov!


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