By James Devine
I intended to title this article, ‘The Anointed One,’ but a typo offered a much smarter name to go identify with the GOP establishment’s purpose behind its intended coronation.
I thought the argument of inevitability was ridiculous when Hillary Clinton used it in the early primaries last year. It is no less of a fraud when applied to the Bush-appointed media darling whose cloak of lovability dissolved once he bathed in the pool of political opportunism, which leads to a question: When did Chris Christie become the only Republican who can beat Jon Corzine?
It appears that Chris Todd Christie may not be able to beat Steve Lonegan in a GOP primary, which should be unsurprising given the popularity of liberal Republicans these days.
So treacherous has the GOP become for moderate and liberal members that they are likely to be eaten alive by the carnivorous conservatives who have made the Republican Party attractive to just 20 percent of all Americans.
Rats fleeing this sinking ship, such as Pennsylvania’s US Sen. Arlen Specter, show that the party of Lincoln is now officially the party of Shrinkin’ (and if the reader could see me now, you would notice that I am a-winkin’ like Sarah Palin).
Still, if Christie has a chance against Corzine then so would any Republican nominee (even if that happened to be an actual Republican such as Steve Lonegan) and the reason would be because voters come to recognize the incumbent multi-millionaire as an aristocrat and not a Democrat.
Beside paying off Carla Katz and greasing the palms of political bosses, climbing in bed with those who profit from state corruption, closing a dozen hospitals and driving our government to the point of ruin, Corzine has done very little.
If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Corzine is just singing the blues as New Jersey is looted by corporate crooks, eroded by rising property taxes or unemployment and buried in wasteful debt.
The moniker ‘Christie Todd Christie’ is another result of my poor typing, but that is also a high-powered analysis of the liberal Republican’s presumed appeal and the genuine disdain experienced among the GOP rank-and-file.
As Governor, Christie Todd Whitman combined the patronage preferences of a Republican loyalist with the economic shrewdness of a lottery winner, the ideology of a Democratic liberal and a sense of ethics that was about as perverted as it could get—until Jim McGreevey and his cronies rolled into town.
Christie is losing his shine as a media darling now that attention has turned to his awarding of lucrative, no-bid contracts to friends who earned millions of dollars monitoring companies as part of settlements in criminal cases.
It would be interesting to speculate about whose administration would most resemble McGreevey, Corzine or Christie.
Still, not everyone is counting out the preordained choice of political insiders, despite poll numbers that show his support weakening.
Three-time Liberal Party nominee and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told reporters that Christie is the only candidate for governor who can solve New Jersey’s budget crisis.
After finding a $2 billion budget gap upon his arrival at City Hall, Giuliani left his successor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with a projected $2.8 billion deficit that ballooned to $4.8 billion in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Giuliani also had the audacity to refer to Christie’s “tax and spend opponent in the primary” because Lonegan’s flat tax proposal would cost some workers slightly more than the current state income tax.
Like Christie, Guiliani ignored the concern voters have expressed about the crushing burden of property taxes, as if the real problem is whether my state income tax bill is $1,750 or $1,950 and not whether homeowners must pay $5,000 or $12,500!
In an email message to Christie’s supporters, campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote: “The only option Corzine has is to attack because he has nothing else to stand on.” Then to prove he has a powerful message, Christie began a series of wild attack ads that attempt to sully Lonegan’s conservative ideas.
Christie is not the only Republican who can beat Corzine, but he seems like the only contender capable of neglecting issues as much as the incumbent.