Chris Christie is an unctuous, bullying, loud, prick of a man and I shudder to think what would happen if he got within sniffing distance of the Oval Office for anything other than a presidential meet-and-greet with whoever is really president. All that being said though…
He just crawled way up inside Marco Rubio’s ass and destroyed the Florida Senator’s presidential aspirations from the inside.
How Christie did it was quite genius, and therefore I’m not sure I’m ready to give him all the credit for it, or if I think he somehow blustered his way into exposing Rubio for the intellectually shallow fraud that he is. But regardless, when he got Marco to repeat the same exact canned speech and talking points about “Barack Obama knowing exactly what he’s doing,” he put the final nail in the coffin that will carry Marco’s 2016 hopes and dreams to the river, where it will float away from us, and we will gleefully mourn its death…because Marco Rubio shouldn’t be running a bake sale, let alone the United States of America’s executive branch.
What Christie did was to show the primary flaw in Rubio, but also in people like Ted Cruz. Senators who spend their careers making essentially fundraising speeches from the floor of Senate just need to memorize a few key talking points they can spew on Sunday morning talk shows, and then they can let the panel argue about how well they delivered the talking points. But in debates, typically it’s advisable to not repeat the same speech over and over. Maybe the same verbatim points can be repeated if you then pepper them into other responses, but for Rubio to fall back on script not once, not twice, but three times in the same exchange with Christie, and then to pull it out on autopilot a fourth time later in the debate shows what kind of “leader” Rubio would be.
He wouldn’t be one.
He’d be directed by whomever was pulling his strings. He’d memorize the talking points, walk in front of a camera, spill them, and then go back to listening to the puppeteers. When Christie looked straight down the barrel of the camera and told the American people to listen for the “memorized, 25-second response,” he revealed just how naked this new emperor is, but when he hit him with the following, after Rubio had tried to attack Christie for how the governor handled the major snowstorm that hit his state a week or so ago, it was the knock out punch to Marco’s presidential dreams.
“You know what the shame is, Marco?” Mr. Christie said. “The shame is that you would criticize somebody for actually showing up to work, plowing the streets, getting the trains running on time, when you’ve never been responsible for that in your entire life.” (source)
Now, here’s the thing — Marco is probably right to call out Christie a little bit for his job performance in Jersey. Back in December, he only had a 33% approval rating. So clearly, there are things in his record that Rubio could have exposed, but Christie exposed Rubio as something far worse — an inexperienced demagogue who brings nothing but false charm and pseduo-cheer to vapid and meaningless attacks on someone who isn’t even running in the race this time. Someone should tell Rubio he’s not running against President Obama, and then maybe he could memorize on single speech about another person, doubling his memorized speech inventory.
The point in all of this is that I don’t like Christie or Rubio as potential occupants of the White House, but I am more than happy to sit back and watch them end each others’ hopes of becoming just that. Sure, Christie ignored all his failures to attack Rubio’s but for now, you have to score this as a major win for Christie, and a major, crushing setback for Rubio. He didn’t look ready to hold the nuclear launch codes, he looked barely ready to handle his high school locker combination.
The ultimate, biting irony is that yes, President Obama clearly does know what he’s doing. To outside observers, it looks like he’s managed to help guide the country back onto a shaky, but better economic footing than when he came into office. It looks like he’s pushed the country into a better, if not perfect, way of providing health care for the truly poorest among us. It looks like, he’s done a fairly good job as chief executive, getting some things done, and some others not. But you know who obviously has no fucking earthly clue what he’s doing?
Senator Marco Rubio.
And now, hopefully, this will be the last few hundred words I have to dedicate to praising Chris Christie in any way, shape or form.