Does this look like a President to you?

Chris Christie needs to send his inner spoiled child to his room. Yelling at voters isn’t Presidential.

Me neither.


After he finished yelling at a teacher “I’m tired of you people!” Christie called a state Senator he’d like to see defeated “an animal.”

Some political journalists seem to think that the Soprano-for-President campaign might go somewhere. I really, really doubt it. Even if Chris Christie were able to send his inner spoiled child to its room, there’d still be the sleaze to deal with.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

53 thoughts on “Does this look like a President to you?”

  1. I’m tired of teachers too. Double for college Professors. If we eliminated peripheral expenses like professors from every university there’d be a lot more money that could go to the core mission of US Universities: winning at sports.

    Seriously, attacking teachers (or intellectuals in general) is hardly a losing move in politics, not in the USA of 2013.

    1. If we eliminated peripheral expenses like professors from every university there’d be a lot more money that could go to the core mission of US Universities: winning at sports.

      Matt Mangels FTW.

    2. Indeed. With a proper focus of resources, I’m sure every team could win 60% of its games.

    3. Winning at sports won’t cure cancer or stop astroids from hitting Earth, I really hope you’re not serious.

      1. It’s that kind of defeatist attitude that prevented the comeback in the second half – the Team was only down by 35. With sufficient will and cheering from the alumni and students, the Team would have rallied.
        On a global scale, enough cheering should also take care of the asteroids.

        1. Besides, the Republican strategy for dealing with the asteroids will be to lower taxes, of course: the univeral solvent.

    4. “attacking teachers (or intellectuals in general) is hardly a losing move in politics”

      Reporting from Virginia, I am pleased to inform you that the Attorney General who attacked Michael Mann definitely was a loser yesterday.

  2. I’m hoping his campaign will be nicknamed “the Hindenburg,” for another New Jersey blimp that went down in flames.

    Yeah, I went there.

    1. Actually, it was a Nazi blimp (actually a dirigible) that went down in New Jersey, AND I’M STRUGGLING NOT TO SAY IT!

      1. Maybe you remember this one:

        What’s the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?
        One is a flaming Nazi gasbag and the other is a dirigible.

  3. Matt,
    Yeah, he’s throwing bones to the Tea Party. Does the “R” on his shirt stand for Republican? or Rabid? Or both?

    And what is it with Republicans wearing red? Now that I’m getting older and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, I keep confusing them with my socialist friends on the street.

    1. For some historical reason the Republican color is red and the Democrat color is blue.
      This backwards from the rest of the world and is a constant confusion to me.

      1. I believe the R is a Rutgers R, but I’m not sure.

        My best understanding of the red/blue thing is that it was a historical accident based on the 2000 election.

        Basically, ever since election returns started getting broadcast in color, the two parties’ states were shown in either red or blue (since white’s kinda boring). The colors flipped between the parties based on who was incumbent. I don’t remember the exact way they decided, something to do with which party was the incumbent.

        Then in 2000, when by happenstance the Democrats were blue and Reps red that year, we all spent a solid month staring at that damn election map. And commentators started referring to Bush states as Red (because they were) and Gore states as blue. Then it stuck.

        1. It’s not even true that in 2000 the Ds were blue and the Rs red: on election night and in the next morning’s newspapers the use of red and blue to shoe election outcomes state-by-state on national maps was common (red and blue for the obvious patriotic reason) but different outlets disagreed on which team used which color. Somehow it normalized rapidly afterwards.

          1. “…normalized…”?

            I still say it’s just not normal for the Republicans to be “the Reds.”

            Richard Nixon is spinning in his grave.

          2. At least one Democrat has moved to red, Bill DeBlasio, New York’s new mayor. His victory party was festooned with red signs reading “Progress.” DeBlasio seems like a nice guy and will certainly be a change from government as corporate shill.

            No one needs an excuse to quit making lame jokes. But many don’t let that bother them…

        2. Yes, that’s Rutgers shirt he’s wearing. He’s not an alum, but sadly holds an honorary doctorate from Rutgers.

    2. “Does the “R” on his shirt stand for Republican? or Rabid? Or both?”

      I always thought they were one and the same.

      1. Often, they are one and the same. But there are still Republicans around who aren’t rabid. They just don’t get much face time on the news and you only hear from them on election day, as Cuccinelli found out in VA.

        And there are rabid Democrats, especially in the old South. Thankfully, most have now been put to rest and vaccination seems to be keeping that at bay.

        The problem for the Dems is folks like Christy. Fact is, the Dems have swung so far to the right in trying to track with Republican positions, it doesn’t take much of a feint to the left for people like him to pick up a lot of Dem votes. Since the Dems have made a practice of basing their ideology on “I’m not Republican” rather than something more substantive in many cases, it become easy for a Republican who insists he’s not like “those Republicans” to rake in votes in a state like NJ where the Dems have a certain local taint to them anyway. People see him as a change maker, when he’s not, but because of the structural problems of the NJ Dems, Christy can fake that. Illinois Dems beware, as a very similar situation is shaping up there, although smarter, younger Dem elements are starting to work past the reign of Clan Madigan.

        The problem is the Dems say they are committed to bringing in new votes, but continue to act more like they can just count on the old votes they think they’re entitled to, like those from labor. Problems there, as the Dems have done little for labor and much against it lately. And young people? The Dems sit on their hands on things like jobs and marijuana legalization that would tend to mobilize young voters. Apathy about the Dems’ goals being “good enough” reigns inside the party at the national level, although some state parties show signs of getting it. The Dems will only be a real majority if they mobilize and keep the loyalty of millions of people who don’t vote now, most of whom, unlike millionaires, can truthfully ask “What have you done for me lately?”

        I realize the numbers aren’t right in the House right now, but I just don’t see the ideas, new fresh ideas that don’t just rift off disgust with the Republicans, that it’s gonna take to finally get this country on the path of progress for everyone, instead of arguing for more decades about the Republicans’ failed agenda and how the Democrats can be just a little less awful.

    3. According to the tea partiers I work with, the “R” stands for RINO. There’s still a huge pile of resentment from his snubbing Romney after Hurricane Sandy. There is no chance that Christie is going to get the GOP nomination in 2016.

    1. Probably. But it’s not a shit eating grin. It’s the self-satisfied grin Republicans get from kicking people who are down. Accuracy counts.

  4. Nah, just low blood sugar; he needs a cookie. Remember, he had the Lap-Band weight loss surgery,
    so he could look Presidential in his 2016 defeat. Next time, he should yell at the
    elderly or disabled veterans for the win.

  5. I love how Dr. Kleiman has already dutifully started the 2016 campaign. This is the political equivalent of working farmer’s hours.

    1. and wihtout regard to daylight or standard time, too. (Or maybe he couldn’t start till daylight time finished…)

  6. He can throw all the bones he wants to the Tea party, he’s already burned his bridges. I think he’s just enraged at the thought that he’s destroyed his chances of ever getting the GOP nomination by sucking up to a Democratic administration too publicly. The knowledge that he has no future, and it’s all his own fault, is eating at him.

    1. I’ve got to agree with Brett as far as the primaries go. I don’t think that there is anything Christie can say or do that will make the Tea Partiers happy with him. (Not that he won’t try–I predict a hard turn right starting tomorrow evening.) But if Christie becomes the presumptive nominee, I think that the Tea Movement will buy some clothespins and go along with the program. If they did so for the inventor of Obamacare, they will do so for Christie.

      1. They did so for the inventor of Obamacare before the GOP establishment declared war on them. A bit late to demand that the Tea party support whoever gets the nomination, when the establishment is punishing anybody who does business with a Tea party challenger.

        1. They’ll come around as soon as they figure out that he’s running against a Democrat. Tea Partiers would knock on doors for Fidel Castro if he was running against Hillary Clinton.

    2. Right, and before he “sucked up” to the current Democratic administration, Chris Christie was renowned for his placid, even-tempered demeanor when addressing his constituents. This behavior is a completely new thing for Christie and has taken all of us by surprise.

  7. I am from Toronto and Christy reminds me very much of our current mayor, Rob Ford.
    Vastly overweight, right-wing, gas bag, pseudo-populist. Check, check, check, check.

    1. Yeah, but “medical crack” is just not going to fly as a cause south of that border. Besides, Christy has to get medical marijuana before he could get that ambitious, even if so inclined.

      And no, while it may be effective in the short run, it’s sure not safe…

    2. Errr…those may be similar. But Rob “BubleF***” Ford has a few other issues. The heavy drinking, drinking and driving, falling down in public, smoking crack, hanging out with crack dealers, falling over when trying to throw a football, the constant stream of 911 calls from his family’s residentce…
      Ford is in a class of his own.

  8. All depends on whether the bellower is on your side or not. Remember his full-throated defense of Sohail Mohammed against the folks (R-voter, in the main) who complained he’d appointed “the terrorists’ lawyer” to the N.J. court?

    Time’s “mood map” would call the Northeast “temperamental and uninhibited.” ‘Bout right.

  9. I think haranguing women is always a bad look for a man. It looks like bullying, in general.

    I am not loving the anti-fatism here though. I do not see the mere fact of being large as a character flaw. Plus he seems to have so many others, why go there?

    1. It’s a problem for VP candidate, which is what Mitt was looking at. The VP has no statutory job apart from presiding over the Senate, preferably but not necessarily awake, and being available to step in if the President dies or is incapacitated. A VP who looks as if he could head to the ICU any day doesn’t fit. You want a slim golfer.

      1. Well, I am all for health, though I don’t think one can tell just by looking.

        But I’d still take Christie over Darth Vader!

  10. As a fat person, I can assure you that I have problems with judgment and impulse control. I can’t speak for all fat people, of course, but most of the fat people I’ve known have problems with budgeting, time management, and other tasks involving setting priorities and husbanding limited resources. This would make me hesitant to vote for a fat person for political office. That hesitation could of course be overcome.

    1. Most of the people I’ve known have problems with budgeting, time management, and other tasks involving setting priorities and husbanding limited resources. Fat people are not unique in these respects, in my experience.

  11. He looks like an early front-runner and strong down the stretch throughout 2016 to me. Bees knees. Please proceed.

  12. Christie could be worse, but I was struck last night, listening to former Governor Whitman appearing on MSNBC, by the distance downhill the HJ Republicans have slipped. CTW may not have set the world afire, but she was and remains a sensible grownup centrist with adult manners, even when trying to get a word in edgewise with a trio of fast talkers.

  13. If Scott Walker can keep out of jail, he’d be the perfect not-Christie.

    Every bit as much the fightin’general America needs in the war against its real enemies — its own public employees — as Christie, but without the embarrassing Obama-hugging photos.

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