If you’re defined to some extent by your enemies, then Chris Christie is a hero. The NYT is running a piece today that’s little more than an attempt at a partisan hit job. It starts with a forboding headline:
For Christie, Ailing Economy at Home May Test His Allure
The Paper of Record is now in the foreshadowing business. Has the Times run a similar headline about Obama? “Lack of Experience May Test Obama in Every Aspect of Presidency.” If they have, I haven’t seen it.
The article’s first sentence hints where the Times‘ writers wanted the piece to go.
In a year as governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has captivated conservatives across the nation, with an in-your-face frankness and nonstop aggressiveness that few have seen from a chief executive.
We’re the New York Times, and we’re here to bring that in-your-face gov down a peg. Except…they can’t. Running through his record, the Times finds more success than not, and more who respect Christie than criticize him. Looking for problems, the Times finds:
From the moment he took over, Mr. Christie has flexed more of the muscle of New Jersey’s strong governorship, and with greater evident glee, than any recent occupant.
The state has a thick layer of unelected authorities, for example, with responsibilities like operating sports arenas and overseeing sewage. Governors can void their actions merely by vetoing the minutes of their meetings, something Mr. Christie did more often in his first four weeks than Mr. Corzine did in four years.
“It gained him a high degree of public trust,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. “People figured, he’s watching our tax dollars.”
They find shrewdness to his policies, particularly how he is handling the state’s union issues. The best the Times can do is note a couple of relatively minor gaffes, plus the fact that “only” 50 percent of New Jersey’s citizens approve of Christie’s job performance.
Only 50%. Never mind he’s a Republican behaving very conservatively in a very Democratic state, there are governors and a president who would love to have “only” 50% approval. That plus one=re-election. Nice try, New York Times.