Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Rick Moran

Bio

November 10, 2013 - 2:27 pm

Governor Rick Perry was in Iowa this weekend and during an interview on ABC’s This Week, he raised the $64,000 question about a potential Chris Christie presidential candidacy:

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas credited Chris Christie for his re-election in New Jersey, but he pointedly questioned whether the 22-point victory by Christie held any greater meaning for the Republican Party.

“Is a conservative in New Jersey a conservative in the rest of the country?” Perry said in an interview with “This Week.” “We’ll have that discussion at the appropriate time.”

As he made his first visit back to Iowa since the 2012 presidential race, Perry left the door open to another presidential bid. He said he believed voters would give him an opportunity to make a second impression, if he decided to run again, even though his first campaign fizzled amid a series of high-profile gaffes.

“Second chances are what America has always been about,” Perry said.

In a wide-ranging interview here, during a two-day visit to Iowa, Perry said the divisions among Republicans have been healthy for the party. But he said it was time for the establishment and tea party wings to rally around at least one shared goal: supporting strong candidates who can win.

“If you can’t win elections, you can’t govern,” Perry said. “So winning an election is really important.”

The truth? Chris Christie may have a shot at getting elected dog catcher in Alabama or Mississippi. But win a Republican primary for president? I exaggerate, of course, but Perry’s perceptive question is at the heart of the disagreement between GOP factions.

From west to east, north to south conservatism has evolved differently, having to confront different issues and develop distinct personalities to be successful. Despite the homogenizing effects of mass media, each region in America differs from the next in big and small ways (it was actually a much more politically significant difference 50 years ago, but that’s a subject that deserves separate attention). Conservatives in the Midwest don’t care about water rights as they do in the west, and Northeastern conservatives have less interest in rural issues than Southern conservatives.

As Perry notes, these differences will make it hard for Christie to light a fire under conservatives in much of the rest of the country. The New Jersey governor’s path to victory will be narrow and depend much on perception and atmospherics.

Ross Douthat with some advice for Christie:

As a would-be nominee, you have to woo base voters, not run against them, and make them feel respected even when they disagree with you. This doesn’t mean muzzling yourself, or pandering to every right-wing interest group. But it means persuading conservatives that you like them, that you understand them and that as president you’re going to be (mostly) on their side.

Don’t be Rudy Giuliani. You probably think you wouldn’t have Rudy’s problems in a Republican primary. Yes, you’re both combative Northeasterners from the party’s moderate flank, but unlike the former mayor you aren’t a social liberal with a public history of adultery (and a few drag performances thrown in).

But what felled Giuliani in 2008 wasn’t just “values” issues. It was the former mayor’s apparent belief that being a national hero was a sufficient qualification to be president — that he could just show up, be “Rudy,” and the rest would take care of itself.

As another charismatic politician defined by your handling of a catastrophe, you’re vulnerable to the same temptation: the belief that you, personally, are the solution to the Republican Party’s many problems, and that you can just run on your own awesomeness without specifying where you would take the country if you won. That act wears thin in a long campaign, and it’s likely to wear especially thin in a party that needs a new agenda as badly as Republicans do today. Which brings us to …

Don’t assume that what worked in Jersey will work nationally. In state-of-the-party arguments, you and your fellow Republican governors love to contrast your successes with the national party’s struggles. But those successes have been made possible by crucial differences between state-level issues and national ones.

In New Jersey, for instance, you’ve been able to successfully isolate public-sector unions, portraying them as drains on middle-class tax dollars and enemies of the common good. But in national budget debates, the biggest issues are popular entitlement programs, not teacher salaries or bureaucrats’ health benefits. And you probably aren’t going to win the presidency wagging your finger at Social Security recipients, or painting the poor and elderly as dangerous special-interest groups.

He can win the presidency by making Democrats and big government the issue in 2016, hammering them relentlessly as a party of failure. But can he convince enough conservatives elsewhere in the country that he is the answer in order to win the nomination? I think he can — if both Christie and conservatives give each other a chance to prove it. That’s a lot to ask of the mercurial Christie and the quick-to-condemn right wing. And Christie may have other, hidden baggage that would make him unacceptable to voters in a general election.

Perry and other GOP governors will bide their time and let Christie absorb the media spotlight for a while. Eventually, Christie will be running against flesh-and-blood conservatives and not the sort he has been shadowboxing with for the last year. It remains to be seen if his brand of conservative governance can catch on with the right elsewhere in the country when stacked against the ideas and personalities of those more beloved of the right than he.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Having the opposition party select your candidate is not the way to win elections.

These are indeed dark times.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have decided that if Christie (or any other RINO) is the Republican nominee, I will not vote.

That's right, the time has come to say (Ri) no.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And his love of gun control makes him a non-starter for any Republican outside of DC and New York.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (65)
All Comments   (65)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
TEXAS GOP POLL: ‘TEA PARTY’ CHALLENGER BEATS CORNYN 46% TO 33% By: Neil W. McCabe 10/28/2013
http://www.humanevents.com/2013/10/28/texas-gop-poll-tea-party-candidate-beats-cornyn-46-to-33/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When Perry was running for president, I was struck by his lack of knowledge of the states other than Texas. He is a very provincial man who should have lived in Alamo times.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perry may ask the "right" question about Christie, but when is someone going to pin Perry down on Comp Immigration Reform?

He's slicker'n owl shyt on a fence post.........

Perry slam dunked Kay B Hutchinson - but could he handle Hillary and Bubba, with Carvilles bag of dirty tricks?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I will vote for Christy if and only if there is no other choice, including a better Democrat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I will not vote for Christie(or Jeb) The 6 million conservatives that sat on their hands and didn't vote for Romney will be 10-12 million if it's either one of them.

We have the dang road map on how to win-it's the Roves of our party that are killing us with these "only he can win" candidates.

If it means Hillary, so be it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Too many conservqtives think sticking to their "values" is more important than winning the seat. When votes are counted, values count for 0.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"When votes are counted, values count for 0."

So do the establishment Republican candidates.......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Uhh, OK. So I guess I'll just vote for whomever is leading in the polls, so I can be on the winning side. Freedom be damned. Good plan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The winning side has brought us the Pinnocio in chief, Bengazi, Obamacare, lack of respect from our "friends", and a lot of other things. I'm so glad you stuck to your "values".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for proving through your own words that common sense is not so common. So if the Axis Powers lead by Hitler, Tojo, & Mussolini were winning WW II before D-Day you would have been rooting for "the winning team" American principles be damned. Idiocy such as this: " Too many conservatives think sticking to their "values" is more important than winning the seat. When votes are counted, values count for 0", is why America is in the shape it's in. A man without values is a slave who put the chains on himself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What would be the point in voting for a candidate if their policies an not any different from the other guy's candidate?

Winning is not an end unto itself. Winning means nothing if the status quo is preserved.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rick Perry makes two important points: (1) Republicans will want to know where any candidate stands on the issues and (2) the best candidate on the issues will be of little help if he has no chance to win the election.

I would much rather see the US elect a Texas Republican (Sen. Cruz or Gov. Perry) than a New Jersey Republican (Gov. Christie), but almost anyone who wants to be the GOP nominee would be so much superior to a Democrat (VP Biden, Sec. of State Clinton, Gov. Cuomo) that I'm not going to stay home and pout (like many Republicans did last year) if my persona favorite is not the nominee.

Like all of this policies or not, Gov. Christie has a lot of positives going for him and it's not the time to start proclaiming which possible nominee we WON'T vote for.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"it's not the time to start proclaiming which possible nominee we WON'T vote for."

So when is it the time to announce which candidates you won't vote for?

When you've had an autocrat like Christie rammed down your throat?

I'm going to cast my vote for the best possible conservative of my choice, whether they are a candidate or not, by casting a write-in vote, if necessary.

The Republicans can nominate that candidate if they want my vote, otherwise they can do without it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm reminded of another candidate who thought he could be elected just by showing up and being his awesome self. (And by reneging on his campaign-finance promises, and by disabling security checks for website donations...)

He was indeed elected. But he couldn't govern worth a damn. For that, being awesomely awesome isn't enough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Interesting... years ago after I moved from LA to the Tampa area, a veteran friend asked me about my political affiliation. His response to my reply was: 'A California republican is a Florida democrat.' Sigh - Henry, wherever you are, God bless you truly, thank you for serving our country but I still take exception to your snap judgment. A conservative is a conservative no matter from where they hail.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wish it were as simple as that. Perry's right in this case. It is a truism, that a "liberal" democrat in TX, would look like a card carrying Tea Partier if he moved to NJ or NY. A guy like Christie only looks conservative next to the rabid marxists of the Northeast. That's why the Northeastern blue-blood republicans can't relate to the base in Real America anymore.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is that Christie is not a conservative, by any reasonable measure.

He's merely a Republican.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“If you can’t win elections, you can’t govern,” Perry said. “So winning an election is really important.”

Everytime I read/hear that, my skin crawls. I don't give a rat's behind if the gop ever wins another election, if their nominees are just more liberals. What have we gained by putting a liberal republican in office instead of a liberal dem?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"What have we gained by putting a liberal republican in office instead of a liberal dem?"
We lose less with the liberal Republican. Any suggestion that there is NO difference is silly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"We lose less with the liberal Republican....."

Now that is a really pathetic reason to vote for a liberal "Republican" over a liberal Democrat.

I prefer demanding that the Republicans nominate an authentic conservative, or I reserve the right to vote for the candidate of MY choice. I refuse to vote for any candidate that doesn't reflect my political views, I don't care what label he, or she, sports.

If nothing else, I will cast a write-in vote for Ted Cruz.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmm. Not much of a rallying cry. Sorry, but liberal republicans are as much to blame for where we are now as a country, as the democrats are. If we keep holding our noses, and voting for what the establishment gives us, they'll never learn. It's too late for compromise. We either save the country now, or it won't be salvageable. Give me a conservative, or there's no use in voting.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, I guess it's all over. I know! Let's just forget about this election stuff and hand the Presidency to Hillary.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's what's really ironic.

If, by some chance, Christie becomes the Republican presidential candidate, the right wing conservatives will hate him.
But meanwhile, the media will be hammering at him, and they will convince most voters that Christie is a far right wing tea party extremist, a gazillionaire in the pockets of Big Oil and Walmart, racist, anti-science knuckle dragger who doesn't believe in evolution or global warming, and also he runs over baskets full of puppies, kittens, and puppies with his lawn mower. And he hates women.

And Christie, needing support against this assault, will reach out to "the base." And he won't convince any, but he will make one or two comments that hint that maybe, something in the above is actually true- and the Left Wing Media will pick this up, and it will amplify their message.

And so many voters will believe it the Media Myth Christie, that the Democrats will easily be able to play Hard Left, and run another candidate in the Obama mold, and win.

The hard right conservatives will blame Christie. Because they think they are the GOP "Base". But that's because they look at the map, and forget that Land Doesn't Vote, People Vote, and New Jersey has more GOP voters than Kansas and Arkansas combined. Those little Blue States have a heck of a lot of people. They matter.

Look at a population map of the US. The empty places don't vote. They might look really big, but that huge stretch of Nebraska that's bright red? That's two people. Once you realize that, it's clear that Christie is not the outlier here.

I remember, years ago, driving in the southwest, stopping for gas at some remote desert place, and making a comment to the station attendant how strange it must be to live in a place with so few people. He looked at me like I was crazy, and told me about all the people in this town, in that valley just a few miles away, in that place a half hour north, etc. And I realized... he didn't have a clue. He could add all those people together and still not have half as many people as live within a single square mile of New York City.

My point is, Christie has something the conservative wing of the GOP does not: REAL Demographic power. That can (maybe) win. Rick Perry cannot. But if you hold out for the great Right Wing Savior to rise, blame yourself when the Left scores again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First, what you describe will happen no matter who the candidates are.
Second, Obama won last time by 3.5 million votes but 93 million did not vote. The Dems have a mechanism to turn out their base and the Reps do not. The Reps base is easily turned off and the Dems is not. These things swamp any other factor- no matter who the candidates are.
That said, there is much discontent among the masses- and will be more by 2016. Who controls the House and Senate after 2014 will have a big bearing on who will be seen as able to fix things.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Christie is a rare combination in a politician, tough as nails with a big heart, at least that's how the public in this area perceives him. He is a formidable politician who shouldn't be under estimated in any potential battle with the MSM.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, the MSM is pretty easy to beat. All that's required is some backbone. They are almost a paper tiger.

Pity so many "Republicans" haven't learned the basic lesson that Christie (and others before him) have demonstrated - stop groveling and speak the truth.

It's like sunlight to a vampire - they just wither up and slink away.

Works every time. We just have forgotten because it's so seldom anyone does it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If the conservative base is so small and insignificant, why even bother to write this post?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Last time I checked, TX had around 3X the population of NJ anyway...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your most important point was made at the beginning of this solid post: As long as the eneMedia can treat the GOP as a criminal conspiracy against the public and make it stick, the Left will own all of us. (G-d, how I miss Andrew Breitbart!) Those few who bother to vote on the local level, though, actually do sometimes pay attention to actual issues. In Westchester County, NY, we just survived a brutal campaign for County Executive. The GOP incumbent ran on a solid platform of continuing his record of controlling spending and no tax hikes. The Dem ran on a scare campaign of calling him a "Tea Party extremist" and waving gun control and "a woman's right to choose." Decision, GOP - by ten points. The Right's weakness is all on the side of symbolism and feel-goodery; if we can neutralize the eneMedia in 2014 & 2016 by focusing on immediate practical concerns, it's in the bag. Yeah, right, I know. (Repeat line about missing Andrew Breitbart.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Pete Wilson, but with the ability to really dealt with the immigration issue. The guy is not like by the Republican Party. Giving more rax credits to hire the mentally challenged or poor students that are native born over Hispanic immigrants. Support more robotic research in farming eventually ending the guest worker programs and illegal immigration in farm jobs. Development a better e-verify system and fine companies for hiring illegal immirgants
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All