“I don’t think people want income equality. What they want is income opportunity.” – Governor Chris Christie in Chicago
ONE OF THE reasons New Jersey elected Chris Christie twice to be governor, with the help of Democrats, is because of what surfaced again briefly in Chicago on Tuesday. The trouble and challenges surrounded his governorship remain, with talk of 2016 at this point off the table, because whether he survives U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s investigation is still unknown. Any objective analysis of his performance, however, shows clearly why Republicans are right to hope he survives, while Democrats who have been around and seen politicians survive scandals are hoping he falls.
As political segments on cable go, heads up NBC News. “Morning Joe” just gave you an example of how to save the snooze fest “Meet the Press.”
When it comes to Governor Chris Christie’s coverage, MSNBC has a lot to answer for in their primetime shows. Minutia isn’t evidence and neither is rehashing old news. In the morning, friends of Chris Christie Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have their relationship on the record and offer the flip side. Unlike the night, however, more sides of the story are reviewed.
What started with a question from Joe Scarborough, then ensued into a blunt back and forth between NBC’s political director Chuck Todd and Republican Nicole Wallace, eventually broadened out into an expansive and transparently educational and entertaining cable TV moment. It revealed what can happen when people who disagree openly and frankly discuss the elements of a story, complete with rhetorical fireworks, but aren’t interested in demolishing one another personally, because they respect each other.
It all eventually landed in a space where everyone came down in a smooth landing that includes laughter, never mind how it’s being reported by other new-media outlets who wanted to paint one picture and very likely aren’t interested in the spectacular conclusion that had everyone proving civility and debate are not mutually exclusive.
“Nicole had a Trident, she used a Trident against me! I think she killed a man.” – Chuck Todd
I’m not going to directly compare Christie to what happened with the Clintons in the 1990s, because it’s worlds apart.
However, having been honed in the cauldron of the right-wing hunting of President Clinton, to borrow and tweak a phrase coined by Joe Conason, piling on is something easily spotted. I’m simply not going to do to Chris Christie what was done to the Clintons, which includes the New York Times, a paper Christie is doing battle with right now. Even before Bill Clinton was elected, Jeff Gerth concocted and reeled out Whitewater in the New York Times, something that evolved into a political witch hunt of maximum destruction for everyone, except the media covering it. Adding William Safire, as well as Maureen Dowd’s poison Clinton pen, and you’ve got some real firepower.
Governor Christie’s got many challenges, an op-ed in New Jersey suggesting he should step down from the RGA. Not very good political advice if you’re a man fighting for your career, but it’s being suggested. He shouldn’t step down until there’s evidence that proves his career is over. I’m an expert on this, having lived in the white hot heat of the 2008 Hillary primary war.
“Morning Joe” did a great job revealing everything this story contains, including what Nicole Wallace revealed is at the heart of many of our political squabbles. People get “brittle” battling the pile on of the press, which inevitably becomes a swarm, because of the magnitude of our many media outlets today.
“He was very, very good [in Chicago],” David Axelrod offered after the skirmish. On messaging, Chuck Todd agreed.
In fact, “income opportunity” is actually a much better message than “income equality.” When the time comes, Hillary should steal it.