Nov
23
2013

If the 2016 primary comes down to Christie versus Walker, we will have done well.

There are other good combos, of course.

This observation by Allahpundit over the Christie/Walker dynamic in the primaries is worth noting:

One crucial thing that righties learned about [Scott] Walker during and after the Thunderdome in Madison over collective bargaining is that the guy simply will not bend on a policy he believes in, no matter how much acid the left spits at him and how far into the tank the media goes for Democrats in attacking him. He’s unflappable. That’s hugely significant when you’re thinking of throwing your vote to a guy who isn’t the most orthodox conservative in the field. The big worry about [Chris] Christie is that he’ll be wooed by media adulation of his charisma and his own rhetoric about the glories of compromise into governing even further from the center than people think. That’s less of a worry with Walker, the guy who became a right-wing rock star precisely because he wouldn’t compromise.

This is largely true, I think.  Make no mistake: if Chris Christie gets the nomination I will require none of the talk-myself-into-it that I required for both McCain and Romney.  This is partially because I am in point of fact also a Northeastern Republican (something that my readership mostly politely overlooks*), but mostly because I know very well that Christie will not have to be goaded into going in swinging against Democrats.  The man knows very well that a large part of his appeal lies into Christie’s willingness to mix it up and, indeed (and as Walker noted here) call people idiots when they deserve it. That quality is, in fact, the one thing that worries me about Walker; nobody takes a punch better, and Scott Walker punches back effectively enough, but he could use a little more flash in the ring.

But if it boils down to a Christie-Walker in the primaries (with the loser getting the VP slot) I’m not going to be upset**.

Moe Lane

PS: On the gripping hand, let’s get through 2014 first.

*This is not an invitation to tell me how wonderful I am.  Basic politeness should not a matter for extravagant praise.

**Optimally, I’d like the two slots filled by any combination of: Christie, Martinez, Perry, and/or Walker.  I suspect that if the Presidential nomination is a governor then the VP nod goes to a Senator, but I’ll be counseling against that (both publicly and privately). Especially if it’s Christie: the last thing that he wants to do is look like he’s appeasing the base by picking Cruz or Paul. He can get away with it if it’s another governor, though; less worries about the VP nominee getting his/her career blighted if Christie somehow ends up losing.

45 Comments

  • Skip says:

    I’ll tell you right now, I will not be casting a vote for Christie in the general – to the extent that I’m a single-issue voter it’s on second amendment rights, and Christie is very anti second-amendment. I’ll vote for whatever lunatic the Libertarians throw up instead.

    If it is Christie, though, the Veep nominee will be Rubio. Because that’ll give him the opportunity to say ‘screw you’ to the conservative base and claim that he’s actually appeasing them.

    • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

      So the reasoning here is better you get nothing then most things you like? Because there’s no way the Libertarian is getting elected, and there’s no way the Democrat you helped get elected will be better then Christie on the Second Amendment. Is the basic thought “It’s easier to dig out of the hole the Democrats put us in then it is to stand fallow for a few years”?

      • Skip says:

        No my reasoning is that if we elect an anti-2a liberal Republican, then the establishment will get the message that that’s all they will ever back. It’s a message to them. “If I do this, I get burned”. I’m not sure that they can learn, but if they can’t, then the sooner we burn things down the sooner we can rebuild something worth supporting.

        • Herp McDerp says:

          No my reasoning is that if we elect an anti-2a liberal Republican, then the establishment will get the message that that’s all they will ever back. It’s a message to them. “If I do this, I get burned”.
           
          That would make sense if — and only if — one of the two major candidates supported the Second Amendment. Do you really believe that Christie’s Democrat opponent will do that? If not, then there’s no message one way or the other.
           
          I’m not sure that they can learn, but if they can’t, then the sooner we burn things down the sooner we can rebuild something worth supporting.
           
          Ah, yes … and the recent resurgence of Detroit is a great example of exuberant rebuilding and burgeoning prosperity, isn’t it? </sarcasm>

      • Luke says:

        The reasoning here is that the Republican party is a coalition made of different groups that want different things.
        .
        If part of the coalition is ostracized and the party actively attempts to implement policies that are unacceptable to that part of the coalition, then that part of the coalition will leave.
        And it will be absolutely justified in doing so.
        .
        If you want a smaller federal government and support the 2A, then the only argument in favor of Christie is “the other guy is worse”.
        That argument is as played out as the race card. And it completely falls apart if the Dems nominate Schweitzer, who is demonstrably better on both counts.
        .
        George W. Bush sold us out completely in pursuit of the moderate middle and a mythical “permanent 51% majority”. The abominations of Medicare Part D and TARP (among a long laundry list of offenses) lay squarely at his feet.
        And even *he* had better sense than to take a stand against the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

        • Herp McDerp says:

          If you want a smaller federal government and support the 2A, then the only argument in favor of Christie is “the other guy is worse”.
           
          And that’s a damn good argument. The time to support the candidate of your dreams is during the primaries. After the national party conventions pick their candidates, it’s too late for that. With the system we have now, sometimes you do have to vote for a lizard to keep the wrong lizard from getting in.
           
          That argument is as played out as the race card. And it completely falls apart if the Dems nominate Schweitzer, who is demonstrably better on both counts.
           
          If the Democrats ever pick Brian Schweitzer as their presidential candidate, then I might agree with you. But I find it difficult to believe that the modern Democratic Party would nominate the Chairman of the Board of the Gaia-raping, carbon-polluting, profits-over-people Stillwater Mining Company. Do you suspect that’s ever going to happen?

          • Moe_Lane says:

            There is no such thing as a conservative Democrat. A hypothetical President Schweitzer will do precisely what the liberal contingent that runs his party will expect him to do with regard to judges and expanding the regulatory state: which is to say, do everything to promote a liberal agenda.

            This is how they operate, these days.

          • midwestconservative says:

            Schweitzer supports Single-Payer and was heavily critical of Obamacare from the Left’s viewpoint.
            That will carry him through the primary with Leftist support. His moderate views on business, energy, and 2a, will get him moderate support over Hillary.

          • midwestconservative says:

            @ Moe Lane.
            Tell me, what happens when Christie starts increasing regulations the same way a Dem does, only he’ll force us to call it “conservative.”
            Sorry, at least a moderate Dem like Schweitzer would be opposed tooth and nail by a GOP Congress ( and I expect the GOP to hold both chambers following 2014, and to hold the Senate in 2016)
            Christie would demand the GOP majority in Congress to support whatever hair brained plan his consultants told him would help compete for votes ( Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind come to mind here)
            GOP will do it because he’d be “the Leader” and then we’ll get blamed for the fallout.
            THE ONLY WAY Christie turns out to be a conservative President is if the Speaker of the House is Uncle Joe Gannon. Last time I checked Weepy ain’t that.
            In other words we’ll need a Speaker (and Senate Leader) Willing to call the President ( even if he’s of his own party) an idiot if and when said President behaves like one.

          • Luke says:

            /\
            ||
            This. What midwestconservative said.
            .
            .
            It is not, in fact, a good argument. We are electing a man to advance an ideology. If the man clearly will not advance that ideology, and will, in fact, make it harder to advance our ideology, we’re much better off with him losing.
            He can serve as a warning to other moderates, but that’s *all* he will serve as.
            The whole party solidarity/tribalism thing used to have more weight, before the moderate establishment Republicans went running to the microphones to declare Tea Party candidates
            “unelectable”.
            But they did. That bridge is well and truly burnt.

          • midwestconservative says:

            Just so you know, a significant number of the people heavily backing Christie are the same people who called Cuccinelli a “paultard” and were glad he lost.
            One guy in fact gladly announced he stayed home rather then vote for Lonegan because he didn’t want “another Ted Cruz in the Senate”
            And yet he called himself a “hard core conservative”
            In fact the two people who equated Cuccinelli to David Duke are currently shilling for Christie 2016.
            That *almost* makes me look forward to announcing to them that I’m not voting for Christie (in the critical month of October when Christie is still scrambling to get us flyover rubes to vote for him, because his master plan to win the Northeast doesn’t work)
            So when it comes to not voting for the Party’s nominee, they started it.

          • Herp McDerp says:

            … we’re much better off with him losing. He can serve as a warning to other moderates, but that’s *all* he will serve as.

            Jeeze … It’s not about him, it’s about us. I vote out of self-defense, not to “send a message” to some hypothetical Conservative Savior four, eight, twelve, or twenty years down the road.

            Do you really believe that you, I, and the rest of the non-parasite citizens of this country would be better off if Elizabeth Warren were to beat Christie in 2016?

          • midwestconservative says:

            @ Herp, nobody thinks we’d be better off if Warren beats Christie ( and if she’s the Dem nominee, I will haul butt to get Christie elected)
            But Christie vs. Pro-Gun Dem? Maybe, the fact that Christie is also anti-coal certainly won’t play well in West Virginia.
            Sorry if you blur the lines too much ( and Christie has purposefully done this in order to get reelected) you don’t deserve to win.
            By his own admission Christie agrees 98% of the time with NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
            That right there is unelectable in flyover country.

          • Luke says:

            I don’t recall ever invoking a savior figure.
            At most, I invoked Catiline, with Christie in the starring role.
            .
            I absolutely believe we’d be better off with Warren than Christie as President. Because then the Republican party would be unified and opposed to the statist horsepucky being advanced by the President, instead of fractured and complicit. See also: Bush, George W.

  • BigGator5 says:

    “Make no mistake: if Chris Christie gets the nomination I will require none of the talk-myself-into-it that I required for both McCain and Romney.”
    .
    Agreed. However I will still vote my conscience in the primary. And nothing personal against Chris Christie or his supporters, but I am voting Scott Walker (if he runs). I once talked to a fellow Republican during 2012 about who to vote for in the primary. They were worried if she should vote for Romney or not. I pulled them aside and said: “Look, a Republican is going to win the Republican primary. Vote your conscience in the primary and then you can sell your soul in the general election.”

  • nighttwister says:

    It should be Walker. It’ll be Christie, mainly because conservatives will split votes in the primaries once again.

    • midwestconservative says:

      And Ted Cruz and Rand Paul will be mostly to blame for that. Cruz in particular might turn into the Bachmann of 2016.

  • LiberExMachina says:

    As a relatively hard-core Texas conservative with a willingness to vote 3rd party, I’ll won’t be voting for Christie. I see him as a more charismatic version of McCain (id est, a moderate that stands firm in his squishiness); while Christie HAS shown some fiscal conservatism on the national scene, his other national-news making actions (refusing to support the 26 state ObamaTax suit comes to mind) makes him feel like his spine would be more rigid against conservatives than Democrats. I also would need convincing to vote for somebody that gives Christie the VP nod, as I would probably see it more as a sign of bad decision-making skills than as an appeal to the moderate wing.

    Walker, however, feels like a good pick.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      I’m not going to be hard-assed about third party voting here (as opposed to RS), but I will note: you do have the luxury of being a Texas voter. There isn’t a Democrat alive who could win TX in 2016.

      • acat says:

        While there are Republicans who could win Illinois, they aren’t named Christie.
        .
        If the GOP decide to nominate him, my vote no longer matters.
        .
        Mew

        • midwestconservative says:

          Which Republican could win Illinois?

          • Skip says:

            Which one has a criminal record, or will soon do so?

          • acat says:

            The Dems do not outnumber the Repubs in Illinois .. but it’s close – to win Illinois, the Repub must talk fiscal common sense (with a dollop of pragmatic populism) that appeals both to downstate farmers and collar county small business types, as well as red-tape cuts that appeal to large business types.
            .
            Hasn’t been one who can do that since Reagan, and – frankly – he was the only one in my life who even tried.
            .
            Mew

        • midwestconservative says:

          Is there a Republican who could carry Illinois nationally, out of our current list of Governors ( Pence, Walker, Haley, Perry, Jindal, Sandoval, Martinez, anybody)?

      • LiberExMachina says:

        Yup; it is certainly nice that I know 50-55% of the state’s population will hold their nose and “pull the lever” in a state-wide election for someone that probably secretly hates them if they have an “R” behind their name.

        In my case, voting 3rd part is less “throwing my vote away” and more “feebly trying to help the Libertarians/Constitution Party become the not Republican major party in parts of Texas”.

        But, to be fair, I wrote in the Republican vice presidential candidate’s name the last couple of elections.

  • midwestconservative says:

    I’m usually on the “governor’s only please” side of things. But I rate every Senator higher then Christie ( and Jeb Bush)
    Like with Romney, there is no way in heck Christie will get my vote in the Primary
    And depending on who he picks for VP will determine whether or not I vote for him in the General ( Ryan is a big reason I voted for Romney)

  • Darin_H says:

    I’m probably going to need some talking into voting Christie in the general. I’m not a single issue voter, but 2a is a big one. I like the fight in Christie, but he’s a lot more hat (talk) than cattle (results).
    .
    Walker is ideal IMO. Conservative. Results. Fighter.
    .
    And I think a “return to normalcy” campaign is going to go well over a “cult of personality” one.
    .
    Walker/Jindal 2016!

    • acat says:

      Ah, the 90 degree ticket. I’d be quite happy with that, Darin_H.
      .
      As for Christie, I don’t think I can support him in the general.
      .
      The problem with Christie is not that he’s a northeastern republican, it’s that he’s just a loudmouth Valkyrie for the New Jersey Dems.
      .
      Look at his record, he’s not really transforming the State, nor is he strengthening the New Jersey GOP .. and I’ll leave the drawing of parallels between that and Mitt Romney hanging in the air.
      .
      No, Christie’s role is to pick and choose which Dem constituencies die – Valkryie, in the original sense – because the NJ Dems would rather have a common enemy than fight a nasty civil war.
      .
      Once they are slimmed down to fighting weight again, Christie is toast… and being a tool of the opposition is not a strong enough reason to support him for dogcatcher, let alone POTUS.
      .
      I will, of course, pierce my tongue biting it, if Christie wins the nom, and – in the privacy of the voting booth, vote Libertarian.
      .
      Mew
      .
      .
      p.s. to Mr. Mitchell – I currently live in Illinois, a State that hasn’t gone for the GOP candidate in their first term in a generation, kindly save your bogus arguments for someone whose POTUS vote will matter.

      • Darin_H says:

        I’ll agree with all that, and I will say that out of the rumored 2016 runners, Christie is last on my list – and I usually really like governors over senators, (but really Cruz and Paul are different breeds than the old-school senator running for Prez).

      • midwestconservative says:

        Mark Kirk is up in 2016, What are his chances at winning reelection.

        • acat says:

          Kirk has medical issues and may retire.
          .
          The better question is “What are the chances of the GOP retaining the seat?” .. which I think will depend quite a lot on 2014 and coattails.
          .
          Mew

    • nighttwister says:

      This.

      Walker because he’s a fighter.
      Jindal because he’s very strong on healthcare & education… from a truly conservative perspective.

      • midwestconservative says:

        What about Pence?

        • acat says:

          I like Pence.
          .
          I also think, if Pence doesn’t start coalescing Real Soon Now, he’s gonna miss it.
          .
          For us to not end up in another Iowa demolition derby, the “obvious conservative who can win” candidate needs to appear before 2014.
          .
          Mew

          • midwestconservative says:

            I think if Walker decides he doesn’t want to run, Pence would be the dark horse candidate. Some of these guys ( Perry, Jindal) are starting to fade. Jindal should have really run in 2012.
            Walker isn’t fading but he has the whole ( the Left wants to destroy WI while my back is turned) going on. He also doesn’t have a college degree, something he needs to get really quick ( he can)
            Pence is the one Governor with Legislative and Foreign Policy experience.

        • nighttwister says:

          Minimum qualification for me is a governor that has been re-elected at least once. That leaves Walker, Jindal, Perry, & Christie. There are other multiple-term Governors, but I have not even heard rumors about them running. I don’t see anything being different for Perry if he runs again, so that leaves 3. This also means no Congressmen, and no Senators.

          • acat says:

            As Moe has pointed out, more than once, we have a good bench.
            .
            Pence will be 65 in 2024, and could conceivably run then.
            .
            Jindal is younger than Pence, so .. longer shelf life.
            .
            Christie is younger than Pence, but his weight will lead to health issues, so .. maybe not as long of a shelf life.
            .
            Scott Walker is younger than Pence, although slightly older than Jindal. Also plenty of shelf life left.
            .
            Rick Perry is the oldest of the list, so .. unless Perry manages to come out of the gate stronger this time, he’s over.
            .
            Mew

  • Luke says:

    Jindal is my first choice. I like Perry. I’d support Walker.
    .
    But hell will freeze over before I’ll ever vote for Christie.
    .
    If the Republican party establishment wants to destroy the Republican party, I can think of no surer way than the nomination of Christie.
    .
    I’ve held my nose and voted for the Republican nominee my entire adult life. Never once (in 7 election cycles) has the nominee been someone I’ve actually supported.
    I’m fed up. I’m not doing it any more. If the party wants my support, it must first actually start delivering on its promises. Otherwise, it can go the way of the Whigs for all I care.

  • Luke says:

    Alternate take:
    We’re frogs in the pot.
    The only difference between Christie and the Dems is how quickly they want to bring the pot to a boil.
    Do you prefer it to boil slower so you don’t notice your own death? Or do you want it to boil faster, with the hope that the resulting chaos might give you an opportunity to escape?

    • acat says:

      That argument applied adequately to Mitt and McCain and the Bushies.
      .
      Christie is, as I explained above, a completely different animal.
      .
      Christie would mean electing someone whose governing style is a near-complete unknown to us – he’s not really *running* New Jersey, he’s choosing between a menu of Dem options.
      .
      Mew

  • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

    I more or less knew what the Democratic Party was when I decided that I would vote against them.
    .
    My core political platform might be that I am Anti-Democratic, deeply and fundamentally opposed to the American Democratic Party.
    .
    I knew what the Republican party was when I starting voting with them to fight the Democratic Party.
    .
    The Republican party has, many times and continuously throughout its history, prioritized the continuation of the Republic over the extinction of the Democratic Party. This is a somewhat tolerable compromise for me, especially I see no way of actively ending The Party without destroying America or leaving a political faction with no counterbalance, or both.
    .
    Hypothetically, I might vote for a Democrat over a Republican for a partisan office if and only if the Republican were very bad, and the Democrat candidate were very good.
    .
    Especially at the elected official level, the political affiliation a person chooses alone can be a merit or demerit. For example, if someone were to attempt to something politically with the German National Socialist Workers Party in this day and age, what would it say about them as a political activist? Their strategy and discernment? A Democratic affiliation is a minus, a Republican organization is a plus, and an organization with no history is neutral. I also try and count whether or not the organization has been compromised by leftists using the Leninist organizational weapon.
    .
    If there were two otherwise utterly identical twins, one a Republican and one a Democrat, I’d be inclined to vote for the Republican if they aren’t entirely vile.
    .
    I am very unlikely to vote Libertarian. Practically, I don’t see that they are in a position to do anything I want, and I more or less share Kratman’s ‘Three Questions’ set of reservations about the feasibility of what they propose. Emotionally, I hate both their pro-pedophilia and pro-pot positions a great deal.
    .
    So, on Christie in the General, it’d partly a matter of who the opponent is. He seems better than Obama, but there are Democrats and serial killers who have a better rating for President than Obama.
    .
    I count against him his degree of support for Obama in the last election, and for the Democratic Party in general. I just plain do not sense from him a strong desire to destroy the Democratic Party, or failing that, thwart it.
    .
    There was mention of the second amendment. I understand support for gun control as an objective desire to see minorities murdered. I object to such murders.
    .
    As for social policy, well, I probably ought to stop here.
    .
    As he doesn’t seem to be rapist, I will not rule out voting for him in the general election.

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