Thursday, April 14, 2011

Draft Chris Christie

Regardless of whether Parmenides or Rabelais said it first, nature abhors a vacuum.

And, like nature, politics also abhors a vacuum.

In today‘s political scene a vacuum exists at the place where there we should see a leading Republican presidential candidate.

Even if not a leader, a credible contender, a compelling postulant, someone who can capture the energy that drove the Republican party to extraordinary success in the last elections.

When you look at the Republican field today, you can only conclude that there is none. Mitt Romney bears the albatross of Romneycare, and besides, he is a retread. Mike Huckabee is not going to run, and even if he did, would the nation rise up to elect him. The bloom has seriously gone off Sarah Palin’s rose, and Michele Bachmann does not seem quite ready for prime time.Newt Gingrich does not have a prayer, and, as for Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum… who are you trying to kid?

It’s looking like seven dwarfs waiting for Snow White.

Into the vacuum has stepped none other than Donald Trump. Since it seems unlikely that he will ever become the standard bearer of the Republican party, Trump now seems willing to mount an independent campaign. Like Ross Perot did in 1992.

People say that the Perot candidacy had no effect on the outcome of that election, but it seemed clear to me that Ross Perot gave the presidency to Bill Clinton. Surely, he muddied the waters, and just as surely, he joined Bill Clinton in ganging up on George Bush the Elder.

Like Ross Perot, Trump ranks up there with the nation’s most vainglorious billionaires. He is straightforward and direct, knows how to command the public stage, and says things that many of us have been thinking.

For the Republican party he is their worst nightmare. For Barack Obama he is a dream come true.

Perhaps Trump is involved in a flagrant publicity stunt, but that does not mean that he might not be drawn into the fray.

Never underestimate the megalomania of billionaires. Regardless of Trump’s bluster, in a three way race Barack Obama would be unbeatable.

And never count it out when the media will go on a frenzy to make Trump believe that he can really win the election. Considering how desperate the media will be to re-elect Obama, they will play on Trump's arrogance and make him the perfect foil to split the Republican vote.

So far, to the best of my knowledge, no one is really asking the salient question. Does Trump really have the cash to finance an independent candidacy? If the price tag on the campaign will be close to a billion dollars, does Donald Trump really have that much spare cash?

We know that Michael Bloomberg could have written a check for the sum, but I have not heard anyone say that Donald Trump can.

Clearly, Trump believes the he is so smart and so powerful that he can impose will on the American political system. After he whips the American political system into shape, Trump is supremely confident that he can take on the rest of the world.

It is not a crazy idea to think that Trump could do a better job than Barack Obama. But then again, you would have to try very, very hard not to do a better job than Barack Obama.

It may not make very much sense to say that the Savior, the Messiah, needs to be saved, but, twenty-seven months into his presidency, the nation seems to have come to the realization that Obama is seriously in over his head.

Donald Trump may see himself as the savior that America needs. Were he not constantly tripping over his ego, Trump would understand that the only person he can save is Barack Obama.

Politics abhors a vacuum, so much so that it has greeted Donald Trump with open arms. Yet, we should understand that there is a reason for this great political vacuum. That reason is: Chris Christie.

The Republican field has been in suspended animation because it is waiting to hear from the governor of New Jersey.

You’ve heard of Samuel Beckett’s classic: Waiting for Godot. You might even have read it or saw it produced. Now, the Republican party is living out its own existential drama: Waiting for Christie.

Chris Christie is one of the most important leaders of the  Republican party. True enough, he only operates on the state level, but as you watch the Midwestern Republican governors confront the public service unions, you must recognize that they are following Chris Christie's lead.

Even in the true blue state of New York, the new liberal governor, Andrew Cuomo is emulating his neighboring state governor. Andrew Cuomo is Chris Christie-lite.

When you show the way by setting an example that inspires others, as Chris Christie has, you are, like it or not, a national leader.

The current discussions about the declared or intended Republican candidates is really a sideshow. The Republican party is waiting for Christie. I suspect that a Christie candidacy would clear the Republican field, and might even cause Donald Trump to cease and desist.

In the meantime Chris Christie continues to insist that he will not run for the presidency because he does not feel that he is ready. And the panjandrums of the Republican party continue their vigil.

In that, they are making a mistake. If you don‘t mind a spoiler alert, at the conclusion of Beckett‘s play, Godot does not arrive. The central characters, Vladimar and Estragon wait and wait and wait… for nothing.

As the old Latin proverb says: de nihilo nihilum, which means: nothing comes from nothing.

My advice to the Republican party: ignore whatever Chris Christie says, and mount a serious campaign to draft him as a presidential candidate.

Gov. Christie seems to have concluded that with hubris afoot in the land and with the ship of state being guided by someone who is manifestly unqualified, that his own humility will make him more attractive.

The problem is, that it’s not just about Chris Christie. It’s about the nation and it’s future. Chris Christie should be drafted because the country needs him, regardless of whether he thinks so.

A slightly, or even somewhat, unready Chris Christie would be a vast improvement of what we have now.


MissyW said...


Anonymous said...

Have you seen Sarah Palin's latest speech?

We need a fighter. This girl is a fighter!

Anonymous said...

Forgot to include the link to her speech...