As much as I love the cadence of the title of this piece, it is not entirely accurate: whereas Marcus Junius Brutus was the last person Gaius Julius Caesar ever expected to plunge a dagger into his chest, any and every treachery committed by NJ Governor Blimpus Maximus was and is anticipated well in advance by those of us in the Tea Party movement who have carefully observed the modus operandi of Chris Christie since early 2009.
For those whose eyes have been opened late in the game, go here and then here to get up to speed. In the 2010 mid-term election Chris Christie endorsed RINO candidates Terry Branstad, Rick Snyder, Mike Fitzpatrick, Charlie Baker, Chris Dudley, and, most infamously, Mike Castle over Sharon O’Donnell in the Delaware primary.
Let no doubt remain in the mind of any rational observer (a qualification that necessarily excludes the likes of Ann Coulter) that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is many things – Establishment GOP power player, RINO, party hack, duplicitous, scheming – but Reaganite Conservative isn’t one of them. Hence his decision to fly up to New Hampshire yesterday to publicly endorse Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.
Why the sudden haste to lend his support to Romney? Was it not just a week ago that Der Blimpmeister declared he was not ready to run for president – which means that, at some point in time before his announcement, he believed he might have been ready and certainly capable? How did he suddenly become incapable? I’ll tell you how in just two words: Herman Cain.
Perspicacious Bulldoggers will note that Christie’s “I will not run” announcement was made just three days after Herman Cain’s stunningly unexpected victory in the Florida straw poll on September 24. Almost immediately – like a snowball rolling down a hillside covered with damp snow, the Cain campaign acquired energy and momentum at a geometric rate.
The latest polls? In South Carolina, Cain leads Romney by one point (26%/25%). In Virginia, he’s tied with Romney. This race is far from over and THAT is what scares the hell out of the GOP Establishment: there is no way that Herman Cain can be permitted to win and everything possible must be done to stop him.
Now, before Rob Eichmann has to be revived with smelling salts so he can draft another idiotic memo to the GOP Establishment accusing them of racism, it should be noted that it’s not the color of Cain’s skin that has the RINO herd panicked: it’s the content of his political character. Cain is an authentic Reagan Conservative who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage. Worse yet, he has (GASP!) no political experience – which means there is no way to easily co-opt him. In their minds, it is entirely probable that, if elected, this crazy bastard will actually attempt to do everything he says he will do.
The Establishment GOP was counting on Rick Perry to implode and on the other candidates – including Cain – to simply fizzle out, leaving Der Mittmeister as the last man standing and the presumptive nominee long before the first primaries (some of which are being moved forward to January) are held. Cain’s unexpected surge in popularity makes him the fly in the GOP ointment – especially since he is rapidly becoming the dreamboat candidate of the Tea Party movement.
Enter Gov. Chris Christie, the ersatz conservative savior of New Jersey and food fetish idol of Anorexic Annie, whose bony fingers pounded the keyboard overtime in an effort to promote him as the Reaganite he is not and has no desire to be.
Bulldoggers will recall that in 2009 Romney traveled to the Garden State to endorse Christie during the GOP gubernatorial primary and so the question practically asks itself: did Governor Zeppelin get a 9 AM call from Der Mittmeister requesting a reciprocal back scratch? It certainly makes perfect sense: many of the Republican rank and file outside of New Jersey continue to labor under the delusion that Christie is a solid conservative when, in fact, he’s a well-connected Establishment GOP hack. What they don’t know can only help Romney and so it came to pass that Christie bestowed his phony conservative benediction on a phony conservative candidate:
Christie also addressed what’s perhaps Romney’s biggest vulnerability — the Massachusetts health care measure that he signed into law and that was a model for Obama’s nationwide measure that conservatives detest.
The New Jersey governor said it was “completely intellectually dishonest” to link Romney’s measure with Obama’s. And Christie added of Romney: “I’m proud of him for doing what he thought was right” on health care in Massachusetts.
Romney, in turn, called Christie a “hero” because of his record of cutting government spending as governor of New Jersey.
Actually, state spending INCREASED since Christie assumed office – but that is a subject for another day. Pay close attention to the defense Blimpus Maximus offers on behalf of Mitt Romney: he claims that those who link Romneycare with Obamacare are being “intellectually dishonest.”
Oh, really? Perhaps Christie should peruse the web pages of The Washington Post beyond the recipe section:
The folks who worked on the Massachusetts law didn’t exactly fade into the background once the health reform law passed and implementation got underway. Instead, many former Romney officials are now working for both the Obama administration and state governments to ensure that that the Affordable Care Act gets set up.
That includes Jon Kingsdale, who served as the first executive director of the Massachusetts Connector. Health and Human Services awarded Kingsdale a contract this year to help plan a federal health exchange, the fallback option for states that do not set up their own marketplaces by 2014. “We’ve been helping [HHS] think through operationally how it would work,” Kingsdale told me (subscription required) of his contract when we spoke about it in May.
Across the the country, the role of Massachusetts’s health reform veterans is even more pronounced; the consultants now helping states implement the Affordable Care Act are a veritable Massachusetts health reform alumni club. When Kingsdale and I talked about this a few months ago, he estimated that former Massachusetts officials are now working in about 20 to 25 states on implementing the federal law.
The list is long and most of the names aren’t exactly household ones outside of health policy. There’s Rosemarie Day, who served as the Massachusetts Connector’s chief operating officer for four years, who now runs an independent consulting firm, Day Health Strategies. She’s worked with Hawaii and Washington State on implementing health reform. There’s Melissa Boudreault, who directed Commonwealth Care, the insurance plan offered to low-income Massachusetts residents. She is now a vice president for mega-technology vendor CGI (which, incidentally, was awarded a $93.7 million contract to build the federal exchange, the one Kingsdale has been working on, late last week). Others have found work at top consulting firms, such as Deloitte, while some have gone to smaller health shops, like Bailit Health Purchasing and Health Management Associates.
And you can see the connections looking backward, too. NBC’s Michael Isikoff makes that point this morning by noting the Obama administration’s many meetings with senior Romney health advisers in 2009, during the health reform debate.
And let’s not forget that Anorexic Annie’s knight in super-plus-size shining armor is proud of Romney’s efforts to do to the people of Massachusetts what Barack Obama is trying to do to all of America.
So what lies ahead for Chris Christie?
On a conference call later in the day, Christie addressed a supporter’s suggestion that he become Romney’s running mate.
“That’s going to be Governor Romney’s choice,” Christie said. “I’ve told him my only interest is helping him get elected and serving my state.”
Yet another Kinsley Gaffe: if Christie’s only interest lies in serving his state, then it really ISN’T Romney’s choice, is it? Conversely, if it really IS Romney’s choice, then Christie is telling us he ‘s ready to be drafted as Veep.
Unfortunately, Gov. Zeppelin – whose morbidly obese bulk would be about as telegenic as Carnie in a Wilson Phillips music video – has as much a chance of becoming Romney’s Veep as I have of winning a Chippendale male stripper contest.
Assuming Romney prevails – and that is far from assured even after Der Blimpmeister’s benediction – it’s a sure bet he’ll reach out to Cain as both a magnet to attract the conservative base and a melanin-rich offensive/defensive weapon against the anticipated “black-attack” from the Donks. Sound depressingly familiar?
If not, then think back to the year 2008. Perhaps the photo below will jog your memory.
Unless the Tea Party movement unites itself behind a truly conservative candidate, November 6, 2012 might just as well be Groundhog Day.