Rich Lowry

Could Chris Christie Really Beat Obama?

Andrew Romano – The Daily Beast

The New Jersey governor claims he knows he “could win” the White House in 2012, but he’s not “ready to be president.” Andrew Romano on why Christie isn’t insane—though he shouldn’t read much into early polls.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t known for being demure. Since defeating incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009, he’s blustered, bellowed, and bullied his way into the hearts of conservatives nationwide, berating every schoolteacher or union boss who has had the temerity to cross him—especially if his staff is filming the encounter for YouTube.

So when National Review’s Rich Lowry asked Christie whether “he knew that, given the moment, there is a serious chance he could win the Republican nomination if he ran,” the governor responded in typically bombastic fashion.

“I see the opportunity,” said the New Jersey governor, who at this point has been pestered about his (allegedly nonexistent) 2012 presidential ambitions so many times that he’s taken to saying he’ll have to commit “suicide” to get reporters off his back. “I have people calling me and saying to me, ‘Let me explain to you how you could win.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.’ That’s not the issue.

An expression of complete electoral confidence from a sworn, Shermanesque non-candidate is a rare thing in American politics. Usually, when a politician is blabbering about how he can win a particular contest, it means he’s planning to give it a go. So does Christie really think he could clobber President Obama in 2012? And if so, is he correct?

Let’s start with the evidence in Christie’s favor. Last month, Zogby Interactive released a poll that showed the governor leading a hypothetical field of Republican hopefuls by a solid 10 percentage points; the silver medalist, Mitt Romney, scored a paltry 17 percent to Christie’s commanding 27 percent. Even more impressive, Christie was the only Republican who bested Obama among all respondents (43 percent to 40 percent), with much of his strength coming from independents, who preferred the New Jerseyan by a wide, 13-point margin (42 percent to 29 percent).              Continue reading here…

 

Behind the Right’s Glenn Beck Backlash

The Daily Beast

Bill Kristol criticized the Fox News host’s Egypt coverage, and Rich Lowry and others are piling on. But the condemnations are unlikely to spread to the GOP mainstream—and favorites like Rush Limbaugh and Andrew Breitbart are two reasons why.

Is the right turning against Glenn Beck?

This week in Commentary, Peter Wehner became the latest conservative commentator to call out the Fox News host’s absurd ramblings. He joined Bill Kristol, who criticized Beck’s coverage of the uprising in Egypt, Rich Lowry, who piled on, and Matthew Continetti, who called Beck’s oeuvre “nonsense” last summer.

That brings us to their fellow conservative Jennifer Rubin, who writes for The Washington Post. “What should thoughtful conservatives do? I’ve said it before, but it is especially relevant here: Police their own side,” she advised this week. “Rather than reflexively rising to his defense when questioned about Beck, why don’t conservatives call him out and explain that he doesn’t represent the views of mainstream conservatives? Conservative groups and candidates should be forewarned: If they host, appear with or defend him they should be prepared to have his extremist views affixed to them.”

As a Beck critic who criticized the creepy aspects of his on-air personality even when he was touting awesome Friedrich Hayek books, I’d love to see more folks in the conservative movement adopt Rubin’s attitude. But they won’t. One reason is that it’s difficult to condemn Beck in isolation. Acknowledging that his show is indefensible—that’s the core of her critique—means confronting the fact that Fox News under Roger Ailes knowingly broadcasts factually inaccurate and egregiously misleading nonsense every day. How many conservatives are willing to stipulate that?

It also means departing from the conservative movement’s standard approach to its entertainers: It’s verboten to criticize anyone on “your own side” in an ideological conflict many see as binary.   Continue reading here…