Romney campaign, other Republicans still blaming Christie

Gov. Christie on SNL over the weekend.

There’s an interesting NYT story today about how Chris Christie got a chilly reception at the Republican Governor’s Association meeting in Vegas. It also goes into just how much the Romney campaign people blame him for their loss. Some experts:

But in the days after the storm, Mr. Christie and his advisers were startled to hear from out-of-state donors to Mr. Romney, who had little interest in the hurricane and viewed him solely as a campaign surrogate, demanding to know why he had stood so close to the president on a tarmac. One of them questioned why he had boarded Mr. Obama’s helicopter, according to people briefed on the conversations.

It did not help that Mr. Romney had not called Mr. Christie during those first few days, people close to the governor say.

The tensions followed Mr. Christie to the annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas last week. At a gathering where he had expected to be celebrated, Mr. Christie was repeatedly reminded of how deeply he had offended fellow Republicans.

“I will not apologize for doing my job,” he emphatically told one of them in a hotel hallway at the ornate Wynn Resort…

Inside the Romney campaign, there is little doubt that Mr. Christie’s expressions of admiration for the president, coupled with ubiquitous news coverage of the hurricane’s aftermath, raised Mr. Obama’s standing at a crucial moment.

During a lengthy autopsy of their campaign, Mr. Romney’s political advisers pored over data showing that an unusually large number of voters who remained undecided until the end of the campaign backed Mr. Obama. Many of them cited the storm as a major factor in their decision, according to a person involved in the discussion.

“Christie,” a Romney adviser said, “allowed Obama to be president, not a politician.”…

Gee, folks, do you think it could be, as this story suggests, something as simple as the fact that Obama was taking an interest in what was happening in New Jersey, and his opponent was not?

72 thoughts on “Romney campaign, other Republicans still blaming Christie

  1. Brad

    Did y’all see Christie on SNL’s “Weekend Update” over the weekend? It wasn’t that great. It suffered from the timing being off — the interaction between him and Seth Myers didn’t quite click.

    But that’s often the case with folks who are not professional comic actors. He tried hard. He didn’t hold back. He really tried to sell it.

    (During “Pride and Prejudice,” I was at first happy to stay in character, remember my lines, and keep the accent right. But after a few performances, I started getting really jealous that almost everyone was getting laughs but me. So the last week, I started experimenting with one of my lines that I thought had potential. But it wasn’t working. I confided this to Gene Aimone, who played Mr. Darcy, one night, and he asked, “Did you SELL it?” I had to admit I was being a bit hesitant with it. So the last three nights, I did it BIG, but didn’t get the timing really right until the very last night. THEN I got a respectable laugh. Good thing that was the night we were shooting video. Anyway, my point is, comedy is harder than it looks.)

  2. Steve Gordy

    Since the election, it seems as though Romney and his surrogates are acting like spoiled kids who just got told “No!” for the first time in life. I guess Christie’s failure was in remembering that he was governor of New Jersey, not just the Republican governor of New Jersey.

  3. bud

    You just have to love these stories. Romney was spanked pretty hard by the electorate. And now everyone in the GOP is spinning to find a reason.

    It’s pretty simply really. The Romney campaign was basically running on a “bad economy” message. When the economy failed to fully cooperate other issues came up to fill the political vacuum. Sure unemployment was 7.9%, a high number, on election day, but what is most important is the direction of the economy. By most indicators the trend was one of slow improvement.

    Once the economy was neutralized as a campaign issue Romney was toast. With his “self-deportation” comments he lost the Latino vote. With the GOP fighting this silly “war on women” with assaults on abortion and birth control, he lost the young female vote. With his “Let Detroit go Bankrupt” editorial he lost Michigan and Ohio. With his “47%” comments he lost a sizable number of working class white voters who otherwise would have been solidly in his corner. And finally with all the voter suppression efforts exposed for what they were he ensured there would be no enthusiasm gap in his favor. Small wonder that he lost. The only real mystery is why it was as close as it was.

  4. Jason

    As the weather gets cold, we can always remember Romney’s non campaign event, canned food drive, event.

    The one where Romney staffers handed bags of recently purchased canned goods to folks walking into the gym to hand to Romney and get their picture taken. Even though the Red Cross discourages that kind of donation.

  5. Brad

    Good points, Bud, except for the fact that the “war on women” was a figment of Democratic fund-raisers’ imagination. No one was conducting such a war.

  6. Karen McLeod

    I shudder to think that we may get the leadership the people who are criticizing Gov. Christie want. Do they want him to put party politics ahead of the people in his state? When his state is a disaster area? If our leaders become that selfish and callous we will be in big trouble.

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    Yes, the middle aged Catholic man doesn’t believe there was a war on women.

    Pakistani tribal leaders also deny any such war,

  8. Steven Davis II

    @bud – Must remind you of the Democrats in 2010.

    – Brought to you by the Alvin Greene for Senate campaign.

    Alvin Greene has not endorsed this advertisement, we couldn’t get him to open his front door… he just kept screaming, “get off my porch”.

  9. Brad

    No, Kathryn, a thinking human being with a demonstrated capacity for paying attention to what is actually said and done and characterizing it dispassionately KNOWS there was not a war on women.

    Someone who has repeatedly, over the course of many years, condemned such hyperbole — PARTICULARLY “politics as war”-type hyperbole, which is the most inimical to rational deliberation — as extremely destructive to the proper functioning of a representative democracy.

    But thank you for patronizing me. Doing it with a set of one-dimensional stereotypes is a particularly stark touch. It completes the picture.

  10. bud

    Now that the election is over here’s what I’d like to see POTUS try to accomplish:

    1. Focus on the environment. Lets recognize once and for all that global warming is real and start doing something about it.
    2. Aggressively pursue measures that will make birth control free for any woman in the world who wants it. That will go a long way toward solving number 1.
    3. Pull all American troops out of Europe, the middle east and especially Asia.
    4. Reduce income inequality. There is great wealth in the USA but it is concentrated in too few hands.
    5. Move ahead with Obamacare 2 to make sure all people have affordable healthcare.
    6. Abolish the death penalty.
    7. End corporate welfare.
    8. Improve the nations infrastructure to include a vastly improved public transportation network.

    That’s a start. Hopefully POTUS is on the same page with me.

  11. Brad

    You call that a START?

    So basically, what you’re saying is that you want the president to embrace an agenda that would GUARANTEE he couldn’t get any consensus on actual, achievable goals that would be good for the country.

    Look, if Obama manages to work out a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, it will be a major accomplishment. Trying to achieve half of that list of yours — even announcing an intent to do so — would utterly sink his chances of getting anywhere with that, or other achievable goals.

  12. Mab

    “…do you think it could be, as this story suggests, something as simple as…”

    Crimony, no. It COULD BE, however, as simple as the thing other undesireables do at a big party: carry an ogre around with them to make them look better. Everything is relative, you know, in our shallow world.

    Obama looked mighty good, large, and in charge next to The Penguin.

  13. Brad

    You lead with your gut too much, Bud. If I led with my gut, what would we come up with? Let’s see:

    1. SUVs would be banned for anyone who doesn’t live on a ranch. Any suburbanite who already has one and uses it as anything other than a stationary second home would be imprisoned. Hard labor would be involved.

    2. Not only Roe v. Wade, but the Griswold decision upon which it was based (which invented a right to privacy in the Constitution) should be overturned.

    3. Invade and take out Assad before he is replaced with an opposition that’s unfriendly to our interests. We would occupy Syria for the foreseeable future (and do it right this time, putting in sufficient force, rather than mucking it up the way we did Iraq), as acknowledgment of what a linchpin to the region Syria is, and how dangerous instability there is.

    3. Ban public employee unions. Unions in the public sector are fine, because that’s about different forces in the marketplace contending and balancing strengths in competition. The adversary for public employee unions is the public, which makes them inherently inimical to the public weal.

    4. Require everyone living in an urban area of more than a certain density to use public transportation to get around within that area, and build the public transportation system that can efficiently serve that level of use. This would include a subway in Columbia, whatever it costs.

    5. Streamline the nuclear power plant approval process to the point that we could break ground on at least two in every state within 12 months.

    6. Require Fox, or some network, to put “Firefly” back on the air, shooting the new episodes whether the actors involved want to do that again or not. (But how could they not, right? Because “Firefly” was so shiny.)

    7. Close all retail businesses all day Sunday. Or Saturday. Or Friday. Whatever. Pick a day; I just want one day without commerce.

    8. Wave a wand that keeps Europe from collapsing economically, and dragging us down with it.

    Now, as you see, I’ve deliberately chosen things that you, Bud (and a lot of other people), would find outrageous. But relax. If I were in office, I wouldn’t even try to do ANY of these things (well, except for trying to prevent a collapse of the European economy — if I had such a wand to solve that situation magically, I’d use it).

    I wouldn’t try to do 1-7 because trying to do ANY of them would be enormously destructive to my ability to make progress on actual, ACHIEVABLE goals. Even if I thought THESE were achievable, I wouldn’t try to make them reality, because the cost of success would damage me so much politically that overall my tenure in office would be disastrous.

    This, by the way, speaks to the core of why I get so upset with people who want to push emotional cultural issues to the fore, and especially when they insist on making those issues even MORE inflammatory with hyperbolic rhetoric (we were just discussing an instance of that). Such actions and words serve only to drive us apart and prevent us from reaching workable solutions to solvable problems.

    I not only wouldn’t try to achieve any of the things on my list if elected, I wouldn’t vote for anyone who ran on a platform like that.

    Is anyone following my point here, or am I being too abstract?

  14. Steven Davis II

    @bud – How do you intend funding those goals? Use Tim Geither’s suggestion of upping the debt ceiling to infinity? Hope you enjoy paying $400 for a loaf of bread.

  15. Brad

    You mean “king,” don’t you, Rick?

    And it would mean being a particularly absolute, pre-Magna Carta sort of king.

    I wouldn’t object, of course, if y’all want to confer that power on me. I could fix a lot of things.

    But that list wouldn’t be where I’d start. I’d come up with a more commonsense agenda, and then I’d flat get ‘er done.

  16. Brad

    I would turn that comment into a separate post, but too many people wouldn’t read it all, and think I actually would want to do that stuff. I like traffic, and lively discussions, but not THAT much…

  17. Brad

    And yes, on the whole, I admit my list is more extreme than much of Bud’s. Maybe I was trying too hard. It’s just that his item No. 3 was so extreme that I tried to make all of mine live up to that standard…

  18. Kathryn Fenner

    I like your public transit requirement, except that it would gut the CBDs again. Most folks are too lazy and land in the burbs and gas to get there are still too cheap.

  19. Steven Davis II

    @Brad – How would you handle people who go to book stores and read books without buying them? It’s a “book store” not a “library”.

  20. Kathryn Fenner

    I support nuclear…I’m from Aiken, of course, but we need to make sure they are as safe as possible, not fast-tracked!

  21. Steven Davis II

    I’m going to put this out there on every list:

    9. All households will contain at least one firearm and everyone in the household over the age of 10 would be required to know how to use and maintain it. Anyone under the age of 10 would know that if they touch it without their parents (and every household where there wasn’t a death of a parent would contain two adults) supervision would knowingly be subject to the spanking of a lifetime.

    With all these liberal agendas, people are going to need to know how to defend themselves.

  22. Steven Davis II

    Brad what is your and Kathryn’s obsession with people being warehoused in urban areas? I’ve noticed that neither of you have given up your houses to move into one of the many new apartment complexes… or places like the Senate Street Plaza which would be walking distance to work for you.

  23. Brad

    And Kathryn, I’m ASSUMING that each one would incorporate everything we’ve learned about making nuclear safe. But once you have that template, and have extremely strict guidelines for locations (not subject to tsunamis — not built on faultlines, which would have disqualified SRS), why would it take more than a year to build subsequent reactors?

    We have the lengthy approval process less to make sure the reactor is safe, and more to give extra time for people who don’t want any reactors anywhere to fight them. Which, when I’m king you know, wouldn’t be a problem…

    Seriously, the rational version of my proposal would stagger the construction of these facilities, so that we could learn more and more from each one. Rather than building them all in a year as I suggested as a deliberate provocation, we could build them on a similar schedule to the one used for releasing all those quarters with different states on the backs. Stagger it.

  24. Brad

    Steven, don’t look at me. I live in the burbs. Out my back window, because of the way my house is angled, you can’t even see a neighbor…

    I don’t like apartments. I lived in too many of them growing up, since we moved so often at the Navy’s behest.

    Actually, I take that back — I didn’t mind apartments when I was a kid. It was the two or three times I briefly lived in one as an adult that turned me against them.

  25. Steven Davis II

    Brad, you’re going to have to deal with every government and nutcase organization to determine the location of said reactors. There might be a rare ground beetle in Location A and a red winged mosquito nesting area in Location B.

  26. Steven Davis II

    So it’s a do as I say, not as I do thing for everyone else to follow. Maybe you can make Kathryn happy by putting up at least two or three liveable structures on your property to house others who need affordable housing.

  27. Steven Davis II

    No I just fear that though we may be joking here, someone in Washington might be taking them as suggestions.

  28. Kathryn Fenner

    Steven, yet again you show that you don’t know as much as you think you do. My house is in a PUD, with maximum density. It is freestanding, but only barely. My husband walks to work.

  29. Steve Gordy

    As a person with 20+ years’ nuclear experience, the major problem with such facilities and the review processes associated with their building and operation is in the questions that AREN’T asked. “So, Tokyo Electric, do you think there might be a safety issue with locating the emergency generators for Fukushima at ground level?”

  30. bud

    My number 1 is extreme and very unlikely to be addressed. However IF the scientists are right, and I believe that they are, then the problem is ALSO extreme. The others don’t seem all that extreme really. But that’s kind of the point. This is a liberal agenda that would not have seemed extreme in the 70s. Now, as Brad has articulated, it is so off the chart that most folks can only laugh when they see it.

  31. tavis micklash

    Jumping in WAY late on this. anyways here goes.

    “Someone who has repeatedly, over the course of many years, condemned such hyperbole — PARTICULARLY “politics as war”-type hyperbole, which is the most inimical to rational deliberation — as extremely destructive to the proper functioning of a representative democracy.”

    Politics is not war. Some see it as life or death but it certainly is not.

    In war you work your ass off everyday. You gear up from a normal deployment cycle to a war time cycle.

    For decades there were was nothing. Then Gulf 1 later Gulf 2 and Afghanistan. Navy deployments went from a 18 month cycle to a 12. In laymans term you went on a 6 month deployment every 12 months vice 18. You already don’t get to see your family, then its even less.

    Look at the army and marines. They are absolutely spent. Some of those guys have been living in tents half of their career. If you joined 2001 that’s 6 YEARS in a tent. Trust me subs suck but at least berthing was air conditioned and there was some sense of normalcy.

    War is standing a duty day in Hawaii on Sept 11th 4 days after getting back from 6 months at sea. You’ve been up all night and are ready to go home and see your family that flew in to see you. Instead someone comes back and issues you a nine millimeter and tells you New York got blasted.

    These points quickly get brushed under the rug though. When you confront people about this they mearly agree and say of course its not war, pat you on the head and make some phony comment about your service. They then go on talking about digging in and battling over trivial crap that really doesn’t serve much of anything but their pride and their need to fatten their “war chest”.

    I bow to your language skills Brad. I’ve been up all night and I can’t really digest what your saying in the quote. I just saw your point about politicians and war and went off.

  32. tavis micklash

    “Chris Christie got a chilly reception at the Republican Governor’s Association meeting in Vegas. ”

    These same people will be kissing his rotund ass later when it benefits him. People respond to leadership and he certainly is that. I’d take him and Cory Booker over most the politicians in this state in a heartbeat.

  33. Brad

    Nope. Not even a “police action.” The Republicans didn’t have ANY sort of strategy or initiative aimed at women at all. The Democrats did, and it was imperative to them to whip up passions as high as possible.

  34. Brad

    No, obviously not.

    The only way contraception came up was when the administration — note who initiated this — set out a rule requiring all employers, including the church, to provide coverage for contraceptives. The administration then backed down — enough to please the nuns but not the bishops (to oversimplify).

    Then, suddenly, Democrats started this absurd meme, having zero basis in fact, about the GOP wanting to OUTLAW contraception. Why? For the same reasons both parties constantly try to whip up indignation among their faithful toward the opposition — to keep their bases’ emotions in the game, and to raise money.

    Such a strategy — like the GOP’s (or perhaps I should say Sarah Palin’s) “death panels” — depends entirely on engaging the emotions of the target audience. And it generally works, as long as those addressed don’t take a step back and look at the actual facts of the case. Which is why parties do it.

  35. Bart

    Without getting into another long, drawn out treatise on how Obama won, suffice it to say, Christy had not one thing to do with it, nada, nothing.

    Obama started his campaign for re-election immediately after being sworn in in 2009. After reading how the ground game was continued and how his campaign staff organized, using available information to target specific demographic groups, sub-groups, single-issue voters, and low information voters, by the time Romney was nominated, the game was over.

    As an added measure, his campaign staff knew Romney would be the likely Republican candidate and they focused their attack ads directly on Romney from the beginning of the Republican primary season.

    The 47% remark, the venture capitalist label that stuck so well, and every other negative that could be used to portray Romney was used and used effectively.

    Obama’s campaign staff already knew the safe states and concentrated their efforts on the “swing” states early and often and their early efforts went unnoticed by the Republicans.

    When Obama made his comment to the president of Russia, he already knew he had the election won.

    Whether you supported Obama or not, you have to have a certain grudging admiration for how effective his campaign was and how he is already looking ahead to 2014 when he hopes to have another super majority to work with his last two years. Just look at the Post Election Survey the Obama for America group is asking his supporters to fill out.

    Information, information, information, and how to use it effectively. It worked for Clinton and Obama has improved on it.

  36. Brad

    The fact that people draw these lines and hyperventilate about “war” and such makes it impossible to simply discuss anything rationally.

    For instance, today, I read the news about OBs wanting the Pill distributed over the counter. And I had a thought about it, but I held back from expressing it, because all sorts of people, including perhaps smart friends like Kathryn, would tee off on it and attack me for declaring war on women or whatever… when my intention would be the opposite.

    This is one area where the euphemism that the left uses to speak of abortion and related issues — “women’s health” — actually applies.

    I’ve always worried about the Pill, in terms of the health of the women who take it. I suppose after all these years it’s been determined as pretty safe, but still — I’d worry less if a woman taking it was doing so with a doctor’s knowledge and involvement.

    It’s not like a condom or something — it’s actually a chemical that goes into the bloodstream and interferes with major functions of the body. It’s like — I don’t know — if I were taking a pill that stopped my stomach from digesting, or something (OK, that analogy’s not perfect; I’ll keep trying to think of a better one). The sheer scale of what it does kind of freaks me out.

    If I were a woman, even if I could buy it over the counter, I’d go see a doctor and consult about it. And check back in from time to time. And if I were a doctor, I’d urge my patients to do that.

    This will no doubt be dismissed as silly (at best) by women who’ve taken it for years with no known ill effects. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying for them. That is one freaky, dramatic effect for a pill to have on a human body…

  37. Brad

    Yeah, I know that makes me sound like a Luddite — no, wait: A middle-aged Catholic male Luddite, just to throw in all the factors that make some people believe I’m not allowed to have a say.

    But there are all sorts of accepted practices of modern life I view with suspicion: For instance, I still worry about the effect of holding a cell phone up near my brain…

  38. Kathryn Fenner

    Pregnancy is far more dangerous than the Pill. The Pill is the most effective form of reversible contraception for most women.

  39. Kathryn Fenner

    And the cell phone thing has a lot of support in the scientific community.

    And you are not so worried that you don’t seem to have it grafted to your hands, I note.

  40. Steven Davis II

    @Kathryn, how small is your house? You’re stating the maximum occupancy for your size house is two adults. I find that hard to believe.

  41. Mark Stewart

    I worry about why we keep, as a nation, fighting smoking and then still seem to want to legalize marijuana.

    At the same time, I wish women had safer health options that don’t constantly get tied to reproduction as well.

  42. Scout

    #6 is the best – I think you should try to make that one happen, no matter who you are.

    Also, Steven, the man’s name is Geithner with an ‘n’ in the middle – it has a hard ‘th’ pronounced like a /t/ as in Thomas or Thames, so his name sounds like “Gite-ner”. I mention the hard ‘th’ because it makes the /n/ work better logistically in your mouth as the next sound – it would be harder to say the traditional fricative ‘th’ followed by an /n/. Sorry I know that is a small thing but I’ve noticed it several times now and it was bothering me.

  43. Brad

    But Kathryn, I seldom hold it to my ear. I mostly use it for other things.

    When I have to use it as a phone for more than a brief moment, I use earbuds.

    This is probably hypochondria, but when I do hold it to my ear, sometimes it hurts, just slightly. Makes me think I can FEEL it doing damage.

    But maybe it’s related to my hearing problem…

  44. Brad

    As for pregnancy being dangerous — I don’t think a woman should undergo those profound physical changes without consulting with a doctor, either. Which fortunately every woman who can, does — for her health as well as the babies.

    And of course, one of the things we need universal health care for is so that ALL women have that access. That way, they don’t have to go through pregnancy OR take a drug that profoundly changes their body chemistry without medical supervision.

  45. Steven Davis II

    @Scout – “Sorry I know that is a small thing but I’ve noticed it several times now and it was bothering me.”

    If we all only had such problems to worry about.

  46. Kathryn Fenner

    I never said max cap for my house is two adults.

    We looked for the smallest house in the university area, and at 2,000 sq. ft., this is pretty much it. We cannot live in a condo with two big dogs and a seven foot grand piano, which are pretty much my reasons for living.

  47. tavis micklash

    “Kathryn Fenner says:

    I support nuclear…I’m from Aiken, of course, but we need to make sure they are as safe as possible, not fast-tracked!”

    Brad suggested
    “5. Streamline the nuclear power plant approval process to the point that we could break ground on at least two in every state within 12 months.”

    I can tell you from someone in the industry the NRC has instituted lots of reforms in the last few years.

    The new fleet are largely modular reactors. Instead of the old series where everyone was different these are supposed to be fairly identical. That allows the NRC to approve the design (Like AP 1000) then each other license is based off of the first one.

    For example once Vogtle license was approve VC summers was relatively quick.

    THey also are issuing operating and construction licenses at the same time so you don’t run the risk of building a plant and not being able to use it. That happened in the Northeast in the 80s.

    As far as the construction of new plants its all about the huge capital investment. Once a few AP 1000s go online and the industry sees the final price tag more will likely move forward.

    Company policy states I have to inform everyone I work for SCANA (I’m a licensed Reactor operator) and that any views I state are my own and not scana. I have absolutely nothing to do with the PR department.

  48. Kathryn Fenner

    Considered them. Since walkability also depends on proximity to Trinity, and the Courthouse, those areas were out.

  49. Kathryn Fenner

    Steve does. One or two rehearsals a week. Three services just yesterday. I used to walk to the courthouse when I went there. I walk to the music school when I am in an opera, and to concerts at the Koger Center.

    I do live east of campus, btw. The other east of campus hoods, Wheeler Hill and Wales Garden had only very expensive houses on the market when we looked.

  50. Kathryn Fenner

    There’s a lot you don’t know about me.

    I’m actually not an opera singer. I am a choral singer who has sung in several opera ensembles. Not a soloist. My forte is Renaissance a cappella polyphony. I have the voice of an English choir boy….and he can’t have it back.

    I used to sing in the Trinity choir until the crazy wore me down, twice.

    I will be in the Opera at USC production this spring of Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land. Probably my swan song….


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