Talk Radio’s Love Affair with Christie

March 3rd, 2011 at 12:46 pm | 17 Comments |

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Laura Ingraham this week criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his apparent intention to sit-out the 2012 presidential campaign. She asked on air “(If) Chris Christie and these guys think the country is going to hell in a hand basket, isn’t it incumbent upon all of them…to step in now regardless of whether it is personally convenient for them?”

While talk radio is urging Chris Christie to enter the race, it is demanding that Mitch Daniels exit. The Indiana governor drew accolades from many for his CPAC performance — but Rush Limbaugh and other talkers have blasted him for his talk of a truce on social issues and his decision not to insert a brand-new right-to-work initiative at the top of his agenda.

Why is Chris Christie the heartthrob of the radio right, while Daniels is suddenly an intolerable RINO? Christie is not more conservative than Daniels, and arguably even less so. Christie told the Newark Star-Ledger that while personally pro-life, he won’t use his office to “shove that down people’s throats.” He supports New Jersey’s restrictive gun laws.  And like Daniels, he has decided it’s tough enough to face his public-sector unions that he does not need to start an unrelated fight over right-to-work with private-sector unions. Yet the most acid-tongued of all right-wing commentators, Ann Coulter, has championed a Christie candidacy, asserting that if he declines to run, “Romney will be our nominee and we’ll lose.”

The difference is this: talk radio is not much interested in the substance of a politician’s views or the reasons for decisions. Talk radio wants a confrontational style, and unlike the soft-spoken Daniels, the fierce Christie meets the test. The rule seems to be: it’s OK to be a Republican moderate – provided you are belligerent enough about it.


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17 Comments so far ↓

  • sricher

    Thank goodness. I thought there was no future for me in the Republican Party, but from now I WILL JUST WRITE IN CAPS and thereby be accepted by all wings of the party.

  • Watusie

    In other words: just more proof that the more of a bumptious asshole someone is, the more appeal he has to Republicans. Which is the most f’d up attitude toward governing imaginable.

  • HeeHee23

    I’m sure the confrontational attitude has much to do with it. I think also is the satisfaction the right gets from seeing a republican stick it in the face of the entrenched left-leaning political interests in a left-leaning state, and come out on top in the eyes of the voters. It’s seems to be not too different from why the tea party originally loved Scott Brown as he won the senate seat of Teddy and then removed the filibuster-proof majority of the Democrats. Of course now he’ll be challenged from the right. I’d imagine if Christie won nomination or even the General Election, within 6 months the right would be complaining. Its seems a very short-sighted, even immature, way of going about politics. Of course as a moderate I like brown and christie and would welcome a northeast republican into any political office.

  • PracticalGirl

    Ingraham and all her cohorts have a very poor track record when it comes to anointing candidates who are actual conservatives AND can win a Presidential election. Perhaps its because, no matter how many listeners they attract, they constantly swing for people who views and public statements are at odds with what they’ve actually accomplished.

    The focus of talk radio demands that a politician (to be supported) be a caricature, not have character. The talk-screamers exist in an environment where they no longer understand the difference. For a time, Rick Perry was their Golden God- beautiful enough to be in movies (he just did one) and brash enough to tell the Feds to stick it where the sun don’t shine. A “character”, for sure, but one without any real platform to stand on. Texas, without Federal dollars, is as screwed as nearly every other state. Christie is in this exact mold, albeit a bit less photogenic.

  • Saladdin

    Ummm, four years ago, wasn’t talk radio pronouncing Palin as the future of the GOP? I don’t believe them this time either. Once bitten…

  • valkayec

    It’s all about ratings. The louder the noise and the more confrontational the politician, the higher the show’s ratings. At least that’s my guess.

  • Jim in DE

    Don’t forget Christie’s defense of Cordoba House as adding to his RINO cred.

    (Yeah, it was tepid, but hell, most Democratic pols couldn’t even be bothered to offer tepid support of property rights and the freedom of religion at the time.)

  • mlindroo

    In the long run, Christie is about as electable as Rudy Giuliani. He combines the worst of both worlds. Republican partisans will eventually discover that he is another RINO from the Northeast. Democratic partisans and independents from the Northeast already regard him as a bully and an *sshole loudmouth so they won’t appreciate his relatively moderate views. Besides, Christie’s reputation so far is entirely related to cutting/destroying things.

    The ideal GOP candidate ought to be the direct opposite of Chris Christie. I.e. somebody who broadly shares the same ideology as your average conservative partisan, but has a sunny personality and consequently is able to woo independents.

    MARCU$

  • Gus

    You nailed it. He comes of as a confrontational prick. He’s one of them, that’s why they love him.

  • jakester

    Talk radio reflects and molds the minds of the left end of the bell curve.

  • ktward

    So basically, Talk Radio still wields inexplicably wide influence over the GOP in general and, as evidenced by this colum, GOP blogs specifically.

    This isn’t really news, is it?

  • lilmanny

    I think that its worth considering: since Limbaugh’s rise to national prominence (1992) we’ve had exactly one Republican president, one that he purported to be disgusted with the minute the guy left office. The other two presidents have not just been Democrats, according to El Rushbo they have been the literal anti-christs. Then is Limbaugh ineffective, or just holding back a Democratic wave. In any case, they’ve cornered their party into Huckabee-Palin land. Way to go.

  • RightKlik

    Think of ratings as being something akin to votes.

  • Anti-Echo » Why Christie and not Daniels?

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  • Puchino

    Nice try, FrumForum. Despite your pathetic spin, the fact of the matter is that the hosts with highest rankings (i.e., listeners) have NOT endorsed or promoted Christie – including Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin. In fact, Levin has been extremely outspoken in his criticism of Christie, particularly in regard to the Gov’s silence on Obamacare, his muted support of “climate change”, his support of gun control, his silence on the Ground Zero mosque, etc. Oops! Shouldn’t have mentioned Levin…wouldn’t want to send Frum into an apoplectic fit , would we now?

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