Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on June 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

“There’s no political purpose. The political purpose is to give the people a voice,” Christie said in announcing his decision today.

But there is political impact. New Jersey will elect a new senator Oct. 16 — a mere 20 days before the state’s gubernatorial election, in which Christie is the undisputed frontrunner for a second term.

That means Christie’s race will top the ballot Nov. 5, instead of a Senate race that could well feature Newark Mayor Cory Booker. The intense interest in the Senate race — in solidly blue New Jersey, in a race that could feature an African-American Democratic rising star — would have almost certainly siphoned votes from Christie.

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Insisting on a special election instead of a long-serving interim appointee frees him from making a selection that almost assuredly would not be acceptable to the cantankerous conservatives who have instilled fear and loathing up and down the GOP leadership ladder. It also saves his bipartisan reputation, which the red governor of a blue state needs to maintain if he is to translate his 32 percent lead over his Democratic opponent into votes.

What’s not making budget-conscious conservatives or even Garden State Democrats happy at the outset is the estimated $24 million total price tag for the Aug. 13 primary and Oct. 16 general election. It took a nanosecond for Democrats to highlight that tidy sum.

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Democrats say Christie faces an excruiating choice on whom he appoints. As David Axelrod, the strategist behind President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 victories put it: “Fascinating dilemma for Christie. Does he name interim who reflects his more moderate state, or feed Tea Party for ’16?” They also assert that conflicts in state law may force Christie to hold a special election for the seat as early as November of this year, when he will also be on the ballot for a second term…

As for Christie’s being under pressure to appoint a hard-shell conservative to the seat, every New Jersey conservative I spoke with is realistic. “As much as I’d like to see a Steve Forbes or Bret Schundler get the appointment, I realize Christie’s not going there,” one told me. “I think we can get someone who is solid on the key issues and also can win in the Northeast.” He points out that, of the 22 Senators from the region, the GOP currently has only three – Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire, Susan Collins from Maine, and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania.

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Democrats teed off on Christie after his announcement at a news conference. The governor’s 2014 Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, called the governor’s move “cynical and arrogant” and said Christie “made it clear that he does not care about wasting taxpayer money.”…

Matt Canter, deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, made that point when responding to the special election dates.

“Republicans have not won a Senate race in New Jersey in more than 40 years. Their only shot was an appointee who had a year-and -a-half to establish themselves before an election in 2014,” he said. “With this news I assume operatives at the NRSC are busy planning Christie’s defeat in Iowa and New Hampshire right now.”

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Republicans will not have a senator who gets more than a year to build a record. Nor will they get a nominee who gets a spot on the ballot with Christie. Winning a Senate seat in this blue state is always an uphill climb for the GOP but as recently as Monday it looked like there might be a path to creating more favorable circumstances. That no longer looks to be the case. It’s not impossible for Republicans to win — a low turnout October election and the potential for a heated Democratic primary are two things the GOP can try to exploit. But this looks like a big lift for the [Democratic] party right now.

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First of all, New Jersey law has conflicting provisions on how long a governor’s Senate appointment can last until an election. In this case, it meant either this November or next. Christie might have helped out the national party (marginally) by sticking to his 2014 guns and appointing someone in the meantime, but he would have faced a messy political court battle which he might have lost. Do you want to be the governor who went to court to prevent an election from happening? And what if you lose on top of it all, in your own reelection year?

So instead, Christie rendered the legal dispute moot by doing something that both of the conflicting provisions allow him to do as an alternative — he called a special election. And in doing so, he went with the strict letter of the law in calling it for October 16. Contrary to what some are saying today, he could not have chosen November 5, even if he had wanted to…

[P]rovided he made the proclamation of Lautenberg’s vacancy today, the latest he could have legally set the election was at the end of October. Christie made a point of mentioning that the primary is 70 days from today, and the general election is 64 days after that — the earliest possible date.

Now, I can’t find anything in the statute that says Christie could not have waited a few weeks before issuing a proclamation — theoretically, this might have let him set the election for November 5. But this might also carry some legal implication I don’t know about, and it could have also complicated the appointment of a new senator.

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Mr. Christie might also be interested in helping Republican candidates for the State Legislature. Democrats control both the Senate and the Assembly, but all seats will be up on the Nov. 5 ballot. With a popular Republican governor heading the ticket and no interference from the United States Senate race, the G.O.P. might have a better chance of winning one or both chambers.

Of course, Mr. Christie could also have used his coattails to help his party’s United States Senate nominee. His move might suggest that his ambitions remain mainly in New Jersey, and less on the national stage. Then again, being re-elected — and having a more successful second term with less Democratic opposition in the State Legislature — could also leave him in a stronger position were he to run for president in 2016…

While some national Republicans are annoyed with Mr. Christie’s decision, they may not be privy to all the information he had about which Republican candidates might have been interested in Mr. Lautenberg’s seat. It’s plausible that Mr. Christie could have helped a reasonably good G.O.P. nominee to a narrow victory. But if none were interested in the race, it may have been a lost cause.

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The entire political world is learning that whatever his skills and virtues may be, and he does have them, at the end of the day Chris Christie is mostly about Chris Christie.

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Via NRO.

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Comment pages: 1 2 3

The attitude was essentially “who the hell are you to keep your organs when you die? Only selfish people do that.”
Happy Nomad on June 5, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Exactly! That kind of thinking is alive and well. Wonder if there is anything related to it in the Obamacare 2300 pages?

indypat on June 5, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Happy Nomad on June 5, 2013 at 7:27 AM

no argument here…
new squirrel for the day…the lsm fawning over susan rice to commence in 5…4….3…

cmsinaz on June 5, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Jonathan Karl ✔ @jonkarl

I am told the President will nominate Samantha Power to replace Susan Rice as US ambassador to the UN
4:31 AM – 5 Jun 2013

and the hits just keep on coming….

cmsinaz on June 5, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Too much Christie in the news.

albill on June 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Too much Christie in the news.

albill on June 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM

I think that was his goal.

gophergirl on June 5, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Breaking News:
Susan Rice will be the new national security advisor

What does she know about National Security?

Cleombrotus on June 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Christie is looking after Christie

Costing 24 million for special election would piss me off if I lived in NJ….

Does Christie honestly think he has a chance?

Probably so…he can win 2016 nomination without one southern state

Redford on June 5, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Gov. Christie can’t even garner three hundred comments on a thread that goes off the tracks after a thirty minutes. Not a good sign.

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2013 at 8:37 AM

What does she know about National Security?

Cleombrotus on June 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM

At this stage, what difference does it make?

(It’s her reward for services performed.)

Solaratov on June 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM

She’s qualified cuz she saw a video once. CC has been giving Ann C some really big face palms lately. Never did admire they guy just cuz of his arrogant in your face attitude. Proved right with his smooze fest with prezzy.

Kissmygrits on June 5, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Too much Christie in the news.

albill on June 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Yup, and it looks like an unofficial Christie-cott is in effect here. Darn it, I accidentally added to the Christie comment count. Ignore this post.

Fallon on June 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM

What does she know about National Security?

Cleombrotus on June 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM

You mis-perceive the values of the Obama administration. None of them know anything about anything … except lefty politics. The list of ignorant twits in important positions is far too long to go over.

Jaibones on June 5, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Gov. Christie can’t even garner three hundred comments on a thread that goes off the tracks after a thirty minutes. Not a good sign.

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2013 at 8:37 AM

…the fat man is too predictable…and he’s not a real republican.

KOOLAID2 on June 5, 2013 at 9:23 AM

stem
Oh, I read that as “stern”. Joke fail…nevermiiind.

whatcat on June 4, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Funny…when I first read your joke, I thought “I bet he is reading it as stern.” I chuckled and I have a pretty decent sense of humor!!

texasmagnolia on June 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Rush repeated my conjecture about this (Christie’s move) when the news broke: Christie is planning on running for President in 2016—on the Democratic ticket. Just a matter of time—

ladyleader on June 5, 2013 at 4:40 PM

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