Wednesday, 25 January 2012

By 2017, the US President may look like he runs the country from Da Bing

The main name missing from the current line-up of Republican presidential hopefuls is the Tony Soprano of Republican politics, Chris Christie. If Romney or Gingrich achieve the seemingly impossible task of failing to beat Obama, then (according to the American political commentators I read) the next contest for the Republican nomination is likely to be a straight battle between two Catholics with working class backgrounds - pretty-boy Florida junior senator, Marco Rubio, whose parents were Cuban immigrants, and Chris Christie, the governor of New Joisey, who comes from Irish and Sicilian stock (he says this means he’s used to handling conflict).

Of the two, I have to profess an instinctive preference for Christie, mainly because he is an hairy man, while Rubio strikes me as a smooth man – and, in politics, I generally prefer the rough to the smooth (Gordon Brown is a notable exception). Christie isn’t in the least ugly – but he is very fat: luckily, his fat is of the “heft” variety, which makes him look like he’d be happy using a baseball bat to help a rival gangster see the wisdom of handing him control of the East Side, or persuading a teacher’s union leader to agree that a 12-month pay freeze would be the best solution all round.

Despite enormous pressure to run this time around, Christie decided last October not to enter the race, claiming he “wasn’t ready”, and backed Mitt Romney instead.

I have no idea if Christie is a good governor – but he certainly seems to have got some sort of control over a ruinously run-away budget by working with local Democrats to cut spending, and, before that, he built a decent reputation as the New Jersey DA (despite limited criminal law experience). He’s an extremely effective public speaker: very articulate, and very blunt (scarily so, sometimes). But, like Tony Soprano, he has oodles of charm. He also evidently relishes a fight. All in all, he has the personality, charisma, toughness and the “plain folks” credentials that Romney so evidently lacks.
Policy-wise, Christie hasn’t been around long enough to  reveal his hand on everything – but he has already made the disastrous mistake of backing a “green” agenda (but that may just be so New Jersey can make a killing manufacturing wind turbines for the rest of America). In four years’ time, with any luck, AGW will have been exposed as the fraud it undoubtedly is, and the main conspirators will be safely behind bars. So it may not matter. On the social front, Christie’s for civil partnerships, but against gay marriages, and he’s pro-life without being an anti-abortion holy-roller: that'll do nicely.

Of course, any number of things could prevent Christie becoming president in 2016 – quite apart from a massive heart attack. If Romney gets in, he might have proved so useless that the Republican Party may once more be a stink in the nostrils of humanity. And if Obama wins, America’s economic and social problems will be so serious that only a madman would dream of tackling them.

Whatever, I’m hoping Christie runs – wouldn’t it be great if the leader of the Free World looked and sounded as if he spent more time at Da Bing than in the Oval Office?


  1. Spot on. I really hoped Romney might tap him for VP but looks like Romney's on the ropes. Not sure there'll be much left for Christie (or anyone else) to Preside over by 2017.

  2. "The Bada Bing" is never referred to as "Da Bing" and is a breach of etiquette ["he disrespected the Bing so I took him to the back of Satriale's and gave him de woiks"]. The British equivilants of "The Sopranos" are "Eastenders" and "Coronation Street" - but you don't go about saying "Da Vic" or "Da Rovers".