Monday, January 26, 2015

Remember how different...

...John F. Kennedy was from his predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower? While JFK was young, glamorous and Harvard-educated, Ike was an old fuddy-duddy who was born in the nineteenth century, played golf and suffered heart attacks. 

Too young for that? Well how about Jimmy Carter? Compared to Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace in 1974, the peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, was a true outsider who promised he'd "never lie to you." 

Following Carter came Ronald Reagan, a handsome deep-voiced Hollywood actor who practically rode into Washington on horseback. 

And after the reckless frat-boy, George W. Bush, made a colossal mess of things, the nation turned to a skinny black guy with a funny name who was president of the Harvard Law review and worked as a troublemaker community organizer in Chicago.

Beginning to see a pattern here? It's not uncommon for a president of the United States to be followed by someone who is almost his exact opposite.

Where am I going with this? Earlier, I admitted to underestimating Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Now I'm wondering if I've been guilty of the same thing with a certain governor from New Jersey.

Over the weekend, Byron York ran down the GOP hopefuls and had this to say about the big guy who speaks with a lisp and picks fights with everyone (all emphasis mine):

Chris Christie is in better shape than you think. There was a widely-held assumption that Christie's Jersey Guy persona wouldn't play well in Iowa — that he is just too hot and too confrontational to get along with a bunch of nice Midwesterners. But it turns out a lot of Iowa Republicans actually like Christie, even if they're not quite ready to support him. Christie connects with audiences in Iowa just like elsewhere in the country, and more importantly, Iowa Republicans really want someone to fight for them in the next campaign. Most felt Romney just wouldn't take it to President Obama in 2012, so now Christie is OK with them as long as they believe he will give Democrats hell.

This morning, a front-page story in the Times described Christie as:

...over-sharing, thin-skinned, openhearted and needy. It is the quality, repellent or endearing, that his supporters say is missing from the buttoned-up rivals now crowding the Republican presidential field, whose demeanor they quietly dismiss as too stilted (Mitt Romney) or too cerebral (Jeb Bush).

And the opposite of the current occupant of the White House.

Finally, in a focus group of one, a friend of mine on Facebook concluded a rant about Obama with these words:

We need a fat president! I like Chris Christie!

And I think he's only half-kidding. But if the country is looking for something completely different, Chris Christie may be just the ticket.

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