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Why Chris Christie Is Edging Past Hillary Clinton for President

By       Message Eric Zuesse       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments

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On November 13th, the Quinnipiac Poll bannered "Christie, Clinton Tied in 2016 White House Race.... Dems Lose 9-Point Edge to Tie GOP in 2014 House Races." The damage from Obama's failures and lies was extending now throughout the Democratic brand. And, whereas back in March of 2013, Quinnipiac had found Hillary Clinton to be leading Chris Christie by 45%/37%, Christie was now leading her by one point, 43%/42%. Hillary Clinton, politically bound to the sinking Obama, is thus no longer the clear top performer in the contest for the presidency in 2016; she might already be below Christie in public support.

However, there is also another reason, besides Hillary's ties to Obama (and also to her husband, who was the Wall-Street-deregulator-in-chief and thus a major cause behind the unpopular TARP bailouts), to explain why Christie is edging past Clinton in the 2016 sweepstakes, and it's well exemplified in a speech that Christie gave on November 18th to the CEO summit that Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal holds each year, called now the "Wall Street Journal CEO Council." That's a forum where Murdoch's favorites to win the Republican Presidential nomination are provided an opportunity to address Wall Street and its associated mega-corporate CEOs, the very same people who will determine which Republican presidential candidate will receive the bulk of their funding to buy and to occupy the White House as their anointed agent to control the Executive Branch in this country for those people's interests for the next few years. Though the 2016 Election is still three years away, contention to win that coveted prize is already well under way.

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As the program from last year's CEO Council shows, top conservative Democrats such as Timothy Geithner (who is now the President of the Warburg Pincus private-equity firm) also make presentations there; but the audience at these events consists overwhelmingly of top Republican donors, people such as Douglas DeVos, the President and inheritor of Amway Corporation, whose family has long been one of the Republican Party's top behind-the-scenes organizers and donors. At this forum, no Democratic presidential aspirant raises funds for his coming presidential campaign, because giving a speech there would turn off too many liberal Democratic voters. However, when a prominent Republican aspirant addresses this crowd, it signals to Republican voters that rich people, or in their eyes admirable people, respect him. It's thus a plus for him, even above and beyond any campaign donations that might flow from it.

Murdoch's Dow Jones headlined this event's public announcement descriptively on 24 October 2013, "100 Top Global Chief Executives to Convene at 2013 Wall Street Journal CEO Council Annual Meeting."

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So: when Rupert Murdoch himself introduced Chris Christie on the event's opening night of Monday November 18th, to give the lead-off address of this 3-day event, it reflected Wall Street's rallying around Christie to become the Republican Party's top pick for presidential nominee in 2016. Although the "Democratic" President Obama's Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and his former top economist (and preferred Fed Chief) Lawrence Summers, as well as other proven Wall Street stooges (including even President Barack Obama himself) also gave addresses during this same 3-day event, none of those people were contenders for the 2016 U.S. presidential nomination. Chris Christie is, and he was provided their top billing. Significantly, only one other Republican presidential contender was even invited, Paul Ryan, the Koch agent who did not lead in the government's shut-down; so, Christie is already Wall Street's top choice, but Ryan is their back-up, in case he falters during the primaries. (Ted Cruz won't be getting much of these people's money, but he might get lots of the "libertarian" Koch-group's cash, which created the "Tea Party." )

On Tuesday, Murdoch's newspaper headlined about Christie's speech, "Christie Says GOP Must Reach Out: Party Must Attract More Minorities, Republican Governor Says," and reported: "During a question-and-answer session, the New Jersey governor cast himself as a bipartisan problem-solver, employing his characteristic bravado to lash out at Democrats and Republicans alike for the dysfunction in Washington that resulted in a partial government shutdown last month and brought the country to the brink of default. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spared little in attacking Obamacare calling it 'failure' but refused to offer a replacement." So: the coming presidential campaign will likely feature, as the two Republican themes: (1) bipartisanship, and (2) condemnation of "Democratic" policies, but no unambiguous proposals for replacements of them. In other words: Christie will use the very same strategy against Clinton that Obama had used so successfully against John McCain in 2008. That's the Wall Street game-plan for 2016.

Christie showed these CEOs that whomever the Democratic nominee turns out to be, Christie will display an iron discipline in deflecting his ultimate opponent's inevitable attempts to pigeonhole him on his own policy-proposals: "He sidestepped a question about how he would solve the country's health-care problems, pointing to a clock on the stage to say there wasn't enough time left in his appearance to scratch the surface of that discussion." Such discipline will favorably impress CEOs. It'll be essential in order to keep the blindfolds over the voters' eyes when they're watching the 2016 presidential debates between the Republican and the Democratic nominees.

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So, too, will Christie's broader cunning be essential, and here is how Christie displayed that: It's too early for any presidential candidate to come out publicly as seeking the 2016 presidency, and so "He added that the speculation undercuts Mr. Obama. 'We're three years away from the presidential election. In this sense, I feel bad for President Obama,' he said. 'He just won a year ago, and everybody's like, "Who's next?" There is work to be done in this country. As we shove him out the door, we minimize his ability to be an effective executive. We shouldn't do that.'" In other words, with these seemingly compassionate words, he will be trying to impress any unintelligent voters to believe that he is so non-partisan as to place the nation's interests above his own, personal, political interests -- as if any Republican politician actually behaves that way, and as if serving the aristocracy, who finance their campaigns, isn't what today's Republican Party (and any conservative Democratic politicians) are really all (and only) about. But that's Christie's pitch: to become the Obama of 2016, even while he will vaguely and dishonestly be condemning Obama's policies, pretending that they hadn't been sufficiently bipartisan (sufficiently conservative). This "bipartisan" politician will be condemning the Democratic nominee as being "too liberal." That's his game-plan.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)

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