Who should give in? Topic

New York (CNN) -- "It's why the American people hate Congress. Unlike the people in Congress, we have actual responsibilities."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped a bomb on Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Congress for refusing to allow a vote on Hurricane Sandy relief in the final hours of the 112th Congress. It was an instant classic of principled political outrage. It provided a strong dose of what Washington has been missing: blunt, independent leadership.

Christie prosecuted the case by pointing out that hurricane relief had been provided more quickly to others: For victims of Katrina after 10 days and victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida after 30 days. But residents of the New Jersey and New York coast have been waiting 65 days to date for some relief.

Christie also accurately pointed out that Northeast states such as New Jersey and New York send more to the federal government in taxes than they get back in federal aid, unlike many of the red states represented by conservatives in Congress. The "makers versus takers" narratives fall apart fast when confronted with reality.


Pulling no punches, Christie declared: "Last night, the House majority failed most basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state. ... It was disappointing and disgusting to watch." He also unapologetically named names: "There's only one group to blame ... the House majority, and their Speaker, John Boehner." He added that the relief bill "just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority."

But Christie also took the high road in terms of decrying the overall atmosphere of hyperpartisanship in D.C., arguing correctly that "Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political partisanship of this Congress ... this used to be something that was not political. Disaster relief was something that you didn't play games with."


Christie's broadside drew widespread praise on the Web.

One tweet I saw from "Ronnie" in Chicago seemed typical: "His dedication to his State is inspiring. I'm a democrat but damn, Christie's won me over. He has a damn heart."

Christie's fury was backed up by similar straight talk from New York Republican Congressman Peter King of Long Island.

He blasted House leadership on CNN Wednesday morning: "I would say the Republican Party has said it is the party of family values," he said. "Last night it turned its back on the most essential value of all, and that is to provide food, shelter, clothing and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster. And I would say that the Republican Party has turned its back on those people."

This display of independence was a reminder that there is a distinct brand of tough Northeastern Republicans -- people such as Christie, King and Rudy Giuliani -- who don't simply tow the line with party leadership or ideological litmus tests. Largely as a result, they are able to connect with centrists and independent voters and win on Democratic turf. This is a lesson for national Republicans as they look to reach out beyond their base.

Christie and King's principled independence and tough talk against their own party leadership brought results.

Within hours, Boehner and Republican House leadership announced that they would vote for an initial round of Sandy relief on Friday, followed by a vote on the remaining amount on January 15.

Conservative activist groups such as Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth and Heritage Action all pressured congressional Republicans to vote against Hurricane Sandy relief, and while they helped block a bill from coming to a vote on New Year's Eve, the swift and unsubtle backlash brought a wise reassessment.

All this is a reminder that straight talk in politics is so rare that it stands out and carries more than its own weight in civic debates. It cuts through the spin and resonates beyond party lines because it is credible and rooted in reality.

Most importantly, it gets results. Boehner's turnaround brought to mind a comment made by Christie during his press conference: "No one is beyond redemption."

1/2/2013 10:52 PM
Chris Christie for President in 2016.  DO IT!
1/3/2013 5:51 AM


1/3/2013 6:08 AM


1/5/2013 8:11 PM
Christie would have trouble getting out of the Republican primary. Complementing President Obama on anything may be a dealbreaker for the crazies.
1/6/2013 12:40 PM
You mean like a guy who had a plan like Obamacare could never win the Republican Primary?
1/6/2013 2:30 PM
Much different scenario. The '12 Republican field was crap.
1/6/2013 5:29 PM
Its 4 years later and the whole election dynamic is different?
1/6/2013 9:16 PM
The base of the party isn't going to support the guy that praised President Obama or knocks the Republican House of Reps. You don't think that will come up repeatedly in attack ads and debates? Huntsman got knocked repeatedly because he served his country as Ambassador of China.

Yes Romney-care affected Romney's support, but the field was so weak that it didn't matter.

The '16 field for Republicans will be strong with Rubio, Bush, Ryan, Daniels, Christie, Walker, Huckabee, and a quite few more potentially running.
1/7/2013 9:05 AM
The "base of the party" has four years to get it's **** together and understand that a party divided is going to continue to be a party unelected at the national level.

Unless the Tea Party and the mainstream Republicans can somehow make peace and work together towards a common cause, then they're just going to make the DNC the de-facto Presidential Election in 2016.  And beyond.
1/7/2013 9:21 AM
then they're just going to make the DNC the de-facto Presidential Election in 2016.  And beyond.

I don't always lean democratic, but if the Republicans are going to continue to put forward candidates like Romney who favor the agenda of the rich, then the "lesser of two evils" Democratic candidate winning won't be such a bad thing.

If there were a decent Republican candidate who helped the common person and actually had more actual conservative values, it might be someone worth voting for. Anyone like Mittens running for president and losing is always going to be a good thing.
1/7/2013 9:34 AM
If Hillary doesn't run for whatever reason, the Repubs can put nearly whomever they want to on the ticket and win.

The Dems list of candidates is bare. Seeing folks like O'Malley, Deval Patrick, Schweitzer, and Cuomo run to be on the top of the ticket is awful.
1/7/2013 12:22 PM
1/7/2013 12:42 PM
Posted by stinenavy on 1/7/2013 12:22:00 PM (view original):
If Hillary doesn't run for whatever reason, the Repubs can put nearly whomever they want to on the ticket and win.

The Dems list of candidates is bare. Seeing folks like O'Malley, Deval Patrick, Schweitzer, and Cuomo run to be on the top of the ticket is awful.
I think you need to flip that.

As much as the orginization of Hillary and the friend network they have keeps gives them an edge people dont like her.

She will be like Gore. Everyone thought this guy was a super candidate and in reality he was weak.

No one wants to have a beer with Hillary.

There are some other charming people who are in touch with the left who can win in 2016.

Hillary can only win if the Pubs run a loser that cannot win.
1/7/2013 12:56 PM
I haven't seen a Republican candidate yet who isn't "a loser that cannot win".

McCain was a doddering old fool who had ZERO chance.

Romney is a slightly younger fool who had a slightly better than ZERO chance (and he only had that because people were disenchanted with the current president over various issues in his first term).

Who are they going to run next? Probably another fool with barely a chance.

1/7/2013 1:22 PM
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