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Michael Gerson: Mitt Romney Must Let Chris Christie Emasculate Him

Romney the Great and PowerfulAll of these conservative dingdongs out there arguing for THE BOLD VICE PRESIDENT OPTION OF DEATH don’t seem to acknowledge that they’re forcing their presidential candidate to essentially humiliate himself and run a bottom-heavy ticket, as if that’s a sign of campaign wellness or augurs an effective administration. They want either Paul Ryan or Chris Christie because they consider Mitt Romney a weak, pathetic creature, and so in choosing either of them, Romney would be acceding as much. (And of course he is, but if he wants to win the election, moving further in that direction probably isn’t the way.)

David Frum, whose opinions will just steel conservatives’ determination to do the opposite, correctly sees “the Ryan proposal [as] a test of Romney’s leadership,” as in he needs to prove that he can turn them down. Another way of framing this: Is there a greater possible display of weak leadership than in letting Bill Kristol pick the vice presidential candidate again? After last time? When he got John McCain to pick that idiot — who was it — had a daughter or something — from the TV? These people aren’t Mitt Romney’s friends; it’s just another inter-party power exercise for them in which their top priorities are (1) making themselves the shot-callers and (b) getting another line on the resume of their preferred 2016 candidate. Because there’s really no excuse not to pick Rob Portman otherwise.

And yesterday on the Washington Post website, torture-loving Christian columnist Michael Gerson offered even more humiliating advice for Romney by advocating for Chris Christie, who will protect the delicate flower atop the ticket and fight back against those meanies in Chicago. Aww.

Gerson makes his case through the traditional Republican template of arguing for anything: THINK OF IT LIKE WAR (ANY OF WHICH I ALMOST CERTAINLY HAVE NOT FOUGHT IN):

But the trend of the last few weeks favors Chris Christie. The 2012 election has already proved to be a vicious, negative slugfest. In the last few weeks, Romney has been accused of committing a felony, avoiding taxes for a decade and contributing to the death of a woman with cancer. The squeals of various fact-checking outfits go ignored in Chicago. Romney, his family and staff are likely to feel offended and aggrieved. The question they are probably asking themselves is not: Who is the best vice presidential pick? Rather, it is: Who is the best wartime vice presidential pick?

Your Wonkette had to re-read that a few times — like, does Gerson really think that foreign policy will be such a determinant that he needs to make it his top priority in selecting a running mate? — before we remembered, oh right, he has been talking about about the need to defend Mitt Romney against mean attack ads this entire paragraph. It’s just that “wartime vice presidential pick” isn’t really used as a metaphor for something so pathetic as “someone who’s not scared of the teevee commercials” that often.

Romney needs more than an appealing spokesman.

Something less than an unappealing spokesman would be a good thing to consider, though!

He needs someone to engage aggressively on his behalf in the daily D-Day this campaign has become.

WELL, if we were a Republican, we’d be demanding a written apology to the veterans of our Greatest Generation on Tom Brokaw’s desk within the hour; but let’s just call him a toolshed instead.

All four leading vice presidential prospects might play this role. Christie would clearly play it best.

Gross.

Got it, Mitt Romney? Michael Gerson merely wants you to pick Chris Christie because you are a pathetic human being, and the most reasonable way to make up for that would be to pick Chris Christie to fight in D-Day. Isn’t that a winning image?

[WaPo]

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About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell

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125 comments

  1. ChernobylSoup

    These conservative pundits are doing for Romney what Broder and Cohen usually do for Democrats. It's fun to watch.

  2. Chichikovovich

    Well at least nobody's suggested that Romney self-inflicted a wound to get himself sent home after only 6 months in Vietnam. That would be disgraceful.

    I mean, for Pete's sake, the guy dodged the war in Vietnam.

  3. CivilMcMannerly

    Use Christie as a landing craft. Pile all the VP-candidates on his belly and float away to storm the beaches of… Hawaii? Kenya? Either way, war is hell, man…

  4. MacRaith

    There's a flaw in this kind of thinking, and it's the idea that Romney could improve his chances of winning with the right VP pick. He can't. The best he can hope for is to not make things worse.

    1. SoBeach

      Too true, and everyone knows it. Nobody says it though, because if they did they wouldn't able to fill hours and hours of air time with giddy speculation.

  5. mavenmaven

    Chris Christie is certainly the person I would drop by parachute behind enemy lines. Would make a great image, at any rate.

    1. HateMachine

      It'd be more effective to drop him sans parachute directly on top of enemy lines. I mean, just think of the damage you'd get out of that kind of payload.

    2. Limeylizzie

      Nooooo .He cannot be dropped behind enemy lines, I am already behind enemy lines with my radio and my basket , being given the once-over by this here Uberleutenant, if Chris Christie shows up my fantasy will become seriously gross.

    3. grex1949

      Any aircraft carrying Christie would be seriously over gross weight, in more ways than I can count.

    1. Chet Kincaid_

      "Christie is easily neutralized, Boss. Alls we gotta do: lure him intada drive-thru at Micky Ds with Old Man Romney's golden ticket, box him in…and perforate his fat ass."

  6. SoBeach

    Everyone knows the only way to balance out cold, pandering plutocrat is with obnoxious, abrasive blowhard.

    Romney/Christie 2012.

  7. DaSandman

    In that pix Don Christie is looking at Mittens like he's the last appetizer on the plate. When people say that Republicans eat their own they ain't fucking kidding.

    1. Ruhe

      Part of the definition of Dressage: "The rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement." I can't imagine Mitt looking too relaxed sitting atop Christie.

  8. johnnyzhivago

    I disagree! If Romney looked like any more of a metrosexual fancy pants Kansas City dandy, he would be running around with his same sex lover and wearing a dress!

    Get him out on the firing range and shoot up some advertisements right this instant! Obamacare – boom! Socialism – hand grenade!!! Amtrak — Flame thrower!!!!

    Stop the small varmint stuff and show this guy shooting some big guns!!!

    1. elviouslyqueer

      he would be running around with his same sex lover and wearing a dress!

      PAUL RYAN LIBEL.

      Oh, wait.

    2. TavariousChinaSmith

      Perhaps he could ride around in a tank, like President Dukakis did? Or if he really wants to look macho, he could take up windsurfing like President Kerry.

    1. HateMachine

      Also, it's not likely that the Allies had the necessary resources to fuel a craft of that magnitude.

  9. TavariousChinaSmith

    Why settle for a lightweight like Christie? If you want a real fighter, might was well go for Ann Coulter!

  10. johnnyzhivago

    The best VP pick is Donald Trump. He'll pursue issues like Obama's kindergarten report card – and pick up the remainder of the billionaire vote and the white trash vote.

  11. ChernobylSoup

    No snark: I'm still concern trolling for a surprise Kay Bailey Hutchinson pick. Move to the center, pick the least insane female in the party. It's his only chance to stay in the race.

    1. BeefHardcake

      Continuing with the lack of snark: my money is on Nikki Haley. She's got the crazies, but she's mediapathic to hell and gone, which is something Romney could really use.

      1. ChernobylSoup

        “mediapathic” … comes from the Neal Stephenson book Zodiac … he uses the term to refer to creating images and situations that register across the evening news and creating a lasting impact with viewers, usually creating a positive impact for your side and a negative impact for your adversary.

        Interesting

    2. SoBeach

      I agree Romney needs to move to the center with his VP pick. Rush and the gang will deliver the wingnut vote no matter who Romney picks, but the only way Mittens can win is to get a big chunk of Obama-leaning voters to change their minds. And that's not going to happen if he picks a teabagger loon.

      That said, it's really unlikely anyone on the Obama side is going to change their mind based on Romney's VP pick. Like MacRaith said above, all Romney can really hope is that his pick doesn't hurt his chances.

    3. anniegetyerfun

      Kay Bailey would be an excellent choice. She's a pro-choice woman who frequently votes to restrict access to abortion. Mittens will just die of happiness to have an accomplished politician on his team who, like him, can hold many views simultaneously. (Of course, Hutchinson never seems to look like a floundering asshole like Mitt, so therein lies the balance).

      1. HistoriCat

        Oh great, now I'm picturing Christie doing the Austin Powers dance to "When I think about you I touch myself." Ew. Ew. EW!

  12. JackDempsey1

    "Gerson makes his case through the traditional Republican template of arguing for anything: THINK OF IT LIKE WAR."

    This is funny, and, like most things funny, incorrect.
    The correct template for selection of a vice president is picking vitamins at the GNC. On a Saturday. With the wife.

  13. Goonemeritus

    The sad truth is Romney needs someone who isn’t an insane Machiavellian troll with a poisonous ideology. The trouble is the Party is fresh out of those candidates.

  14. Mumbletypeg

    David Frum:

    The clamor you are hearing for Paul Ryan for VP is not about helping the Romney candidacy. It's about controlling the Romney campaign—and ultimately the Romney presidency.

    Operative word being 'control.' Just like the clamor for the GOP to retake executive leadership is not about helping the general public. It's about controlling the body politic –and ultimately the preservation of the status quo, i.e. power as it remains in the hands of the few.

  15. weejee

    Well CrispieCreme Christie will add weight to the ticket. With all the campaigning it may lead to a nationwide doughnut shortage.

  16. ManchuCandidate

    If this ticket happens it will give astrophysicists a real life example of what happens when two black holes get together.

    1) The black hole of ideas that is Mitten's brain where no good idea escapes the event horizon
    The black hole in Chris's belly where no food escapes

  17. Come here a minute

    Chris Christie on D-Day would have caused Germany to send marine biologists to help him return to the sea.

  18. eggsacklywright

    Maybe Mittz will refuse to reveal his VP pick until after the election. That's all you people need to know.

  19. Oblios_Cap

    Who is the best wartime vice presidential pick?

    Quite right – Willard doesn't need a Tom Hagan, who doomed the Corleone Family since he wasn't a wartime consigliere!

    Wait, what?

  20. Hera Sent Me

    The rednecks and hicks in various southern states (whose votes Romney will need if he has a chance of winning), aren't going to be enthused by a VP candidate who looks, talks and acts like the bouncer in an episode of Jersey Shore.

  21. Chet Kincaid_

    I like all these RepubliPundit references to their new-found fear of the intimidating, browbeating bullies in "Chicago". Who besides Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm are actually Chicagoans in Obama's "war cabinet"? Is Jarrett baking poisoned cannolis or something?

    1. Angry_Marmot

      Yeah, there's no better example of projecting-your-shadow-onto-the-other than all this right wing squawking about "Chicago style politics".

  22. IncenseDebate

    Christie would be the biggest thing to hit Omaha Beach (D-day reference) since Shamu got drunk on fermented seal fat and crashed into France.

  23. ttommyunger

    What a dilemma: pick one with no detectable personality (Portman) or one with the personality of Donald Trump on steroids. Should be fun to watch.

  24. FNMA

    I think he means Mitt has to pick someone for veep who has gravitas, or maybe his own gravitational field.

  25. Ruhe

    Can you imagine the reaction of the Europeans to a VP Christie? "Now, this guy…he looks like an American."

  26. gurukalehuru

    I see Chris Christie wading ashore at Obama Beach (I meant to type Omaha, I really did), and the Germans just a quiverin' and a shakin' and saying ……. "Here Comes….. Fat Albert!"

  27. Angry_Marmot

    I don't know if it's sad or funny that Christie loves "Bruuuucce!" but doesn't understand why Springstein doesn't care for him. Would never occur to the governor to re-examine his priorities or preconceptions. I wonder if this kind of cognitive dissonance is a version of Richard III's being so steeped in blood he can't turn back…? Once you take that extra donut or glad hand that next contributor, it's hard to turn around so you just keep going forward 'til you're stuck.

  28. TootsStansbury

    I'm surprised he isn't going to just pick Grover Norquist or a Koch brother and be done with it.

  29. HistoriCat

    Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that "we are holding our position near the buffet." We're not holding anything. Let the Dems do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except our full plates. We're going to eat the hell out of that buffet all the time and it's going to go through us like crap through a goose!

  30. grex1949

    I like the Chris "Krispy Kreme" Christie choice. If the ship of state needs one thing, it's got to be sufficient ballast to keep the keel in the water as Captain Capitalism plies the dangerous waters ahead. Who better to serve this function than Gov. Christie?

  31. MrsConclusion

    I love, I LURVE Mitt's expression in this pic. "Oh, Heavenly Father, what kind of bullshit do I now have to listen to from THIS asshole…"

  32. Misty Malarky

    Funny – whenever I hear the name 'Chris Christie' I always think it's that Silver Fox of a Florida governor who used to make the sexytime with the frat boys.

    Silly me!

  33. EBGrey

    Whither T-Paw. Today's WASH Post describes Pawlenty relentlessly and pathetically stumping around swing states hoping, just hoping, that Romney will decide that nominating what amounts to a loaf of Wonder Bread as VP will be his ticket to the White House. Sorry T-Paw. They've had their way with you, and they're not gonna call you back.

  34. VespulaMaculata

    I'm sorry, and I have no wish to be disgusting, but I have wondered about the high number of back-achy days Christie must have, given just the strain alone of trying to reach around to wipe his own ass. After all, his arms don't look particularly long.

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