We all know Chris Christie is a bit of a hothead. I mean, it’s a bit like saying a hothead is a bit of a hothead. It’s not observation but truism. Republicans love him or loved him for it. And Democrats started to too because his blow ups don’t all follow ideology. There was this time back in 2011 when he flipped out at a reporter for questioning whether a Muslim-American judge he’d appointed to the bench might be a security risk or sympathetic to al Qaeda.
Then there was Sandy. Republicans were irate; Dems cheered. What it all really comes down to is that in addition to being a very big man Christie is clearly a big-hearted man. I don’t mean that in the sense that he’s necessarily a great guy in every respect. But he doesn’t do artifice well. He has his emotions on his sleeve. And on his lapel and his pants and his hat if he’s wearing one. He’s just all out there in the 24/7 run of performance art called being Chris Christie.
But this calling the “hack” doctor thing strikes me as a big deal. Not in the sense of the fate of the republic being at stake but in the sense of Christie’s future above the rank of governor.
Here’s what TPM Reader JL just wrote in …
Christie never had the remotest shot at the nomination. At least not after Sandy. But he had a shot at making some noise. Not anymore I suspect. And I say that as something of a fan.
The thing is that to take CC seriously as a prez candidate you have to believe that his anger is an asset that he deploys deliberately and skillfully. Which often appears to be the case. But if it starts to look like the anger controls him rather than away around, his appeal really plummets.
I suspect the ill advised phone call was a pretty big deal. If I were he I’d be working overtime on damage control.
This strikes me as exactly right. Calling this women up and berating her over the phone is the sign of someone whose anger has the better of him and lacks impulse control.
Governors don’t have armies or security services. So if they’re a bit nuts or reckless it’s not that big a deal. People evaluate presidents very, very differently.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.