Love her or hate her, Maureen Dowd certainly knows how to put things into political/partisan perspective—take your pick.
Her eagerly anticipated post-mortem of Chris Christie’s equally eagerly awaited “I have told you before, I am telling you now, ‘the answer was never anything but no’ announcement” will not disappoint fans or foes.
From the opening paragraph of her “Man in the [Big] Mirror” in today’s New York Times, it is hard to tell how the rest of the post-mortem will go:
Watching Chris Christie hold forth for an hour, it’s hard to know whether you want to hug him or slap him. There’s something both lovable and irritating about the man.
It’s not the puffed up body that’s off-putting. It’s the puffed up ego.
Soon, it appears that she would rather slap than hug the lovable/irritating, puffed-up, eggs-Benedict-with-a-side-of-hash-browns-and-bacon-loving teddy bear.
But wait, what are all those subtle and not-so-subtle digs at Obama?
For example, when comparing the lithe-framed, seemingly well-read and well-briefed campaigner, now egghead-turned president “who surrounds himself with eggheads, even when they have helped wreck the economy he’s trying to save,” to a Chris Christie who “can be a bully, but that may seem better than the alternative: a president who lets himself be bullied, and who lets the bullies run wild.”
And as to justify her apparent disenchantment with Obama:
We’re fated to yearn for qualities in presidents that we found missing in the last one, so Americans are intrigued by unpolished, unvarnished, impolitic, knock-some-heads-together, passionate, chesty, even hefty.
And perhaps yet another reason for Christie’s appeal:
Studies have shown that during slumping economies, men may find plumper women more attractive. So why shouldn’t financially stressed voters find plumper pols more appealing?
As to Obama’s alleged reluctance to identify and target the economic villains who have hurt the average American so much, Dowd declares Christie a clear winner in the “find-the-villain” category:
The Jersey governor loves to identify villains, from state legislators resisting his will (“drunks”) to teachers resisting a pay freeze (“using children for political purposes”) to pundits criticizing his weight (“just ignorant”).
But, in the end, Dowd has some comforting words for confused Democrats.
Referring to Christie’s statement that he’s going to “tear off the rearview mirror,” Dowd writes, “The same can’t be said for jilted, lovesick Republicans, scraping the bottom of the barrel and turning their lonely eyes to Eric Cantor.”
You know, the Eric Cantor who wants any help to disaster-struck, suffering Americans to be offset with spending cuts—except when the funds are for his district.
Read more of Dowd’s very interesting column here. It should make both Democrats and Republicans happy, or unhappy, depending on which of Dowd’s fun house mirrors they look at.
Image, courtesy bettesbounces.com
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.