Chris Christie appears to be the only Republican who’s learned anything from 2012.
In this video released Tuesday, the New Jersey governor riffs on his infamous post-Sandy apparel in a star-studded, self-deprecating romp.
I remember during last year’s election when I thought to myself, “What is Obama doing appearing with all these entertainment interviews? The View, Pimp with the Limp, Harold & Kumar ads, People en Español… doesn’t he want people to take him seriously?”
Like many conservatives’ election analysis, mine was incredibly wrong. Obama took a gamble on pandering to the politically uninvolved, and it paid off big time. They overwhelmingly outnumber the politically involved, and they can be won over when politicians just look like cool dudes.
Christie gets it. He knows he’ll gain greater name recognition and likability with goofy YouTube videos (this isn’t his first) than any political stunt–or position, for that matter–that could backfire on him. He’s sucking up to celebs who will increase his exposure and his “cool factor.” And, last but not least, whatever mockery he could face from prog hacks like Seth Meyers, he’s already deflated its effectiveness by taking it head-on with his own jokes.
Does that mean I want or like Christie as a presidential candidate? Hardly; every politician is a contemptible welfare queen sucking six figures from the sweat and blood of the working class and should be treated as such. But if you’re a person whose soul is so empty and avaricious you want to run for president in 2016, you’d best pay attention to what he’s doing. This is the way to win national elections in a world where vapid “I get my news from the Daily Show” millennials make up a non-negligible voting bloc.
Culture is no longer just upstream of politics. Culture has entirely supplanted politics for everyone who isn’t caught in the D.C. news bubble, and those are the people who decide national elections. Obama broke ground by exploiting this in 2012, and Christie is mounting an impressive campaign to do the same.