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Election Day prognostication: The media swoon over Chris Christie

November 5, 2013

By Howard Kurtz

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie introduces President Obama from the presidential lectern at Asbury Park, in New Jersey.REUTERS

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie introduces President Obama from the presidential lectern at Asbury Park, in New Jersey.REUTERS

Every four years, political pundits feast on the the New Jersey and Virginia elections and pretend they have national significance because, well, there’s no other game in town.

But today, one of these contests really will have national reverberations, and it’s not Virginia.

It’s a foregone conclusion that Chris Christie will win reelection by a sizable margin, and the media drumbeat touting him as the GOP’s best chance in 2016 is growing louder by the day.

And the prognosticators will not be able to resist contrasting Christie’s win with the Virginia governor’s race, where the conservative attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is expected to lose to Bill Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe. But the Old Dominion contest turns on a number of unique local factors, while Christie seems to be positioning himself for the White House run he bypassed last time.

How does the MSM love Christie? Let me count the ways.

–He’s a blustery character who loves to pick fights and uses the S-word in his speeches; he’s fun to cover.

–He’s a Republican who wins in a blue state, and the pundits respect that.

–He believes in working with Democrats—famously hugging President Obama during Sandy—and the MSM swoon over bipartisanship.

–He’s conservative but not a social-issues crusader, making him more palatable to media types who are wary of hard-right figures who focus on abortion, gays and contraception (and who the MSM believe can’t win national elections).

–He’s close to the New York media market, so it’s easier for him to make news (don’t underestimate this).

–Plus, we get to debate his weight all over again.

Now there is, of course, a whole other side to this debate. The more conservative wing of the GOP, which embraces the likes of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, won’t want any part of the governor and his more moderate approach. We tried that with John McCain and Mitt Romney, they will say, and got clobbered. Christie will have to find a way to appeal to the kind of religious and social conservatives who turn out in places like Iowa. Read the rest at Fox News.

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