Coy boy

Chris Christie is an interesting case. He is charismatic, which is unfortunately the most important quality for a politician to possess. He is also good at faking authenticity, the second most important trait.

Why just this week, he said “You need someone who’s clear, direct and authentic and says what they think.”

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/11/chris_christie_talks_leadership_in_washington_with_ceos_at_wall_st_journal_event.html

Oh, what a bold, brave statement to make if you’re a candidate for president! And he is a candidate, right? Probably maybe, though Mr. Clear Direct “tangoed around questions about a potential run for the presidency in 2016.” Oh well, he did really take on the absolutists in his own party. Did he name names? Almost! He specifically singled out “everyone down here in D.C.” (quote from another story about the same event). He narrowed that ‘everyone” down to even a finer grain of detailed malefactor when he said that it “primarily is the people.”

But credit where it’s due! He took the bold, brave stance of kicking Obamacare good and properly while it was down on the ground in fetal position, but when pressed “to say what he would do different, Christie said he couldn’t give a comprehensive answer in the 16 minutes he had left onstage.” There you go! Lucky for him and us he’ll have lots more than 16 minutes before the 2016 election, so we’ll be eager to hear those “clear, direct” thoughts on his healthcare alternative which no doubt will be coming any day now that he’s no longer on that stage with a time limit.

I don’t hold any of this against him in particular. I actually prefer a bit of fancy footwork in a politician over dogmatism. It really is part of the job. What a politician needs to do is give you confidence you are reading between the waggly lines correctly and have some idea of what his real policy priorities are. Still don’t, yet, but we’re only 16 minutes in.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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