On the eve of this weekend’s winter meeting of the National Governors Association, the group’s leaders offered encouragement to a besieged colleague, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
NGA chair Mary Fallin, R-Okla. and vice-chair John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., stopped well short of defending Christie during a private meeting with reporters Friday at the J.W. Marriott hotel in Washington. But the pair did offer broad empathy toward him as a fellow governor dealing with political issues in a state that’s naturally at odds with Christie’s party.
“All governors have issues they have to deal with whether you’re Republican or Democrat,” Fallin said. “It’s not easy to lead,” especially, she says, when “you have different factions within your state and across the nation.”
Hickenlooper relayed that Christie’s Bridgegate troubles have spawned jokes in his home state of Colorado, but acknowledged that he, as a center-left Democrat in a swing”“state, doesn’t face quite the same political friction as Christie does as a Republican governor in a blue state. Hickenlooper says people have joked, “The traffic coming out of Boulder is really tough. Well, maybe Hickenlooper had a disagreement with one of the Republican commissioners of Boulder. Oh, well actually that’s right, there are no Republican commissioners in Boulder.”
Hickenlooper says people in Colorado make those kinds of jokes because the notion of political retribution is “just never considered” in his state, which he chalked up to regional differences in the way politicians traditionally operate in the northeast versus the west, differences which he says “have made [Christie’s] job more difficult.”
Fallin argued that Christie has been a “good leader.” “He’s proven this during Hurricane Sandy. He’s taken on tough issues, and at times been pretty strong in his words and how he feels about things. But there are a lot of other governors that have done those same things as far as expressing their opinions, taking on tough issues, fighting the good fight to create change in their states.”
Despite much chatter to the contrary, neither Hickenlooper nor Fallin says they have heard of any governor calling on Christie to resign as chair of the Republican Governors Association.
“I’ve never heard of any governor of any party say that,” Hickenlooper said.
As for what will happen to Christie in the long run, Fallin emphasized the importance of taking the necessary time “to separate the facts from the politics.”
For now, Fallin’s advice to Christie is to focus on his job as governor. “Every time a governor goes through something like that you’ve just got to keep the focus on, as [former Mississippi Governor] Haley Barbour used to say, you’ve got to keep focusing on the main things, the main things, the main thing,” Fallin said. “Keep up what you’d normally be doing as a governor, and don’t get distracted by all this other stuff and this noise that’s out there.”
What We're Following See More »
"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."
Supporters of Bernie Sanders promised to walk out, turn their backs, or disrupt Hillary Clinton's speech tonight, and they made good immediately, with an outburst almost as soon as Clinton began her speech. But her supporters, armed with a handy counter-chant cheat sheet distributed by the campaign, immediately began drowning them out with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!"
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
Catholics who attend mass at least weekly have increased their support of the Democratic nominee by 22 points, relative to 2012, when devout Catholics backed Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, a Morning Consult poll shows that those voters with advanced degrees prefer Hillary Clinton, 51%-34%. Which, we suppose, makes the ideal Clinton voter a Catholic with a PhD in divinity.