Artwork by BARRY BLITT
This is quite brilliant. Light and folksy in a Bill Cosby/Norman Rockwell kind of way on the surface, beneath it blows a dog whistle that will drive the entire spectrum of Republicans/Teabaggers/stone-cold racists batshit crazy. Or, batshit crazier, to be exact. By rights, he should be holding a big syringe instead of teaspoon, but that would ruin the aforementioned Blue Velevet effect. Well played, sir.
RELATED: Whatever else you do this week, carve out half an hour to read my colleague Ryan Lizza’s piece about Chris Christie and New Jersey politics. It’s Robert Penn Warren meets Carl Hiaasen on the west bank of the Hudson. By the time you get to the end of it, I bet you’ll find yourself asking the same question I did: How could we ever have taken this bully seriously as a Presidential candidate? In an era when elected officials are about as popular as burglars and bank C.E.O.s, the answer is that Christie cleverly created a public persona as a plain-talking, non-ideological Honest Joe—an anti-politician, almost—and the media, or much of it, went along with the spin. Even President Obama, by embracing Christie on the Jersey Shore shortly after Hurricane Sandy struck, contributed to Christie’s image as a decent man stuck in a bad profession and a nutty party. […] Thanks to the Bridgegate scandal, and the torrent of e-mails, internal documents, and unvarnished interviews it unleashed, we have been able to see the real Christie, and it isn’t an edifying sight. It’s so ugly, in fact, that Christie will almost certainly not survive its public display. […] On the basis of what we’ve seen over the past few weeks, what we have here is not some tribune of the common man with a sharp political brain. It’s a dark, Nixonian character who plots and rages, who ruthlessly exploits his office for political ends, who intimidates opponents and colleagues alike, who publicly trashes his former aides when he deems it necessary, and who even double-crosses his oldest allies. MORE