A few times this year we’ve mentioned the ‘Murdoch Primary’, the all important race to get the support of Rupert Murdoch, various minions and capos of the Murdoch organization and of course the editorial support of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and so many other publications. Chris Christie, in case you didn’t notice, was being backed in a big, big way by Murdoch, Ailes and the rest. So he wasn’t just winning the Murdoch primary. He was the product of the Murdoch primary, you might even say a failed Murdoch/Newscorp effort to pull off a leveraged buy out of the GOP nominating process.
But there’s a bit more to this story. Because Christie is in a line of earlier candidates like Rudy Giuliani, who was not only also a Murdoch darling but also the product of the imagination of a certain kind of coastal, big donor Republicanism. To put it bluntly, as the thinking goes in these folks minds, wouldn’t the Republican party be even more awesome if it didn’t have all these bible-thumpers and Southern crackers? It could be even better just focusing on tax cutting and just kicking ass in general — especially unions and other whiners. In other words, like Rudy or this new guy Chris Christie.
It’s not that there’s not a parallel kind of Democrat who pines for just being able to found tech companies, chill with our gay friends and not have to get so jammed up over all this regulation and class warfare stuff. But let’s just all be honest and admit that Chris Christie is making a very smart move today (as sad as I am personally about it) since a pro-civil union, global warming believing, sharia-loving, non-Mexican hating New Jersey governor just ain’t gonna survive first contact with the GOP nominating process.
Remember, the Christie boomlet was always heavily, heavily, heavily driven by a group of big donors, the big money folks — a certain kind of big money folks. These aren’t the old school Republicans who might have backed a Romney type in the old days or maybe a Dole or Dick Nixon. The Rudy/Christie model, in its own way, is as new as Michele Bachmann Republicans, just of a very different kind.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.