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Chris Christie's rant: 'Common sense porn'

The short version: Reporter Tom Moran attends a press conference with Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.). After the governor mocks state Democrats' arguments and legislative priorities while making the case for his own, Moran asks him if his "combative tone" will hurt his agenda. Christie rolls his eyes, mocks Moran's "thin skin," and rails for 240 seconds about how the media is covering him while ignoring the behavior of Democrats.

"You think that's a confrontational tone?" says Christie. "You should really see me when I'm pissed!"

Voila: Internet sensation.

The consensus is that Christie hit one out of the park -- my favorite reaction might be that of Glenn Beck, who calls it "common sense porn."

I can't help but notice, however, the difference between the reaction Christie's getting and the reaction President Obama gets when he rips into reporters, either to their faces or at rallies. Obviously, you expect conservative partisans to like Christie and liberal partisans to like Obama. But we've seen conservatives deride Obama's "lecturing tone," to Republicans, exhibit outrage when he reportedly used the word "teabagger," accuse him of stiffing the press when he told a reporter his question was a "waste" -- in other words, no atta-boys for Christie-esque behavior.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Obama's tone is not Christie's tone, and Obama's rationale for office was not Christie's. Obama ran explicitly as a uniter, so any swing at the opposition or his critics gives conservatives the opportunity to be "deeply disappointed" at Obama's rhetoric. Christie has less to lose -- despite defeating an unpopular incumbent, he's not all that popular in his state. But the split reaction is interesting.

By David Weigel  |  May 14, 2010; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  Conservatives  
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