The XX Factor

Was Christie’s Joke That Offensive?


I’ve watched and re-watched the video of Chris Christie addressing a heckler with what has been interpreted as a joke about oral sex, and while I think it certainly comes across as crass, I don’t see where it can be labeled “misogynistic.”  He said “something’s gonna go down tonight,” not SOMEONE, which would have been a far more blatant sexual reference. And our colleague David Weigel has written that he was at the Romney rally and didn’t take it as a reference to fellatio.

Either way, I don’t think this can hurt Romney, either in New Hampshire or nationally. He’s up by almost 19 points in the primary that will be contested tomorrow. And one of the many knocks on Romney is that he is too polished, a Ken doll with perfect hair and shiny teeth and bland, inoffensive comments. He’s never going to win the esteemed “candidate I’d like to have a beer with (even if it’s O’Doul’s)” poll.  Chris Christie brings some needed grittiness, and ability to relate to the “common man.” If the downside of that is an occasional off-color joke, I still think Romney comes out ahead.

I just don’t think that many on the right are going to be offended by this. But given the predictable reaction from feminists—“OMG! Chris Christie is so offensive!”—if there is any effect at all, it could be to remind splintered conservatives of our common foe—liberals—thereby creating sympathy for Romney.