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Pour One Out for the Good Guy: Chris Christie leaves; Nikki Haley prepares to get smoked (The Secret Podcast PREVIEW)

January 12, 2024
Notes
Transcript
No Labels Is Big Mad, Chris Christie is good and Nikki Haley is toast. JVL and Sarah are giving you a free sneak peek at this week’s Secret Podcast.

Become a Bulwark+ member to listen to the full episode: https://plus.thebulwark.com/p/its-not-that-hard-nikki

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:00

    Hey there. It’s JBL on the Secret Show with Sarah Longwell today. We spilled some tea about some stuff going down with no labels. We talked about Chris Christy, and we looked at the absolute train wreck that’s about to happen in Iowa. Here’s the show.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:21

    Okay. So let’s talk about somebody who has been realistic and good. Just for Christie. My boy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:31

    Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:33

    Do you, do you have any thoughts? Yeah. I wrote about it yesterday. I don’t know if you read it or not. You know why I keep doing this bit because it works every damn time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:49

    Wait. What what was your newsletter yesterday?
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:51

    Unimportant. We’re at so I I what I was saying is that I was wrong about Chris Christie. Oh. And I I just wanted to put that on the record and, and also indulge in a little bit of what I think actually isn’t Westwing fantasy politics that I think the logic of everything he’s done suggests that by August, he should endorse Biden.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:18

    Wait. The four million dollar bond fairs of the Geo plea donor class van vanities? Yeah. That’s it?
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:25

    Well, I mean, you gotta keep reading. It’s for the I write three things every every day. It’s a Is that what’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:31

    called a trial?
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:31

    So, But I’m glad since you skimmed the headlines.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:35

    That’s Probably too.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:36

    Did you say that out of the comments somebody left of, was like, hey, JBL is so desperate for Sarah to read him that he wrote a piece for the Atlantic, which he knows is a chance she’ll say.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:46

    And I had absolutely read that piece. I absolutely read it. And it was a fix, because it’s your preposterous theory of Nikki Haley as VP. So I had to hate read it. And great.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:57

    I’m glad. I’m glad your dreams are coming true. You know why that I I did skin this, but it’s all it’s like Batman references everywhere. I was like, I saw a Joker video and said, this isn’t for me. I’ll get so just you should see his face right now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:14

    What so so your gist is that that you were wrong about Christie. Cause what did you say about Chris Christie? I get you and Tim confused sometimes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:22

    I just didn’t think he would have the sand to go the full liz. And I was wrong about Liz too. Right? I mean, people, I and I I I cheerfully admit this. I did not think that Liz Cheney would be willing to to do the full thelma and Louise over the cliff.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:39

    And I didn’t think Christy would either, and I was wrong on both of them. And I’m so happy to have been wrong. And I’m deeply, deeply appreciative to both of them for conducting themselves with wisdom and honor.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:53

    Yeah. He he ran So, you know, I I can’t remember. I’ve been I have wanted him to get out. I have said publicly he should get out. And I have felt even a little conflicted about this because it’s hard to say, Hey, you guy doing the right thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:12

    Need to get out for the person who’s doing the, like, not particularly right thing because that person has a better chance of beating Donald Trump. But I think that his pragmatism won out. In part, I just think he didn’t want to be he didn’t wanna do it again. Right? Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:30

    We’ll get to have
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:31

    it both ways here in the good sense. Like, he’s getting out so his voters can go to her. Yep. But he’s also stating very clearly that, like, he’s not creating a permission structure. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:41

    In fact, he’s doing the opposite. He’s actually building the the permission structure for getting off of that spot. Yeah. And so and that that was very wide. You know, it’s I mean, it seems obvious once he does it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:53

    But for me, it hadn’t even really occurred to me, like, well, he could just drop out and also say that anybody who endorses Trump is unfit. You know, that that is a cutting of the Gordon knot, which again, I think is very wise and honorable.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:05

    Yeah. Honorable, I think, is the right term here. I think he has he he did he did a lot of good. By being in the race, by telling the truth, and I also think, like, it’s it’s important for people.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:21

    It’s one of the reasons I have such a
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:21

    hard time making the bowl case for Nikki Haley is that to do that, I have to live in a fantasy place around Republican voters. And I have to basically say everything I think I know about Republican voters is wrong. But I think it’s important to recognize that a guy like Chris Christie or any or someone like Liz who tells the truth about Donald Trump. They’re out. Their negatives are in the eighties.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:51

    And the party doesn’t want them. And I think it’s important. I think I think we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t see the Republican party clearly. And getting too high on the Hopium of Nikki is for me to then ignore everything I’ve seen about how these voters have changed. And I don’t think we can effectively combat the Republican Party as it stands now if we’re seeing if we think like, oh, no, no.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:14

    There’s still more than half the party in there that’s normal. And or that would vote for Nikki Haley. And I just don’t think that’s true.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:20

    Yeah. I I think that’s I’m sorry. And if it wasn’t Trump, the party would prefer somebody like DeSantis to her even as as compromises as Santa’s is. So here, I wanna talk to you about something we talked about last night on the show. It’s a very good show.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:33

    Me, AB and Mona. I like AB and Mona so much. In fact, I I was joking. So I get to talk so I get to talk to you every week because we do the show. I get to talk to AB every week, because she and I do a show, but I hardly ever get to talk to Mona, and I miss her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:46

    And so I said, you and I should just, like, start doing a podcast together so that I have an opportunity to catch up with you during the week. Because that’s the only way I have communicate with my friends is to create public facing products with them. So, But we we were talking about Ron DeSantis, and Mona watched a little bit of the debate, and she had to turn off because she found Ron DeSantis so utterly repellent.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:14

    Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:14

    And Mona, we did we had, like, all caps Mona last night, on just on the subject of what a horrible, horrible political commodity Ron DeSantis was. It was amazing. And I I said to her. I said, so listen. You we know all of these people in conservatism Inc.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:31

    Who just pushed all of their chips into the center of the table. On the subject of Ron DeSantis beginning in, like, the summer of twenty twenty one. Mhmm. And I see this is an honest question. Had they never heard him speak?
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:50

    Right? Had had they just read things about him or seen tweets from his office? Because it seems to me that anybody who understands anything about politics, after five minutes of watching him, converse in any way with any other human being would have said, oh, this guy’s gonna be a heavy lift. Because this guy is not a good conventional politician. He’s got problems.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:17

    Like, his voice is bad. He’s whiny. He’s short. He doesn’t, like, interact in a normal way with others. Like, what did these people just not see them?
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:28

    And before I give you Mona’s answer, I would ask you the the question. What are your thoughts? Cause I was just genuinely stumped. Like, at least, I’m like, did Charles c Cook not ever actually see Rhonda Santa’s talk before he decided that Rhonda Santis was a few the Republican Party.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:42

    Yeah. My guess is is they really didn’t and that they were so desperate for a fusion candidate that they thought they could be four, that Republican voters could also be four, that they saw in Ron DeSantis, like an opportunity to re engage with the base of the party that they would be able he would be respectable enough for them to support him and psychotic enough for the base to support him. And I think that just turned out to be wrong. But the idea that they hadn’t seen him, I don’t know. I mean, so listen, just not to go into a Sarah’s always right thing, but I went back and listened to this debate that I did.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:21

    There’s this thing called the monk debates, which is like the Canadian version of debate squared on NPR or whatever. And it had, the question put on the table. It was me and Elaine Kmart, who I like very much, was resolved, Ron DeSantis will be the Republican nominee. And they based they asked me, they were like, which side do you wanna argue? And I was like, I can do either.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:46

    And they were like, well, well, which one would you choose? And I was like, I’ll take trump, that that trump’s gonna be the nominee. And Elaine wanted Ron DeSantis. So I said, okay. Great.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:56

    And I went back and listened to the debate. And the main I’m arguing the extent to which I am right so deep in this thing. It is about the how it is about the I talk about how the relationship right now. There’s a lot of Ron DeSantis curious voters, for sure, but their relationship with Trump is deep, and their relationship with Ron DeSantis is shallow. And also I say, if you talk to any reporter who reports on this guy in Florida, They will all tell you he has a glass jaw.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:23

    He’s got a personality problem that his inner circle is just his wife and that he doesn’t trust anybody. And, and and it all like, that was it. People who did watch him closely did know that he was not the he was not the guy that had been built up in the public imagination, and that he was gonna have real problems. And I think that yeah. It was out of desperation that the NRO guys and other people decided Ron DeSantis was the future because they that’s why they didn’t even decide to vet him or give him a look.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:58

    They just They just tried to make it will it into being. But what was Mona’s answer? I thought it was smarter than
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:03

    that. It was very similar to that, actually. Mota’s answer was that it was never about DeSantis. It was always about them. Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:10

    And they needed they needed something that they had to to be for. Right? There’s I mean, you know, there there is a a place there. There’s a pedestal there that something has to get put on. If it’s not gonna be Trump, and they didn’t want it to be trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:26

    They also couldn’t go against Trump. And so picking Ron DeSantis, and as as you say, was a way to say, see, we’re with the people. We’re with the real conservatives who also kind like him, and this buys us a couple years before we have to go back to Trump. Yeah. It was just b about buying time because they they knew in their hearts that they would be forced to go back to Trump and, you know, at the end of the day, right there may be trump pieces and, you know, and bad.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:57

    Oh, I’m not sure about that. I thought I think people, like, I think they continued to misunderstand Republican voters and thought, like, no, no, no, enough of them will wanna move on. And that they thought he was the future. I don’t think they thought it was definitely gonna be Trump
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:15

    again. Maybe. But again, that that’s an analytical failing. I don’t I mean, I’ve been saying that it was gonna be Trump again since October of twenty twenty before the election.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:26

    JBL is always right. It’s the rightest right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:28

    I don’t but here’s the thing. I don’t think that took, like, a deep and special insight. I think I was just looking at all of the available facts on the ground and extrapolating in a fairly modest way.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:41

    Don’t know. I won’t go back again. I was saying look at that and
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:43

    think of it, like, this is me this is the example of me being a great sear. I think, actually, it was obvious. And
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:50

    I said I wasn’t sure because I I was really I I just if I put myself right back at the end of twenty twenty two and the beginning of twenty twenty three, I was I was caught off guard by how much voters wanted to move on from Trump in the focus groups. But this was the thing. They needed somebody to move on to. And it was always gonna come down to I think that Ron DeSantis if he’d been a different candidate and a different person, run a different campaign, but had some of the elements of being the governor that they love from a state that they love. Like, you could have gotten somewhere.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:25

    I think the problem was he wasn’t very good at it. And also that the rhythms of politics have really changed, you know, Trump getting in as early as he got in seemed kinda weird at the time. And now, like, The time Ron DeSantis got in was like over, you know. Trump had defined the race. Trump was defining DeSantis before he got in.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:44

    To the extent that there was space for people to move on to somebody else, the only person who it would have worked with is somebody like Tucker. If there had been another out of nowhere populist manga, like a real populist manga, then maybe people could have moved on, but it wasn’t gonna be just like a politician. You know, it wasn’t gonna be some senator or some governor. Yeah. I I I don’t think.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:10

    Yeah. Well,
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:11

    I think that’s probably right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:12

    Yeah. You know, here, maybe here’s the difference. You know, we talk about epistemic closure. So I am never around conservative Inc people. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:20

    Like, I I have almost no contact with conservative elites. I have a lot of contact with Magas.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:26

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:26

    Like, in my daily day to day life, I see I see plenty of Maga voters all the time. Talk with them and chit chat with them at, you know, the pickup line at school and stuff. I think that a lot of those people are the opposite like, they are ensconced in conservative elite circles. Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:45

    Yeah. No. I think that’s right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:46

    They they everybody they know is at AEA. Or heritage, and, you know, book parties and stuff. But they live in, you know, like, DC suburbs or something, and I don’t know that they I don’t know how many actual manga voters they know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:03

    No. I think that’s exactly right. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:04

    They they know plenty of people vote for Trump because there are other people in conservative elites, circles who who have voted for Trump, but I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m wrong.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:15

    I I I think I I I’ve argued this all the time. I think even Nikki Haley and Mike Pence, I still think the Republican Party has a Reagan hangover, and doesn’t realize what’s happened to it. I think the people leading the party don’t realize what’s happened to the voters.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:33

    Good times. Good times. So, the only thing I guess is Iowa, which I I just want two minutes to talk about it. Just two. I see you’re sighing unless you gotta go.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:44

    Is this a hard out for you?
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:45

    No. It’s not. It’s not even. I just I’ve been on TV talk, like, trying to make Iowa interesting for, like, a couple weeks. And I am just like, it is not interesting.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:55

    Maybe it’ll be interesting because this’ll be so cold. So cold. You don’t here’s the thing. Do you know who I’ve got on the pod this weekend?
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:04

    I do. Wanna pretend I don’t so you can give it a big reveal?
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:08

    No. You can tell me if you know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:10

    It’s a seltzer.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:11

    Yeah. I’ve been seltzer from Iowa. And one of the interesting things, it’s such a good conversation. She’s so smart. She knows everything about Iowa, and it’s the it’s might be the only Iowa conversation I’ve been just like deeply interested and engaged in, because she had a lot of just unbelievably good insights.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:28

    Both about polling, she also does a lot of focus groups. I think she really understands the voters. I think I was it was nice. I think she felt like our stuff really reflected exactly what she had been seeing as well. And so I feel like it reinforced my sense.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:41

    But one of the things that she was talking about is just how much more professionalized Trump’s campaign is this time around.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:46

    Mhmm. And
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:47

    that in twenty in twenty sixteen, when people talk about Trump losing Iowa, part of that was, like, they had no organization. Like, crews had a real organization on the ground. And we’re able to really organize people to get out to the caucuses. She says that Trump organization now, like, they’ve got these little hats with that are, like, pink gold letters, like, they’re highly visible. And they’ve got so they’ve got all these precinct captains who are there responsible for organizing and getting their people to the caucuses.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:14

    And she was like, you know, may maybe this Ron DeSantis, the guys at the DeSantis thing have, you know, some kind of a crown game to see, but she just I think actually she was pretty careful about not, you know, criticizing anybody, but I was pretty critical because I just think that the chances that Trump turns people out at a much higher percentage than any of us because it’s gonna be, like, negative twenty. Like so this is, like, you’ve gotta decide, like, do you love a candidate enough to freeze your ass off? Who do we think they love enough?
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:52

    Oh, it’s probably gonna be Ron DeSantis. I mean, that guy inspires such deep passions in people.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:57

    Right? They’re gonna
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:57

    be out there with their frozen, but they’re gonna dip their fingers into pudding. While they’re in line and their fingers will freeze instantly in the pudding. They’ll they’ll have, like, a frozen No. Have a pudding pop. Love a pudding pop.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:07

    Yeah. Well, So here is the only the only interesting thing I have to say about Iowa. And I’m writing about this today, and I’ll just talk with you about it now so that you don’t have to read it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:17

    It’s a time saver for me.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:18

    I believe that Ron DeSantis is desperate to finish third. He
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:23

    wants to finish Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:25

    That that is my belief.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:26

    You have insane takes. Your takes are just what are you talking about?
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:31

    Ron DeSantis finishes third and a close third, right, if he finishes a point two points before he
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:36

    Do you think he can just wrap out just and stop the pain and that’s good that he’s happy about that? Yes. I don’t think so.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:44

    And if he beats her and god forbid he beats her, like, by five points, Then he has to stay into New Hampshire. Do you know what he’s calling me at New Hampshire?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:54

    I do. Five percent. Five.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:57

    Five percent in New Hampshire. Where he wants
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:01

    to go
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:02

    and be in a dog fight with Vivay, Ramaswamy. We love to say it. Ramaswamy. Don’t like his hair though. Very unsettling.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:11

    That then he goes to a dog fight where he’s trying to stay out of fourth place with Rahaswamy or potentially fifth place just in case Christie’s zombie voters wind up finishing with six percent. And at that point, DeSantis is utterly humiliated. I mean, that then is a is a true worst case scenario for him. So I think DeSantis’s best case scenario is that he finishes like a point or two points behind Haley. He runs back to Tallahassee, waits twenty four hours, then Pences campaign says we had a lot of forces working against us.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:45

    We we’re gonna continue killing the woaks here in Florida and, eating our puddings and making sure the gays are scared and, and, hopefully, then everybody else will just, like, stop looking at him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:01

    Kids grow up a little bit, and he gets to be the first gentleman of Florida back in the governor’s mansion while Casey
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:06

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:06

    Does her thing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:07

    Yeah. I I think that is DeSantis’ opt again, just incentives. I don’t think you have to be a genius to see this stuff, but if you look at what the future looks like for him if he finishes second versus finishing third, And I think he vastly prefers to finish third.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:24

    Okay. So I think this is I think that’s crazy doc, but I love it. I love it as a theory. I think, of course, he wants to come in second. His political career is over if he comes in third.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:35

    He’s humiliated in front of his donors. I I love your idea that he I think even if he comes in, If he comes in a super duper duper distant second and beats Haley by a couple of points, I still think he gets out. I still think he gets out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:53

    You do? I think that’s harder. I don’t know why. It’s harder to
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:57

    get him. He’ll get you know why? He’ll get out and endorse Trump. And And this is the thing. You’ve been saying this, and I forget to say it all the time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:05

    Like, whenever people are doing their fantasy, Nikki scenario, like, last night on Hayes. David Pluff was kinda like laying out the the Haley scenario. And I was like, I kept wanting to you can’t do this on TV, but wanting to interject to be like, right. But the thing is is that DeSantis drops out, his voters go to Trump. Ron DeSantis’ voted, like, the consolidation is only gonna help Trump as and so let’s say DeSantis drops out I don’t know that it’s gonna make a huge difference of his where his five percent go in New Hampshire, but in South Carolina, and in also, we need to talk about Nevada.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:45

    Nevada is a party caucus. Trump is gonna win by Saddam Hussein margins there. But do
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:51

    you know that half of them are in a primary. Like, there’s a primary and a caucus. Like, Nikki Haley is gonna win the primary there, which is like, a different function than the caucus. Doesn’t even make any sense. I’m really Delgets
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:04

    are all with the caucus. Trump wanted to not be all the this is the yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:08

    That’s right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:08

    Isn’t that Trump screwed up here. Trump No. No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:10

    No. Trump’s doing the right thing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:11

    But I
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:12

    don’t understand what Nikki Haley’s doing. Thinking she thinks she’s gonna win the primary because zero delegates.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:16

    That’s great. Good luck.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:19

    What is this about?
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:21

    Well, the other half of today’s piece is how Nikki actually is terrified of winning New Hampshire because winning New Hampshire is catastrophic for her. Oh my god. You’re
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:34

    so funny.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:35

    Just leave this there, and you can read it maybe before next Friday. Hey, Sarah, do you know there’s there’s actually more of the show?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:45

    Oh, there is. How much more?
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:47

    There’s more so much more. All of the more it goes on for hours if people want to get the rest of show. You you know what they have to do. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:54

    I think they have to go to Bulwark Plus. Do they have to subscribe? What do they have
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:58

    to do? Yes. They have to pay us money. Oh, He did me and his money and go to the Bulwark dot com and subscribe to remember the Bulwark Plus.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:08

    All the good stuffs on the other
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:10

    Bye.
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