Rivera and Christie, Jersey RINOs

Well, my decision to spend a few days with Fox News on in the background to check out Kirsten Powers’ (relatively sparse) appearances paid off, because I got to watch a live interview by Shepard Smith of Geraldo Rivera about his possible race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in New Jersey.

Geraldo began by referring to Jacob Javits, Clifford Case and Nelson Rockefeller as his childhood political ideals. For younger readers, Javits and Case were unapologetic liberal Republican Senators with voting records largely to the left of your average Democrat, while Rocky, of course, was every conservative’s bete noire, the man who had the temerity to trash Barry Goldwater at his own triumphal nominating convention in 1964. Rivera then started trashing today’s Intolerant Right, and rambled through endorsements of abortion rights and comprehensive immigration reform. Only thing missing was a ringing endorsement of Chuck Hagel.

But here’s the best part: after deeply and redundantly offending Fox News’ core audience (on some of Fox’s regular shows, he would have risked being set on fire right there in the studio), Geraldo proceeded to snuggle up to Chris Christie as the shining beacon of contemporary GOP politics.

I doubt the Rivera ’14 campaign will ever happen. But I’m beginning to think it’s all an elaborate trick being played on Chris Christie.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.