Impatiently Positive: A Father’s Day Recognition

COVERBOOTS  The man who brings “Take it in stride” to a new level

The impatient have forever struggled when surrounding others act slowly, execute poorly, or change course without warning. For those of you unfamiliar to impatient impulses, it’s a constant inner battle to keep from expressing displeasure whens things aren’t moving at your pace.

I inherited my most of my mother’s traits, a bit of impatience included (she’ll be the first to admit it, plus I wrote a Mother’s Day post for her so I’m in the clear for a while). Admittedly, it’s one of my worst traits, and frankly I’m growing impatient with my lack of progress to relinquish the impatient tendencies. It nearly always leads to increased negativity and adds to heightened levels of worrying, so basically it’s a lose lose, lose. It can be a fun killer, a day ruiner, a relaxation executioner – and it never affects my father.

For those of you that don’t know him, my dad is the ultimate positivity crux. He enjoys just about everything excluding brussels sprouts and shopping. He’s the most likable guy I know, and for good reason. To give perspective, during my high school years, most of the student section would cheer and call his name when he walked into the gym during a basketball game. Of course, he’d acknowledge my friends with a lunging power fist pump, to a following ovation. In short, he’s a successful, likable, easy going and most importantly, patient, man.

I can’t begin to fathom the amount of times my dad could have lost all patience with me. I was many times a handful of trouble and difficulty, but he always managed (and manages) to keep a calm and positive attitude toward me. Just last week, our family went hiking in Germany’s Black Forest – not really my idea, nor my my mother’s idea or fun. Add in a blanket of humidity and 95 degree weather and it’s a recipe for an unenjoyable day. My brother and I disagreed quite emphatically about our ideas of fun, and the day was headed for disaster as tempers raised.

I very well could have ruined everyone’s time, but my dad saved day. He calmly let my brother and I yell out our dispute, wait ten minutes then initiate the apology and reconciling phase. Although the day was spent hiking up a mountain like billy goats, sweating our ‘you know whats’ off then sitting in our filth during a five hour car ride, it was semi-enjoyable. All thanks to my dad’s relentlessly (almost annoyingly) positive attitude.

Another example of dad’s enduring patience comes to mind, this time a reoccurring situation. High school proved to be a relatively relaxed and effortless period regarding my school workload. Most every subject could be passed in flying colors with the utmost procrastination skills. Until senior year’s calculus. I’ve since realized mathematics doesn’t fall under my dexterities, but I should have realized it during this class.

My dad and I spent hours most every week at our dining room table attempting to finish homework and study for the next exam, many times in an unenthused state (me, at least). Thoroughly remarkably, dad managed to make these hours of trig functions and derivatives enjoyable and memorable. Despite my best efforts to make it miserable and boring, he always managed to keep things light, produce a laugh at a stupid joke and make time fly by.

Ricky Rocket continues to keep the family laughing and enjoy one another, even in the most “dire” of circumstances. His uncanny ability to crack a joke we’ve all heard twenty times yet still get a laugh is something worth researching. His positivity manages to make every situation a success, despite the worst of rough patches. His patience is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

The funny thing is, I could’ve chosen just about any positive attribute to describe my dad, but there’s always next year. I’m sure he’ll be patient enough to wait until then.

Happy late Father’s Day!

Matthew J. Michaletz | June 16, 2014

Homemaker Extraordinaire

 

BLOGMOTHER   The Job Title That Doesn’t Do An Ounce of Justice

 

Dads are the goofiest, corkiest, smartest yet scariest human beings on the planet. The mere thought of the phrase “wait until your father gets home” still has me shaking in my boots. A Michaletz child knew he/she was in some deep stuff when the crime’s punishment wouldn’t be decided until after dinner. He carried such the opposite presence when his children were acting suitably, but when I behaved like a brat, I got what was coming. Through all the years of sibling idiocy, nitpicking, brawling and arguing, I came to understand the most hefty sanctions my father handed out followed defiance and disrespect toward my mother.

For some time I wondered why a smart-mouthed comment to mom led to a night stuck in my room with no dinner, while sucker punching my brother only resulted in a slap on the wrist. Why ripping the towel rack off the wall ended with no TV for a couple hours, while failing to follow my mother’s request to put my laundry away ended in a stern family meeting (always a blast) seemed a paradox.

Then I went to college.

Nobody cooked great meals for me, unless you count the housing dining halls (a notion only a fool would hold). Nobody cleaned for me, period. Housemates from second floor of Mack House could attest. Nobody woke me up if I slept through my alarm in the morning, nobody did my laundry, nobody washed my sheets.

I had much taken for granted the luxuries my mother treated us to while living in Oshkosh. When the kids weren’t assigned to do these household chores, my mom happily took care of them. If not for living halfway across the world, she would have happily taken several days to clean, cook and wash at my dorm or apartment (believe me, she offered this morning).

While her willingness to endlessly help her children with any imaginable chore is an amazing trait positively held by few, it pales in comparison to what her job as a homemaker truly entailed.

From what my family has told me, I was anything but an easy going youngster. Whether it was a fist fight with my brother or a shouting match with my sister, I was constantly worked up about something. And from what I remember, I was most definitely a challenge from middle school on. With a poor temperament sparked the instant something did not fall in my favor, my parents must  have struggled to defer from letting me hear them call me a beastly little ‘you-know-what.’ Those words were assuredly said behind closed doors, for I was a beastly little ‘you-know-what.’

My mother dealt with my terribly irrational antics day after day, hour after hour, never once even nearly succumbing to my level of immaturity. She kept an incessantly cool demeanor, using each moment as an opportunity to (attempt to) teach me a lesson. While I rarely took to the intended lesson, she used the same technique over and over until I understood.

When arguments were seemingly shifting towards a shouting match, I would be sent upstairs to my room and she would go downstairs to do laundry. I always thought this was an odd way to end an argument, but looking back, it’s brilliant. Her tactic was to separate the partakers to seclusion, inevitably leading me to calming thoughts of regret and apology. And wouldn’t you know, that’s how it always worked. Never a cussing match, never excessive shouting, always an apology.

As a homemaker, my mom was responsible for feeding, grooming and essentially serving us. She was responsible for shaping three children into positive, productive and loving adults. Daily, she dealt with the good, bad and ugly sides of her defiant offspring, but I think we all turned out alright.

When my father handed out a hefty punishment after I refused to respect his wife, it wasn’t because my mother couldn’t handle disrespect, it was because she didn’t deserve it. Some say a stay-at-home mom never works a day in her life, I would prefer to say my mom never took a day off.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Matthew J. Michaletz | May 11, 2014

The Corner of Competent and Creative

 

                           The Falsity That Nearly  COVERCREATIVE    Killed My Future

Some things in life are meant not to accompany one another. This I’ve learned, subsequent to my intensive studies exposing the intended segregation between my iPhone and lake water. You don’t often see high heels paired with sweatpants, nor lawyers with the truth (just kidding, Prof). Simply put, some things just don’t go together.

Freshman year at a large university presents itself an overwhelming son of a gun: opportunities, avenues and aggregations at every corner. Fine tuned style, tremendously intelligent minds, and vices and virtues handily overwhelm the previously unflappable. Presented at a staggered rate, these nuanced phenomena could be tackled more comfortably, but, unfortunately, year one at uni hurls them all at you simultaneously.

So, one must choose a path quite hurriedly, for fear of falling behind peers. Choose your major, choose your style, choose your friends, and choose your career aspirations. Try and choose wisely.

Unfortunately, these rapid adjustments led yours truly to recognize one specific falsity as truth. This hapless duplicity sent me on a perpetually discouraging goose chase in search of a fulfilling and somewhat lucrative career path. It led to a complete loss of confidence, a quickly plummeting grade point average, and some crappy, stability deficient months.

The falsity inflicting such havoc on my previously straightforward existence was the idea of total separation between competence and creativity.

I perceived there were only two groups of students attending college. On one hand, the undoubtably successful, the continually productive, the invariably reliable – the business and engineering students. And on the other side, the questionably successful, the continually pondering, the invariably introspective – the english, anthropology and psychology majors. The former promoting ideals of production, efficiency and lack-luster imagination, and the latter advocating ingenuity, creativity and a great deal of soul searching.

In my eyes, freshmen had the choice to pick one of the two parties, forever electing one’s life track. You could be an oxford or a flannel, a cubicle or a coffee shop, a suit or some skinny jeans.

This deduction, if viewed from a purely scientific standpoint, should have in fact been rationally substantiated, for the brain has naturally separated these trains of thought. Universally agreed, specific minds ordinarily excel in just one of the two lines of thinking – you’re either logical or you’re creative. - http://www.rightbraindiscovery.com/right-left-brain-logic/ -

Thus, I took the lab coats’ (i.e. an overfunded group of Princeton grad students’) word as written law, in my mind the commingling of artistry and real world competence was but a sham. One could not be both anthropology major and reliable. Nor biomedical engineer and proficient painter. English student and calculus? Forget about it.

At UW, I began pre-business and abruptly switched to pre-engineering, at no time considering anything else. Those were the only two assuredly successful futures, right?

Wrong. The lie I concocted between my ears was no more than a ludicrous notion. The commingling of these two wonderful features is what businesses were built upon, if not this country. If creative competence was indeed but a caricature, my iPhone wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to meet the lake water, for Steve Jobs wouldn’t have created such a cutting-edge commodity. He would’ve simply been an imaginative, pot smoking college dropout, for the competence to build a business could not have also lay within his arsenal. But he did. And it was.

It is a rare happenstance when one excels in both realms of thinking, but contrary to my previous belief, it is ever and again a reality.

The mixture is an elusive and envied blend of qualities, to not only possess the acute potency of a corporate executive, but also the provocative ingenuity of a renowned artisan. Advertisers, journalists and creative entrepreneurs thrive upon both capacities, continually utilizing creative competence in the name of business.

Hence, my major has since shifted, combining economics with journalism, commencing my lifelong pursuit in search of this previously nonexistent locale - the corner of Competent and Creative.

Matthew J. Michaletz | April 30, 2014

 

Don’t Ask, Tell

Parental criticisms usually go over like a turd in a swimming pool, so naturally, I want in on that party.

This past weekend I was sitting in a local Madison restaurant when I discovered my disdain for a certain parenting style. Precisely, obsessively cautious mothers and fathers. These overprotective marshmallows are coddling their offspring into a deep social coma, thus accelerating the wusification of the next generation, hence destroying America. Exaggeration, maybe. But maybe not.

Several instances from my childhood shaped my outlook on adult life and its realities. One being the time I almost impaled my older brother with a drumstick – I got my birthday party cancelled and realized I damn near killed somebody. Another was that day I tore my arm to shreds after falling off of my bicycle and had to trudge home alone – bloodied, battered and barely tall enough to see over the kitchen counter (which, as my ex-classmates know, could mean any time from kindergarden to tenth grade). These moments taught me the importance of a controlled temperament, a good sense of balance and most importantly, toughness.

One reoccurring circumstance, though, stuck with me like gum on duct tape. Each time my clumsy self stumbled, fell, tripped, tumbled, toppled or slipped in my mother’s presence, the response I got was, “You’re alright, get up.”

One could say this sounds harsh, but who cares how it sounds?

The truth is, 95 percent of my injuries from clumsiness or carelessness weren’t worth any more than what my mom gave me. If allowed, I would have always exaggerated pain in exchange for attention, but she saw right through it.

Jump back to my epiphany in the Madison restaurant while observing the miserable parent-child interactions last weekend. There I sit, directly next to a group of five young families, a cluster of mushy, sissy fruits seriously lacking anything resembling a backbone.

The kids are running rampant circles around the table, as the mothers attempt to politely ask their 2-feet toddlers to settle down and the fathers pretend to turn a blind eye, watching SportsCenter, talking about their 401k’s and lawn equipment. Of course, the kids pounce on this lack of authority like Sabor on Lord and Lady Greystoke. This can’t end well.

Shockingly, one of the little rascals manages to trip and bump heads with another. It’s the classic head collision that usually knocks some sense into the reckless participants and ends with a small red bump on their foreheads the next day.

But no, the parents jump into cuddling action quicker than a koala bear and a body pillow. Full sympathy mode has been activated, and all of the parents get involved in the pity party. You’d have thought somebody lost an ear.

Obviously, the injured kids would have shaken the minor incident once their chicken nuggets and fries arrived, but the parents made a key tactical error. Mom and dad asked if they were alright, rather then telling them they were alright.

Mom and dad each know how trivial these injuries are, so why in the world would you ask if they’re going to be alright? Tell them they’re okay and that running around the table is dangerous, give them a quick hug and kiss on the “boo-boo” and move on with it so the whole restaurant doesn’t have to listen to Tanner and Arianna ball their eyes out for 20 minutes.

So, why does this bug me so much? Other than simply: people don’t know how to properly act in public settings – bars, restaurants, movie theaters, airports, etc.

It bugs me because coddling doesn’t help anyone. Not the coddler, not the coddlee, and certainly not the annoyed bystander. It’s idiotic to lead kids to believe someone will be there to coddle them at all times, because after high school, nobody cares if you’re “hurt.” Emotionally, mentally, or physically. Asking your kid if he’s alright after he scrapes his knee is like Jeff Bezos asking his marketing executive if he’s alright after his social media campaign didn’t go as planned. Mr. marketing executive is getting a final warning before termination, not a hug and a kiss.

And guess what? Mr. marketing executive is going to think long and hard about what he did wrong, and never make that mistake again. Don’t you think Tanner and Arianna would think twice about running around the table like bozos after you told them acting like a bozo leads to head injuries?

Bottom line: Parents, please stop naming your kids Tanner and Arianna, and next time they suffer from a minor injury do not ask if they’ll be okay, tell them they’re acting foolish and will be alright. I don’t want to work with a bunch of attention seeking pity petitioners the rest of my life.

Matthew J. Michaletz | April 23, 2014

The BuzzFeed Pandemic

Think back to the time of your life when you were just beginning to read. A print exceeding 150 pages – say, a Jack London novel - presented itself an insurmountable challenge, never mind attempting to stumble through Charlotte’s Web. The length alone was frightening enough to shy away most literature novices, and complex vocabulary (for that age) only further accelerated a lack of interest to sit down with a book.

During elementary and middle schooling, the sheer idea of reading forced my stomach into knots, so the act itself felt like forced labor without the ability to unionize (conservative parents: what’cha gonna do). I would have much rather have been outside shooting buckets, racing my brother on our Razor scooters, or smacking a golf ball into my neighbor’s siding (my sincerest apologies, Olig residence).

But in the unfortunate event I was constrained to my home without television or Legos, there was certain literature I turned to. Not children’s novels, not informational books (obviously)- nothing including a large volume of words. I gravitated toward books with pictures, lists, and a general lack of writing. I preferred books of the I Spy nature, the Where’s Waldo persuasion, sometimes even an ‘every other page there’s a picture’ leaflet – begrudgingly. In other words, not real books. It wasn’t until freshman year of college that I had actually read an adult-level novel: not because I did not have the ability, but because I had no desire to.

Since then, I have knocked out an impressive number of books, whether it be a criminal thriller, a societal critique, or a biography. I have started to choose articles over Netflix, newspapers over television.

But as I have started to increasingly use my free time in an interpretive and analytical fashion, I’ve sensed a shift in the opposite direction by my fellow millennials. Something about the word ‘millennials’ irritates me for a reason unknown, but it perfectly describes the group I’m trying to encase. The early teenagers through young adults, let’s say 15 to 23 year olds.

This conglomerate of hashtags, selfies, yoga pants, hand-me-down crew neck sweaters, Taco Bell, and hip/hop has kicked reading to the curb, and it’s only partially the fault of our own. Mostly, I blame BuzzFeed.

In the past year and a half or so, BuzzFeed.com has become the standard Facebook link, accompanied by the description “lolz this is us [tags bff].” Composed of fun lists, quizzes, and “news articles,” the site has completely mastered the art of compiling relatable, mind-numbing material for young people.

I do enjoy it sometimes, for the concept is impeccably engaging, but the website has simplified (idiot proofed, to put it bluntly) the delivery of internet content. For example, I have seen endless lists of ‘things that will happen while you’re college.’ Theses lists include everything you’d expect, touching on your major to relationships to life in general. Within these lists, along with most every BuzzFeed list, each number is accompanied with a picture related to the argument.

The word ‘relate’ is the fundamental meme that BuzzFeed has built its cyber empire upon. Each list and quiz is carefully crafted to be closely relatable to each and every sect of the millennial generation. Nobody is left on the outside, any and everyone will feel as though the content is designed specifically for the reader.

The problem is this. Viewers are tricked into believing what they are seeing is actually informing and improving their intellectual state. It makes it seem as though we, as a site visitor, are discovering the best and most important readings of the internet, when in reality we aren’t even reading. There is no skill involved while putting together a BuzzFeed list, for smooth transitions, seamless flow and legitimate vocabulary are non-existent. So why would skill be required to browse through said list?

The site has taken millennials’ reading skills backwards, spoon feeding material and considering its viewers as introductory level readers (i.e. elementary schoolers). Like I said, every point of a list is accompanied with a picture, minimal reading is solicited, and the content lacks the need for interpretation. Pictures tell the story in themselves. Reading is boring. Interpretation is work. Elementary schoolers don’t like work.

BuzzFeed is an avant-garde website, a content consignment pioneer, and from an utter marketing standpoint, I commend the creators. But from a pro cerebral advancement standpoint, the site doesn’t have my endorsement.

BuzzFeed is completely idiotic, but it’s brilliant idiocy.

Matthew J. Michaletz | April 6, 2014

President Obama: Sashay Over Solutions

While spending most of my spring break with my behind glued to the living room couch of my childhood home, last week I binge watched the news. Ever since my room mates and I decided to cut the cable bill from our monthly expenses, i’ve been deprived of my daily dose of CNN and Fox News. So of course, like the wild and rowdy 19 year old that I am, I chose to watch Rachel Maddow spew, Bill O’Reilly conspire, and Greg Gutfeld promote his new book rather than rage with my bros at PCB. I had an awesome week (seriously).

While doing so, though, I noticed a common theme. Fox News reported only Malaysian Airline and Affordable Care Act happenings, while CNN reported only Malaysian Airline news – only. And because I literally have no clue what happened to Flight 370 and am in no position to speculate, i’m going to take this in the only other relevant direction- this universal healthcare thing.

I’m quite sure you’ve seen President Obama recently hanging out with a crowd customarily unfamiliar with the United States Presidency. Movie stars, musicians, and famous athletes are now Mr. Obama’s new best buddies, naturally. He’s hopped on the ‘cool and hip’ train and is riding it all the way to the health care sign up deadline (which is apparently now mid-April). It seems as though the responsibilities of the presidency – unifying Washington, diplomatic matters (i.e. Putin), and I don’t know, running the free world – have paralleled significance with the unveiling of Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu.

Of course, I partially jest, and while I have no problem with presidents yucking it up with pop culture’s elite from time to time, there is a time, a place, and a limit. It seems as though every week there is a new viral video with Obama’s name on it. The satirical interview with Zach Galifianakis, the ever important NCAA tournament bracket selections on ESPN, along with Magic Johnson, Lebron James and Adam Scott’s promotional videos. If I ever take advice from Magic Johnson regarding my bodily health, feel free to blindfold and leave me in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. And the list of celebrities goes endlessly on, but neither you nor I have time for that grocery list.

The administration, and liberal politicians in general, have mastered the art of connecting with today’s youth. Regality, honor and and merit within politics are super lame, so today’s politicians must be relatable, hip, and most importantly, have swag (*facepalm*). President Obama is all of the above, so he got elected twice.

All of this ‘yucking it up’ has been planned and performed, all in the name of Obama’s precious promise. The promise to provide health insurance to every American. But as cameos and comedy in the name of promotion take precedence over everyday presidential matters, the media has questioned the President’s seriousness, leadership and global respect. Fox News has hammered home the fact that Obama is using celebrities and athletes as a platform for his plan’s promotion. But I think analysts are missing something.

President Obama is no longer using celebrities for a platform, he is the one being used.

He possesses the unceasing platform that comes with the presidency, and celebrities have seized it for self promotion. He has the charisma, the charm, the humor and most importantly the never ending spotlight that begs to be used.

Don’t you see? Obama is the celebrity of all celebrities, the guy every movie star wants to be endorsed by, the guy every athlete wants to be authenticated by, thee cool guy in an exclusive cult of cool guys. Every reporter in the briefing room wants to be winked at by him, every musician wants him to listen to his/her ballad tackling consumerism, every Women’s Studies major wants him to acknowledge his/her thesis on the oppression of straight make up artists in SoHo.

And it just so happens the Commander in Chief not only enjoys, but relishes in the glorification that comes with owning an army of best friends. So he winks before every press conference, listens to “A Ballad for Buyers,” and reads the tear splotched paper from that Columbia grad student. He picks the tournament bracket on national television, shoots some hoops with the Chicago Bulls, and puts on a surprisingly marvelous performance on “Between Two Ferns.”

It also just so happens health care promotion in name of the President of the United States of America is awesome publicity for any and every personality with but an ounce of relevance – and it’s free. A, B, C, D, and even E list celebrities (see Labeouf, Shia) can simply tweet an artsy selfie distorted by the valencia photo filter, while holding a piece of cardboard that reads “get covered” penned with recyclable ink (if that’s even a thing). It’s a heaven-sent giveaway, an opportunity to come back from the horrendously terrible Hangover Part 3 (impossible, Zach). 

Promoting the new law is simply a way to cut through the red tape holding each celebrity from ultimate glorification, it’s not actually an effort to make sure no American dies because he/she could not afford health care. An actual effort would include more than a 15 second video that ends in “#getcovered”, more than a tweet, Facebook status or MySpace posting, more than raising awareness. Awareness is a useless tool when used exclusively – action must follow.

But it’s exactly what the left subsists upon – idealistic concepts that lack realistic practicality.  

It’s the condemners of exploitation of the weak who are taking advantage of a weak, passive yes man. The kind of people who shame conservatives for exploiting America are the people taking a bite out of the pie that is Obama’s latency, who proceed to spit it out at their unconditionally obedient fans.

 

Matthew J. Michaletz | April 1, 2014

 

2016: Why Chris Christie Is Anything But Ruled Out

This past weekend, I flew out to Washington, D.C. along with a group of UW-Madison College Republicans to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference. I’ll call it CPAC for my fingers’ general health and well-being.

Going into the long weekend free of cares and studies, I was mostly interested in exploring D.C.’s museums and historical sites for the first time. The reason I bought the plane ticket was to visit CPAC, but I was more excited to asseverate my plan to find a job in D.C. upon graduation.

While the fun had with my traveling companions will be talked about amongst the group for some time, I found CPAC to be both intriguing and productive. To see conservative congressmen, governors, ambassadors, and economists speak about the problems and outlook of the states is an awesome experience in itself. The poise, comfort, and coherence they spoke with is something to study and learn from.

With the exception of Donald Trump, every speaker I listened to brought forward bright ideas for the 2016 elections, the problems with liberalism and President Obama, but most importantly the merit and excellence of conservative beliefs.

If you want to see Trump’s puzzling, egotistic ramble, hit the link.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/donald-trump-ditches-teleprompter-at-cpac-goes-off-on-obama-the-chinese-and-immigration/

Several candidates for the 2016 presidential election spoke, and while Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Rand Paul held their own, Chris Christie impressed me the most.

Governor Christie brought a vibrance and unity to the convention hall the GOP is so desperately searching for. Conservatives are in the midst of party divide (or so the media tells us), which can be a positive if handled correctly. New ideas from the far right are beginning to be considered by the party as a whole, and the assertion of conservative values is starting  to take precedence over the criticism of liberal policies.

The GOP has realized whining and complaining about Obama is not the answer, winning a damn election is.

Christie clearly pointed this out to the audience when he cited examples of Republican governors getting elected, but more importantly getting things done. Scott Walker of Wisconsin standing up to collective bargaining, Ohio’s John Kasich lowering taxes and the unemployment rate, and governor Rick Snyder turning Michigan into a right to work state; all great examples. Let’s not forget Christie’s 2014 New Jersey budget that will spend over two billion dollars less than it did just four years ago.

These governors stood on a strong platform, won an election, and, therefore, have the ability to make positive changes. Christie pointed this out, and the crowd absolutely ate it up.

Christie, though, only received eight percent of the straw poll vote held at this year’s convention, putting him in fourth position. Much can be said about the relevance, or irrelevance, of the CPAC straw poll, but the history of winners rather answers this debate. Ron and Rand Paul have dominated the past five polls, with Mitt Romney sneaking in a win during an election year.

Citing this data alone, one can discern CPAC draws a libertarian, far right-winged audience – an audience not built for Chris Christie.

The Republican Party as a whole is built for Christie, not the uber enthused, “built your own damn road,” Tea Party conservatives. Christie, with his semi-moderate yet assertive policies, will be able to grasp conservatives from each end of the party’s spectrum.

But what will set Christie apart from the pack of candidates is his ability to talk. And talk. And talk. He has the gift of intelligent gab, a characteristic positively required for a presidential candidate. Not only are his words intelligent, they are said in a nonchalant, relatable manner. He talks and sounds like he’s part of the cast of “Good Fellas,” and his pin striped suits only make me want him to recite one of De Niro’s lines that much more.

Of course, resembling a drug dealing murderer only comes with a lack of trust and assurance, and in the wake of ‘BridgeGate 2014,’ trust will be Christie’s arch nemesis. The mainstream media will shove this scandal down the throat of every informed American, and the sheer idiocy of the scandal only makes it worse.

I mean, come on. If you’re going to make a statement and play dirty in politics, at least do something really badass.

Pre-scandal, Christie was a front runner building steam and a platform for the Republican presidential candidacy.

Come 2015 and the Republican primaries, if the bridge scandal has somewhat washed over, I fully expect to see Chris Christie using his likable nature, impressive speaking skills, and assertiveness to gain the support of the Republican Party en route to the presidency.

Matthew J. Michaletz | March 13, 2014