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There was the following sentence in Time magazine’s (November 18) article titled, “Chris Christie Was Born to Run”:

Behind closed doors at a Westin hotel in Boston, where the governor laid out his not so veiled pitch for the party's 2016 nomination. "I'm in this business to win," he told the crowd of Republican leaders.

It was pure Christie, combat bundled in cliché. Ever since he ousted Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in 2009, he has run the Garden State with combustible passion, blunt talk and the kind of bipartisan dealmaking that no one seems to do anymore.

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2156871,00.html#ixzz2k2blMOs4

I don’t get the idea of the word, “combat bundled in cliché.” What does it mean?

Does it mean Chris Christie was born to combat? Is “combat bundled” a cliché?

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It is explained: "combustible passion, blunt talk and the kind of bipartisan dealmaking" –  mplungjan Nov 8 '13 at 9:01

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It means he has a combative personality – at least politically – yet his political rhetoric is heavily steeped with cliché (as politicians are wont to do – along with political columnists as well).

I'm having trouble trying to figure out if the writer is admiring Christie, or making disparaging remarks. I would interpret "combat bundled in cliché" to mean "all boisterous bluster, but no substance" (or, as the idiom goes, all bark and no bite). Yet I would regard "the kind of bipartisan dealmaking that no one seems to do anymore" as complimentary, especially in this era of U.S. politics (on the heels of a government shutdown and summer sequester).

In any case, it's not an established expression – I've never heard it before, and a Google search only returned 5 hits – one to your question, and four more to the Time piece.

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