Can we please get this stopped already? Chris Christie's presidential campaign is not at all similar to Rudy Giuliani's disastrous 2008 bid. Not similar. Not comparable. Okay? Just cut it out.
I'm seeing this all over the place, and it's just terrible.
Viable presidential candidates share two characteristics. They have conventional credentials, and they are within the mainstream of their parties in their positions on matters of public policy.
Granted, sometimes it's a bit tricky to judge. Did House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt have "conventional credentials" in 2004? No one from the House has been nominated in the modern era, but Gephardt himself in 1988 and Mo Udall in 1976 came fairly close. What about (General) Wesley Clark in 2004? But basically, we can look at the winners and all the candidates who came close from 1972 on and see if there's anyone similar. The more the comps, and the closer the comps, the better.
On mainstream views, it's hard to judge in any objective way what counts as sufficiently unorthodox to make a candidacy simply not viable. Almost every candidate has at least one issue position which is not embraced by significant groups within the part. And of course what the "party" thinks is, in part, exactly what's happening in the nomination process. Still, it's not impossible for outsiders to conclude that, say, Ron Paul was out of the GOP mainstream during his candidacies, or that Joe Lieberman's Iraq position was both far from the Democratic mainstream and extremely salient during his failed candidacy.
All of which gets back to Christie/Giuliani.
Giuliani failed both tests. One might argue for his credentials...I wouldn't. At least a couple of mayors have run for president before in the modern era, but none came close to winning. Generally, all the winners and almost all of the runners-up have had at least four years of experience at statewide elected office.
Christie, of course, is almost the classic case: elected governor, served a term, re-elected in a landslide.
As far as mainstream of the party: Giuliani easily failed that one. It's not really necessary to go past abortion, although in 2008 Giuliani was also on the wrong side (for Republicans, that is) on gay and lesbian rights when that issue was far more central to the GOP than it probably will be in 2016. There were more, including some where he had made not particularly convincing campaign conversions, but overall it just wasn't a close call.
Christie will have some problems on some issues with some GOP groups. It may be enough to derail his candidacy. But he's far more similar to Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008 than to Giuliani (or, say, Huntsman in 2012). He has problems, sure, but so do the other candidates. In other words, he may lose, but he's surely viable.
The various fiascoes of the Giuliani campaign were either irrelevant to the basic situation, or (as in his slow retreat from "contesting" states) a consequence of that basic situation -- that is, his claim that he was not contesting state after state was actually pretty much spin to cover the fact of losing in state after state. Therefore, they really don't apply to Chris Christie's situation at all.
Is Christie the frontrunner right now? I don't know. Is he a viable candidate? Sure. Does thinking about what happened to Giuliani help clarify Christie's situation? No. Not at all. Not even a little bit.
Just cut it out, everyone.