What's not to like? Within the context of NJ politics, he's governed as perhaps the most conservative executive in New Jersey in recent memory - at least since Tom Kean. And Tom Kean had a Republican legislature iirc. Christie has done it with a Democratic legislature. The interesting question is this: it's possible that Christie's landslide will be so big that it will pull Republicans into the majority statehouse in either the House or Senate. I'm curious to see what he does then.
IANAC, but I will say I think he's the GOP nominee I'd fear most in 2016. Easily the Republican candidate with the most appeal to centrists and independents. I do remain skeptical of his ability to win over the Tea Party base during the nominating process. And he won't be able to wave away the dossier assembled on him during the veep vet with sheer bluster; he'll have to have more substantive rebuttals than he did on the Sunday shows today. Dark money groups will pump millions into disseminating that stuff on TV in IA, NH and SC.
He's been a fine conservative governor of New Jersey, vetoing bills from the Democratic legislature to raise the top rate of income tax, and holding spending below that of Corzine's highest year. He's more liberal than I would like on immigration reform (he supports in-state tuition for illegal immigrants), but he looks like our best chance of winning the Presidency in 2016. If he can carry the 24 states Romney won plus Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and his home state of New Jersey, he wins the electoral college, and Obama won Ohio, Florida and Virginia by 4% or less, so that seems doable. If we don't win the Presidential election in 2016, liberals likely will appoint a majority of the Supreme Court, as Kennedy and Scalia both turn 80 in 2016. So I am willing to forgive Christie his immigration views to some extent to nominate someone who can win; Christie looks like he can potentially win, while Paul, Rubio, Santorum and Ryan seem unlikely to be able to pull off an electoral college victory. Christie has been able to connect to blue collar voters in New Jersey as no other Republicans have over the past quarter century, and such appeal could put other states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa in play as well.
The following is surely beneath the level of discourse of this blog, but I have a hard time seeing past Christie's waistline. Not because of some sort of fat shaming (point one finger at the other guy, four at yourself), but rather because the upside for Christie in getting that under control has been obvious for several years, and so far, no luck. That doesn't seem particularly presidential, fwiw.
Christie's obesity would make his veep selection much more important, at the risk of being macabre. This was one reason it was so unsettling McCain opted for Palin - the actuarial tables weren't as strongly in the Arizonan's favor as they would have been for some other nominees. Christie's obesity also makes full disclosure of his medical history paramount, although the Romney people were allegedly displeased on these grounds. Christie needs to show people he doesn't presently or imminently suffer from hypertension, coronary disease, diabetes, etc. Fat guy writing here, btw, and I'd never think of voting for Christie, but I suppose I have that quasi-mythical beat, the high-information swing-voter, in mind for this post.
It was always my understanding that Christie's "vitals" (BP, lipids, and glucose) were normal despite his weight. That's certainly conceivable - he would be an example of the paradox of the "metabolically healthy" obese person.In any event, with the lap band surgery he should have a pretty good chance of finally making a go at getting it in shape. And I'm sure that's what he was thinking when he got it ("I want to be healthier for my family". Mhmm. I guess I'm a bit cynical..)
Since you guys followed up (thanks for that), here's the substance of my skepticism in re Christie's weight: if you've ever done the Weight Watchers Points program, here are two things you almost certainly experienced:1) Its incredibly effective, and2) Its incredibly inconvenient.So while a governor has the "problem" of eating unhealthily at all manner of public events, s/he also has the huge advantage of a staff around to cover off against the inconvenience of Weight Watchers (or any other highly effective weight control program).Hopefully the lap band surgery will do the trick. Seems odd to me that, with the infrastructure support available, there weren't easier means to the same goal.
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At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect