Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Chris Christie is running for President: You gotta problem with that?

If it's Tuesday it must be time for another man or woman to announce that he or she is running for President. Today it was New Jersey governor Chris Christie. I think, similar to what happens after someone you know hits the lottery there's a feeling that if that person got lucky why not you. I think that after President Obama pulled off the longest of longshots by getting elected, not just once but twice, that a lot of would be candidates have reached the conclusion that if he can, they can. 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced he's running for president in 2016. Christie told supporters of his plans in a phone call Tuesday morning, according to NBC and the AP. Christie made a public announcement Tuesday afternoon at Livingston High School, his alma mater, in Livingston, New Jersey. I am now ready to fight for the people of the United States of America," Christie said at the public announcement. He praised his home state during his speech, sharing how working as governor inspired him to run for president. Christie also took hits at lawmakers in Washington, including President Barack Obama, claiming a lack of productivity from Congress is giving Americans anxiety. "Both parties have failed our country... both parties have led us to believe that America, a country that was built on compromise -- that compromise is somehow a dirty word," Christie said. "We need to have the courage to choose, we need to have the courage to stand up and say 'enough,'" Christie added.
When I think of Governor Christie I think of aggression. To me that seems to be his defining characteristic. Some of that could just be my discomfort with his particular communication style, which is very stereotypically East Coast blunt. He reminds me of a few bosses or co-workers I had whom I did not like one bit. But then again what difference does it make if someone tells you that "Your idea stinks. Why are you even wasting my time with this bovine emission?" instead of telling you "Your idea needs a few tweaks. Let's discuss it later." Either way, someone is telling you that your idea is not what they needed. Christie strikes me as a man much more comfortable with the former phrasing. I tend to use the latter. Before the 2012 Presidential Election, people who were unhappy with what they saw as Romney's genteel style, tried to get Christie to run for President or get Romney to put Christie on the ticket as Vice-President. Christie's big draw would supposedly have been his pugnacious nature. Obviously neither event occurred and here we are. Christie has a few problems this time around. He may have missed his chance for the big time. There's the Bridgegate thingie. There's the fact that despite Christie's slow move to the right and his flip flops on social issues, I don't think too many Bible Belt Republican primary voters are thinking , Chris Christie, culture warrior. He's entering a very crowded field. He has low approval ratings in his home state. On the other hand Christie relishes attention and a good fight. Unlike Trump, Christie has actually won elected office. And doing so as a Republican in a reliably Democratic state shows that if nothing else, he's had good political instincts. 

I don't see Christie winning the nomination but there will be some fireworks between Christie and Paul, assuming both men make it to the televised debates. Christie has the confidence and deftness to make an appeal to moderates and independents should he somehow win the nomination. The question is how far right will he be willing to tack to appeal to the kinds of people who are calling for massive resistance to the Obergefell decision.
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