Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chris Christie: In It, To Win It?

The New York Post reports that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has stepped back from his adamant refusal to run for president and may be jumping into the race. According to the report, Christie will provide an answer this week "after getting lobbied hard from some of the GOP’s top leaders and money men."

The Post states that Christie has offered criticism of the current batch of GOP candidates, arguing they are not providing voters with the answers they are looking for. Christie stated:
I think what the country is thirsting for, more than anything else right now, is someone of stature and credibility to tell them that and say, ‘Here’s where I want us to go to deal with this crisis.’... The fact that nobody yet who’s running for president, in my view, has done that effectively is why you continue to hear people ask [Indiana Gov. Mitch] Daniels if he’ll reconsider and ask me if I’ll reconsider.
Christie's entry would certainly unsettle what has become essentially a two-candidate race. Current front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have seemingly taken the lead not because of any intrinsic qualities but because they are merely better than the rest of the pool. Romney would certainly do a commendable job as president but is rather bland and not overly appealing to the Tea Party-base. This has allowed Perry to steal part of the spotlight. However, some of his positions and unfortunate gaffes have put the essential independent voter ill-at-ease with his candidacy.

Christie would undoubtedly break the mold. As the pugnacious Republican governor of the very Democratic New Jersey, he has been able to appeal to independents and some Democrats. His no-BS style is precisely what the electorate wants in Washington. In many ways Christie is the opposite of Obama—he is a leader that eschews the pettiness of politicking and pushes through needed and helpful legislation. His early battle with the teachers unions demonstrate his ability to stand behind necessary legislation despite misleading rhetoric from opposition special interests.

Christie is precisely what the Republican Party needs—a candidate that can fire up the base, appeal across aisle, and honestly and forcefully communicate a better way forward. While Obama's odds of reelection are slipping of their own accord, Christie would offer the best chance of a desperately needed change in the White House.

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