Chris Christie is Running… You Betcha'
Chris Christie is no dummy. The bull-necked bully from New Jersey is, I believe, smart enough to know that he has to run. But he’d be a fool to run for president. Even if he enters that race, it’ll be to secure the number two spot.
Traditionally, there are two paths to the vice presidential nomination. Run behind the scenes, using your favors jar to get support for the likely nominee, and raising money. This option is most frequently the method of folks who’ve had a longer political career and who’ve accumulated more IOUs than Christie. Think Dick Cheney. Christie has only spent two terms as a “freeholder” (read county councilman) and half a term as a small state governor. But on the plus side, Christie’s current darling-status improves his fundraising ability.
So the other option is to enter the presidential race, run a credible but hopeless candidacy, and line up enough support to make you attractive to the actual nominee. You also have to avoid pissing him off. This was Joe Biden’s path to the nomination. The announced Republican presidential candidates include a full quartet of people who are running for VP this way. This is the game Gingrich, Huntsman, and Santorum are playing. Bachmann is also running for VP, but she may not know it yet.
They would be Chris Christie’s competition if he chooses door number two. Of the four, only Huntsman is as smart as the New Jersey governor. The baggage-laden Gingrich is as much of a bully, but much less convincing at it. And he’s twice as much a blowhard, if you can imagine that. Santorum is just a Google joke.
Bachmann suffers from a one-note range though she actually has a decently-sized constituency. But she fails the one-heartbeat test and would drag down the eventual nominee just like her lighter-than-air doppelganger from Alaska did. I don’t imagine the R Party would make that mistake again.
Of the five, Christie wins the vice-president race.
This is also his moment. “The galloping horse of history” (as Chris Matthews puts it) is running through downtown Trenton these days. Before his name became associated with the crusade to whoop President Obama, Christie was a barely-elected Republican governor in a Blue state. His popularity was declining and he was facing a scandal about taking a police helicopter to his son’s ball game while cutting public safety funds.Continued on the next page