New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s PR nightmare has some writing him out of the 2016 presidential sweepstakes while other, primarily establishment GOP types, insist he is a contender. He isn’t and, likely never was.
Christie’s attraction has been his no-nonsense, politically incorrect approach to governance. He minces no words nor does he entertain the usual foolishness in which American politics so thoroughly marinates. His stand on issues, as much as can be determined for a national candidate, is a few clicks right of center, allowing those not of the traditional conservative ilk to support him without feeling too guilty.
As a governor, he has a record as an executive that can be examined and used to define his potential as president – something lacking in Congressional candidates. His plain spoken manner resonates with voters of all philosophies because he cuts through the clutter and says what he means.
So, why wouldn’t he be “the man?” Mainly because of the man he is.
Let’s go right to one of the main problems voters would have with Chris Christie, and it’s a pretty sad one. The governor’s weight would, in fact, be an issue. As a society, we’ve gotten skittish about satirizing all but a few demographics, among them, Caucasians, Christians and fat people are still fair game. We will all profess that Christie’s weight in no way diminishes his ability to govern, but far too many will snicker either inwardly or aloud at his physical corpulence. And, of course, the always caring and tolerant left will be the most savage, using clever headlines, comics and the blogosphere to keep the subject at the front of the public consciousness. His is a damaged image. It’s wrong, it’s unfair and it’s stupid, but such is our pop culture environment.
Still, most people don’t realize the rigors of a national campaign. It is not improper or inconsiderate to wonder if the governor would have the physical stamina required to stump the country first to woo delegates and then, if he were to secure the nomination, a nation-wide whistle-stop tour. Naturally, such an effort would be for the governor to decide, but the image of a tired and sweating candidate isn’t very attractive to voters.
There is also the proclivity to anger to which Christie is prone. Often his acrimony is viewed by his supporters as “passion,” but it’s also seen as ill tempered and inconsiderate. Nonetheless, temper on a campaign is a dangerous emotion. A presidential candidate, in order to appear presidential, must show him or herself to be in control and not prone to emotional imbalance. Going medieval on a loudmouth during a town hall in Bayville is one thing, but you can’t do that outside your home state.
Another campaign death trap for Christie is arrogance. He is eaten up with it and, to many, it’s endearing. all part of that no-nonsense persona for which he is loved. But, again, on a national campaign, dozens of compromises are made every day in multiple states and with a variety of groups, donors and p0litical players. Mitt Romney is hardly one people would think of as arrogant, but state party chairmen/women across the country will testify that his campaign was just that. Part of the RNC post-2012 “autopsy” noted that the Romney camp routinely ignored advise on what would work locally, thinking the campaign really knew better. As some have pointed out in the New Jersey bridge scandal now engulfing Governor Christie, the guilty staff members were just products of the environment in which they worked.
And then there is the Tea Party. The self-righteous political fundamentalists that are trying to save the soul of the Republican Party (in THEIR image), doesn’t like Chris Christie. It’s not so much his policies with which they have contention, but something far more important and sinister. Chris Christie praised Barack Obama!
Damn thee to Hell!
Yep, following Hurricane Sandy, the president came to New Jersey and offered federal government help. Not only did the governor thank him and say Obama “deserves great credit,” Christie had the nerve to be photographed with his arm around the president, shaking his hand and … smiling! As inane as it is, there are far too many people still stinging from this treacherous bromance. Christie’s hospitality and gratitude is viewed as slap in the face of Constitutional purists. It’s as if the Pope liked Satan on Facebook.
Chris Christie would probably be a superb Commander=in-Chief. How many heads would be on Pennsylvania Avenue pikes over Benghazi in a Christie administration? Anybody think President Christie would say a police department “acted stupidly?” Ready for Judge Judy on the Supreme Court?
And I don’t think we would have to worry about him spending too much time on the golf course.
See? That was wrong – and far too easy.