Chris Christie May Not Run For President, But He’ll Still Have Influence

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christie4Republicans have clamored for him to run for president next year. He insists he won’t. But that doesn’t mean he won’t play a role in the 2012 election. Should he endorse someone in the wide-open GOP field, Christie’s backing would come with more than just a photo op. The former fundraiser for George W. Bush is known to be a skilled money man, one who could help any candidate bring in cash for a costly campaign. He’s already shown that lending his name can lead to donations; an advocacy group created by Republicans to support Christie’s agenda raised $624,000 in six months, mostly from establishment Republicans and developers in New Jersey.

Outspoken

Christie, to be sure, is not your usual novice governor. He vaulted to GOP rock star status in the November 2009 election when he soundly thumped Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and showed how a Republican can win a Democratic-tilting state. Since then, the former federal prosecutor’s efforts to fight excessive spending and curtail the power of Democratic-friendly unions have made him a national sensation within the GOP. His no-nonsense, commonsense style has resonated with a party looking to regain credibility with voters on fiscal matters.

Gets People To Listen

Yet he’s a natural speaker, with the politician’s gift of making listeners feel he’s talking only to them. But there are more basic reasons why Christie is the talk of his party. One is its dissatisfaction at the choices on offer. Mitt Romney? Looks the part, but a pandering flip-flopper. Mike Huckabee? A lightweight. Tim Pawlenty? Never heard of him. Ditto John Thune. Newt Gingrich? An unguided missile. Jeb Bush? Terrific, but with that surname, no way. Sarah Palin? A star, but she’s unelectable. Even more important, Christie not only talks the Republican talk, he pretty much walks the walk.

A New Angle

In 1968, Reagan was seen as “unblemished by Washington” and a true conservative, unlike his Republican primary opponent, Richard Nixon, said Craig Shirley, a Reagan biographer. Nixon ultimately won the GOP nomination and the presidency. The Republican names being tossed about now as potential 2012 candidates – Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels – are too polarizing, too uninspiring or too little-known, Shirley said. Christie is popular because “he’s got new wares to sell,” Shirley said. He and most other analysts believe Christie is sincere about not running.

{Daily News Pulse/Matzav.com}

1 COMMENT

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