EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Chris Christie’s Time to Run
Let me put an editorial note here that this is not in any way, shape, or form an endorsement of Chris Christie. It is, rather, my assessment of his chances for the Presidency should he choose to pass on 2012.
The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, claims he has no intention of running for president in 2012. I believe that 2012 is the only time Chris Christie will be a highly viable candidate. Should Chris Christie not run in this presidential cycle, I believe this will be the last we will hear of Chris Christie for President.
I think Chris Christie is going to all have a very difficult time winning reelection in New Jersey in 2013. By then, New Jersey’s debt and economic problems will still be large, even if Chris Christie is successful in this term. Likewise, we can expect a more concerted and unified effort among Democrats and allies like unions than we saw even in 2009. Given New Jersey’s nature as a Democrat leaning state, I think Christie will have a hard time getting reelected. Were he to lose, it would be three years before the next presidential election making it even harder for Chris Christie to be seen as a viable presidential candidate.
But let’s assume that Chris Christie does win reelection. The buzz surrounding Chris Christie right now largely exists in the vacuum of another high-profile governor who could run for office. Should Sarah Palin or Rick Perry enter the race, the Christie buzz would be significantly tapped down.
Remember as well that the viability of a Chris Christie candidacy in 2016 is premised on the fact that the Republicans do not win the White House in 2012. I actually think Republicans will win in 2012, and should they, Chris Christie will not be a viable candidate against an incumbent Republican president in 2016.
To continue the argument about Chris Christie’s future viability, we must assume that a Republican does not win in 2012 and Barack Obama is reelected. Assuming that, we must first take out the major Chris Christie buzz of this year which is largely premised on the perceived lack of a high-profile, stellar candidate. Push Chris Christie into the 2016 cycle and he is confronted with a field of candidates including potentially governors from New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, and, should their popularity recover, Florida and Ohio.
In that list of potential candidates for 2016, Chris Christie’s record in New Jersey may not stack up as well. Likewise, we should not dismiss the fact that much of Chris Christie’s popularity comes from YouTube videos done rather well by his staff. Very few have done a detailed examination of Chris Christie’s record and how it matches up to his rhetoric. Should he be found wanting on the rhetoric to record ratio, it would be another dent in his armor.
Notwithstanding that, looking at his potential rivals in 2016, Christie is by no means a sure win and, will in fact, be not nearly as fresh a face on the scene as many of the other governors on the list. Additionally, should the Democrats really perceive Chris Christie to be a threat, they can spend the next several years working to undermine his credibility in New Jersey to negatively affect with Republican primary voters nationwide.
I have always thought the greatest incentive for Chris Christie to run for president is the lack of a high-profile, stellar Republican candidate in 2012. Had we a rock star this time, the Christie buzz would largely dissipate because he’s not even a one term governor. If the Republicans win in 2012, his viability in 2016 goes away entirely and if the Republicans lose in 2012, he still must winning reelection in New Jersey and then enter into a potentially crowded Republican field in 2016 with much fresher faces who will arguably have much better records as governors simply because they were not governor of a state like New Jersey.
Therefore, should Chris Christie wish to run for president ever, I believe he better reconsider 2012 rather quickly.