Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chris Christie, The Election and New Jersey

As Barack Obama won nationally last night, New Jerseyans knew how things were going to go. Except for incumbent Republicans in the House of Representatives winning re-election, it was a whole lot of ugly for the Garden State. Some can trace the cause of this right to good old New Jersey.

The two statewide elections were massacres for the Republicans on the ticket; Mitt Romney losing by 17 points and Joe Kyrillos losing by 19 points to Senator Bob Menendez.

I have always been a fan of and had great respect for what Governor Chris Christie has done for New Jersey, but last week, he did not only himself a disservice, but the entire country. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he accepted Barack Obama's request to tour the devastation at the shore. What could have been a rather routine visit, was dramatically overdone: Governor Christie bear hugging Barack Obama, overly fawning over his "leadership" and unnecessarily sucking up for FEMA funds. President Obama's good graces even made the Governor cry because Obama gave Christie access to Bruce Springsteen. He may not know it now, but he, the RNC Keynote Speaker, Chris Christie, gave Barack Obama legitimacy as a bipartisan leader who can work with even the most abrasive of Republicans. His behavior opens up a lot of questions to his storm performance - Why didn't he stock up on supplies a week before the storm? Why did he abandon free market practices with the stupid Carter-era gas rationing? Why did he overly seek the microphone?

It's no secret Chris Christie would like to run for president one day, and I believe his behavior last week hurt those chances. Republicans were turned off by it, both in and out of New Jersey, and that, combined with the convincing Democrat statewide wins, emboldens the confidence of the opposition and noteworthy candidates like Richard Codey and Cory Booker are more likely to step in. If that happens, a Garden State re-election doesn't look like it's as sure a thing as it once was and the Christie-Booker bromance will be over.

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