New Jersey Governor and Tony Soprano political stuntman Chris Christie keeps saying he won’t run for President. Yet, the door is left open with a trail of on record statements and a speech at a recent Reagan Library event in Simi Valley, CA.
While his heart and soul might not treasure the thought of pulling off a massive, detailed and insanely topsy-turvy national political operation in five months time before the first primary, clearly he’s having fun with the thought of people thinking he will. It’s all in interpretation and impressions.
Prognosticators openly pontificate that by Christie not explicitly ruling out the possibility, again – for the nth time, including joking references to suicide pledges – Christie has not necessarily ruled out the possibility he may be the next person to throw their hat in the already crowded race. Ergo, they can continue game theorizing about what his entry will mean to the existing candidates ad nauseum.
At the very least, it warrants discussion. Among his many suitors, Christie has a mountain of cash to back him up from Republican loot holders like the Koch Brothers.
At this point, the Republican Party is like the Casanova who woos, prods and eventually seduces his target – only to end up jaded after the girl reveals minor flaws two dates into the romance. One – ok … many – could make that same argument about Rick Perry. It was GOP mantra that Perry was the Neo of nominees, that he definitely had the “it” on his side to take out incumbent President Barack Obama. Ultimately, party faithful became disenchanted after learning Perry’s debate performances were less than ideal. Now, Perry is on the defensive already, with his wife publicly pleading with media that “he’ll do better” and the candidate still months away from the first day to sell on the campaign trail.
Like Perry, Republican suitors always fail to do all their homework, caught up in the passion, bells and whistles of glittering politicians. While the big money party chiefs might be there, it’s a sure bet many party rank-and-file activists would swiftly fall out of love with Christie once the media starts poking into his not-so-conservative approach on a lot of issues. Republican attendees at the last two debates practically crucified Perry for daring to give children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition; just imagine how hard they’d feel once they learn that Christie doesn’t consider the act of overstaying on a visa an illegal act? Christie has called it an administrative issue, not a criminal one. Many staunch immigration “reform” advocates are keen on calling undocumented people criminals.
Further, unlike Perry and other ultra conservative Republicans who bemoan the value of the Environmental Protection Agency and any suggestion that the earth is slowly getting warmer each decade, Christie believes there is real science there and that human activity plays a role in the outcome. Some within the primary may also have issue with the fact that Christie doesn’t believe most Muslims are terrorists – or that he once called those who believe Sharia law is a big threat a “bunch of crazies.”
So while Christie’s moderate perspective may make him a credible threat in a general election match up against Obama, beware the primary. The case can be made that he wouldn’t make it far enough through the primaries given tea party domination and the hawkish family values of Christian evangelicals.
If Christie were to go stubborn, go against his gut instinct and eventually put in a bid, he may quickly find himself left sitting home alone and stood up, no different that Perry at this stage and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty before him.
There is something to be said about going with your gut.