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Getting rid of NJ Governor Chris Christie by promoting him?

September 26, 2011
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie

Image via Wikipedia

The unions and Democrat political bosses of New Jersey would love nothing more than to figure out how to get Governor Chris Christie out of office. He’s broken almost every union, introduced fiscal sanity and called out political hacks who have been feathering their nests (a habit he developed as a federal prosecutor busting corrupt politicians).

With his tough talking and common sense politics, Christie has become a fairly beloved governor (so long as you’re not a state teacher) in New Jersey. There’s not a democrat, liberal, or political toady that can beat him when he comes up for reelection.

So what are the Democrat political bosses to do? Perhaps help him run for U.S. president.

It’s not as absurd as it sounds, it’s happened before.

In 1910, then Princeton University President Woodrow Wilson was convinced by the New Jersey Democrats to run for the Governor’s office. The party bosses were under the impression they’d be able to install the mild-mannered academic as a political stooge. There was just one problem. Once elected Wilson followed through on the usually quickly forgotten campaign rhetoric of not being beholden to party bosses, and actually came down hard on the political machines of New Jersey. He created state primaries that effectively killed the power of the bosses and then rolled in several progressive reforms including public utility regulation and workers’ compensation.

Wilson eventually became a media darling and was soon being wooed for national office. Sound familiar?

So what did the impotent political bosses do? Political lore suggests that it was the New Jersey political bosses that helped create the buzz about Wilson as a potential presidential candidate and then helped usher him into the presidency. In truth, Wilson’s quick jump from the statehouse to the White House had a lot to do with the Republican party being split in two – incumbant William Taft versus former president Theodore Roosevelt now a Bull Moose Party candidate.

So then, is Christie to become Wilson-ed?

I am of two minds on this.

On the one hand, the current slate of Republican blowhards are pathetic. There’s not a single straight shooter in that bunch, just a bunch of successful political hacks with no track record of real reform or even a new idea. They speak in buzzwords and sound bites. I honestly don’t think any of them have a chance in a one-on-one campaign with President Obama. Even with a rough few years of his presidency and a down economy, there are enough victories that he’ll be able to eek out another four years, especially with a Congress devoid of any consistency.

On the other hand, as a New Jerseyan, I love Christie (sorry, Dad – a retired teacher). I think Christie has been able to push New Jersey back into a moderate framework and he’s been able to make some significant, healthy changes in the way the state operates. Let’s face it, when it comes to political cronyism and corruption, New Jersey leads the pack – and I’m including other countries in there, I think only Mexico has us beat.

So as a Chris Christie fan, do I think he can beat President Obama? I really don’t know and it might not be necessary.

I’m not sure how the rest of the country will react to his brash style. I know the media is playing up that image of him now, but I wonder if he can convince the rest of the country that only two years in political office proves he can do the job. I honestly believe it’s better to let President Obama have 2012 and then come back in 2016. The democrats have no one waiting as an heir apparent. It’s unlikely the Republican’s will win 2012, therefore he won’t need to wait till 2020. In the meantime he extends his track record in New Jersey and can come in as a conquering hero against the next crop of second-rate Republicans and Democrats.

As far as I can see, his only real challenger in 2016 will be Tea Party favorite U.S. Senator Mark Rubio out of Florida. He doesn’t have much or a track record yet, but he has good traction and an image the Republican party would love to show to moderate swing voters.

Governor Christie has repeatedly stated he’s not interested in running for the presidency, for the moment. I believe he’s making the right decision, not just the smart one. I suggest he follow through on his promise to clean up New Jersey and then take on the rest of the country.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 7:12 AM

    I am in agreement with this one. I am also a Christie fan and I would rather he wait until 2016 to make the move. I would like to see Obama as a one-term president, but the current line up of Republicans is so poor that that seems unlikely. I don’t want to waste Chris Christie at this time. Let him mature in this office and then go for the big one.

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