New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a man of many words. He is also a man of his word. No matter how many times news analysts and pundits press him about his Presidential prospects for 2012, he adamantly refutes any such speculation.
He is committed to serving the state of New Jersey. He is committed to following through on the work that he started, and he will fulfill his responsibilities until their expected end. In spite of Christie's firm decision, recent polls indicate that Governor Christie is the only Republican (so far) most likely to defeat President Obama in the 2012 Presidential Election.
What is Christie's appeal? His charisma. He is outspoken and effective, a skilled negotiator who is not afraid to take on the troubling domestic issues affecting this nation.
Where does this charisma come from? His character. He says what he means, and he means what he says. As governor, he pledged not to raise taxes, even on the rich, and he didn't, even when the proposed legislation was embedded in a generous tax credit to the New Jersey middle class. When teacher's unions roared disapproval that they contribute more to their benefits, he stuck to his principles. Chris Christie has articulated the dire necessity of municipal and state fiscal restraint. He can make bold, controversial moves in the public sector because he appreciates the gravity of the state's finances. Even when public employees, bureaucrats, and the media cry foul, he stays true to his word and his vision.
Christie knows what matters, and he is not afraid who knows it. Rather than inducing Governor Christie to compromise his hallmark integrity by running for President, Republican Party hopefuls need to find another candidate with the same proven character and conviction. Then the Republicans will have a candidate with the requisite charisma to take on President Obama, a man of many words, but many more wavering convictions.
Meanwhile, Republican Party operators' hounding after a non-candidate is not merely an exercise in futility, but would inadvertently ruin the very brand that Republicans ought to replicate.