Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why Christie Won't Win (or Even Run)

Chris Christie.jpg
Chris Christie (by Luigi Novi)
 Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a chance to be somebody.

He was a spotlight in a dark scene, where conservative donors were growing frustrated with weak bench of candidates running for President in 2012.

He told off whiny teachers. He demanded pension reforms. He killed expensive government projects with massive cost overruns. He cut property taxes and refused to discuss raising others.

He is pro-life. He vetoed taxpayer funds for Planned Parenthood five times. Impressive from a red governor in a blue state.

He walked away from climate change, although there are still rumblings in the background about his support for Agenda 21.

He supports not just school choice, but vouchers for kids to go to private as well as any public school of their choice. He has not been afraid of supporting this issue, even in more impoverished as well as minority neighborhoods.

He is brash and burly, or at least he was for the first two years of his term. He joked about his weight problems, and opened up about his family and his struggles with media celebrities like Piers Morgan and Oprah Winfrey.

Republicans all over the country wanted Christie to speak at their campaign engagements, anything to bring in the activists, and the donors with their checks.

I had so much hope for this man. He carried a strong message, knew how to convey his principles, and charmed all sorts of  people across the country.

Yet like most newcomers to any field, he began to read the headlines, and believe that he had everything to with the press.

He played nice with the media, and with Trenton Democratic Party bosses.

He blasted his own colleagues in the House of Representatives, who refused to sign off on the Hurricane Sandy emergency funds, because the initial bill was poisoned with unrelated pork.

His argumentative style is also getting old. Hecklers routinely interrupt his speeches, knowing that he will fall into the fight and give them fifteen minutes of fame.

Yet the biggest thing against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has nothing to do with his pandering to Democratic interests for their support, or his political savvy yet selfish moves to protect his reelection chances. His greatest liability is gun control.

Christie still stumps for amending and upending the Second Amendment, even while the inner cities of New Jersey are riddled with unprecedented levels of crime and corruption. The homicide rate is high in key cities, and some residents have demanded that the Governor call in the National Guard. Gun control is a losing policy, from the research to the politics, and even the emotional arguments. Gun ownership has never been more widely respected. Local and national interest groups have pushed hard against gun control maneuvers.

Democrats lost badly in 2014, in many cases because of their noxious stance on the Second Amendment. There is too deep a bench for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, and Governor Christie has too much baggage as it is.

But his stance on gun control has already blown his chances. Like with Hillary Clinton, the media-hyped momentum will not carry Christie over (even though he has already lost one hundred pounds and is poised to lose more). And just like Hillary, tarnished with failures and policy switches, Christie may very likely choose not to run at all in 2016.

Christie for President?
He may not even run in 2016.

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