|The Love-Gov, Chris Christi|
Yesterday, after a lot of speculation and a hard ride which took him from media favorite to nobody’s first choice, Chris Christi, the 52 year old Catholic two-time governor of the state of New Jersey announced he is running for president.
The volatile and loud mouthed governor famous for screaming at people in town hall meetings to “shut up” is polling at only roughly 4%, behind even Donald Trump. Christi comes into the 2016 race with the scandal of Bridgegate still hanging over his head, and with a problem; actually its everybody’s problem in the race, but since Christi is an establishment-moderate candidate himself, for him the problem is even bigger, and of course its named Jeb Bush.
Jeb Bush is soaking up donors left and right, and he’s not taking the type that Ted Cruz or Rand Paul are going after. He’s getting the money of the old Republicans, the ones who still look at the world as it was before the clocks changed to 2,000 AD. But those were supposed to be Christi’s big take away, and now they are disappearing.
Christi has little chance at this point of winning in Iowa, as other candidates have been working there for months, and also because the state’s grassroots members tend to be more conservative than the guy from Jersey. So the governor is instead aiming his sights at the number two state, New Hampshire, where he is already working to get support.
Another big problem Christi has is that he probably would do pretty well in the general election. He’s moderate, nobody would ever accuse him of being a real hardcore conservative, and he’s willing to compromise. While compromise is not a bad thing, and has been used with great dignity and good effect by the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and other great American names, among them Henry Clay, in recent years it has become popular for far-right conservatives to scream on the stump “I will not compromise!”
Real statesmen like Winston call compromise what it is, a part of governing. It’s often rational, like when the constitution, a great compromise, was written up. But Republican Primaries are not the most rational place. (Remember when Newt Gingrich said he would set the price of gas at 2.50 and people believed him?)
While Chris Christi has stances that could be seen by conservatives as real problems, such as his questionable stance on abortion, as he formerly called himself pro-choice, but has since switched to saying he is pro-life without doing much about that stance as governor, or his horrible stance of surveillance, if Christi loses, and most feel he will, it will not be because of Bridgegate or his weight issues or even screaming at people to shut while he’s talking. It will be because he hugged President Obama a few years ago, with all the cameras rolling, and because Christi is willing to understand that Republicans and the TEA Party are not alone in this nation, and nearly half of the people an American President would have to represent would be Democrats.
At this point we are still too far off to tell exactly what the final lineup will look like, or who will stand on the stage at the Republican National Convention, but I neither hope nor really believe that the man or woman who stands there that night telling all of us “I accept your nomination” will be a two term governor from New Jersey named Chris Christi.
Andrew C. Abbott