Chris Christie Looking Good to Some Republicans Already Thinking About 2016

where are the taft references?Republican Chris Christie was re-elected
governor in New Jersey by a landslide over Barbara Buono, winning
with the largest margin in a gubernatorial race since Tom Kean
defeated a 33-year-old in 1985. Exit polling
Christie won 57 percent of women, a 12 point increase
over 2009, as well as 51 percent of Latino voters, a 19 point
increase, and 21 percent of Black voters, a 12 point increase. He
won every age group except 18-29, which just barely broke for
Buono, and even 32 percent of Democrat voters after spending the
summer collecting Democrat endorsements. When Frank Lautenberg
died, vacating one of New Jersey’s senate seats, Christie
a special election for three weeks before the
November election date, on a Wednesday, to avoid risking his
landslide margin by sharing the top of the Republican ticket with
another candidate.

Some Republicans, nevertheless, are hoping Christie can help
lead them to national victory in 2016. This weekend, Mitt Romney
told Meet the Press he thought Christie could “save
the Republican party.  Joe Scarborough
Christie could unite the party, like Reagan. Rich Lowry,
compares Christie to Bill Clinton

Christie’s implicit pitch to the national GOP will
probably be that he’s to Republicans in the 2010s what Bill Clinton
was to the Democrats in the 1990s. In other words, he offers a
different kind of politics that can potentially unlock the
presidency after a period of national futility for his party.

Like Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas in the 1980s,
Christie is operating on hostile partisan and cultural territory,
and managing to thrive by co-opting or neutralizing natural

Like the “explainer-in-chief,” Christie has a knack for public
persuasion. The New Jersey governor’s relentless town halls during
the fight for his public-sector reforms were model examples of
making an argument fearlessly and effectively.

Christie’s already been maneuvering for a 2016 election run,
one of the most

vocal opponents
of the perceived libertarian faction of the
Republican party so far. Rand Paul’s
said it was a mistake
for Christie to say there wasn’t room for
libertarians in the party.David Harsanyi (columns at Reason
thinks this stance is Christie rejecting ideology in favor of
practicality, and not a sign of “cynical moderation.” Harsanyi

He might not be what conservatives want, but he may be
what they need. Sure, there’s a lot we don’t know about Christie’s
politics. Though he’s probably a conservative in the true sense of
the word, he almost certainly isn’t an ideologue. So you can
imagine that the rank and file will continue to be displeased with
the intensity of his political convictions. The “strain” of
libertarianism that was at the center of Rand Paul’s fight against
the NSA, and the nasty back-and-forth with House Republicans who
were aiming for a porkless Hurricane Sandy relief bill, were two
examples of Christie rejecting (what he sees as) ideology for
practicality. This is often confused with cynical

Over the summer, former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe

called Christie
a “very strong general election candidate” who
was nevertheless too centrist to win in “the current Republican

More Reason on Chris Christie here.

from Hit & Run

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