Robert Costa at NRO finds that “GOP donors and bigwigs are rallying behind [Gov. Chris] Christie,” making him “the Establishment’s front-runner” for the Republican presidential nomination. Costa has more this subject here.
Christie may also be the MSM’s front-runner, if this puff piece by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post is any guide. Cillizza quotes with apparent approval this assessment of the New Jersey governor by Rep. Tom Cole:
Chris Christie is a governing Republican in the tradition that includes the likes of Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Ford and, yes, Ronald Reagan.
And he quotes with a straight face this assessment by Ed Rogers:
I think he is a mixture of Governor Haley Barbour and Governor John Sununu with a dash of the everyman Kevin Kline character ‘Dave’ from the 1993 movie of the same name.
Who knew that the silly season would commence so soon, or be so silly?
Finally, Cillizza quotes a Christie aide who says that the governor is “a conservative, but he’s not angry about it.” But Christie always seems angry about something. Indeed, if he were a staunch conservative, the MSM would be painting him, not without justification, as a strident, in-your-face hot-head. And so he will be painted if he gains the GOP nomination.
Christie may be the darling of “GOP bigwigs” and, for now, MSM commentators, but how will Republican primary voters view him? Insider Steve Schmidt says that the Republican primary season will be “driven, as almost all Republican primaries have been, by electability over ideology.”
But plausible claims of “electability” did Rudy Giuliani no good in 2008. And Giuliani had never publicly embraced Bill Clinton on the eve of a presidential election.
Cillizza points out to differences between Christie and Giuliani, and some certainly exist. But Christie is more analogous to Giuliani than to anyone the modern Republican Party has nominated for president.
It’s too early to place bets on the 2016 GOP nomination, much less to dismiss Christie’s prospects altogether. But if I had to bet, I’d go with someone who occupies the considerable ideological space between Chris Christie and Rand Paul, and hope like heck that this “someone” isn’t Marco Rubio.