THE CHRISTIE COMBO

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could be an amal­ga­ma­tion of sev­eral pres­i­dents. “In an era of wrench­ing eco­nomic and so­cial change, vot­ers bet their hopes on a lit­tle-tested leader who a) echoed their dis­il­lu­sion­ment, b) pledged to end po­lar­iza­tion, c) de­fied his party’s ex­trem­ists, d) em­braced the task of tack­ling big prob­lems, and e) seemed au­then­tic,” ob­serves Ron Fournier, editorial di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Jour­nal.

“And so it hap­pened in 1992, 2000 and 2008 that Bill Clin­ton, Ge­orge W. Bush, and Barack Obama be­came pres­i­dent,” con­tin­ues Mr. Fournier, sug­gest­ing that Mr. Christie may hope to pack­age him­self as a sim­i­lar “per­fect can­di­date” in trou­bled times.

“Vot­ers crave — and the na­tion needs — a trans­for­ma­tional pres­i­dent to lead Amer­ica into the post-in­dus­trial era, just as Theodore Roo­sevelt re­set U.S. po­lit­i­cal and so­cial in­sti­tu­tions for the posta­gri­cul­tural era. But af­ter three less-than-promised pres­i­den­cies, vot­ers may not be in­clined to buy the hype,” Mr. Fournier pre­dicts. And Mr. Christie? “Staunch con­ser­va­tives will try to stop him, his shad­owy back­ground may not stand the glare of a na­tional cam­paign, and his blunt style may not wear well on vot­ers. In many ways, the New Jersey gov­er­nor is the clos­est thing we’ve got to Clin­ton, Bush and Obama — a pack­aged-for-the-times can­di­date, Ver­sion 4.0, glitches in­cluded,” Mr. Fournier says.

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