THE CHRISTIE COMBO
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.