Letter: For Christie, the opportunity of a lifetime
In spite of himself, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just stumbled into the presidency.
It’s been pretty clear that Christie has been running for president since at least 2012. That year he gave a speech at the Republican National Convention that focused more on him than on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Then there was the photo-op with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy.
The moves proved he was a political mastermind. Christie worked against Romney because a Romney win in 2012 would have meant a re-election bid in 2016. This would push a Christie presidential run back to 2020. Christie was hot in 2012, but a lot can happen in eight years. In working against Romney, he created some serious enemies, especially with a Tea Party that saw him as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and not pure enough to garner their support.
This is where Christie’s bridge scandal comes into play. Christie’s going for the Democratic mayor’s jugular proved he could fight. By contrast, one of the Tea Party’s leading complaints about national politicians is they aren’t tough enough on Democrats. The term “spineless” is often used. Now the Tea Party has found a candidate with some spine.
This, combined with Christie’s taking responsibility by firing staff, contrasted with Obama’s handling of the HealthCare.gov fiasco, and Tea Partiers values have aligned with a candidate who could actually win the presidency.
Unintentionally, Christie just stumbled into the political opportunity of a lifetime. Now he just needs to work on not stumbling out of it.