Some professional pundits are shaking their heads in disbelief about the political positions of New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie. Mr. Christie could have been a contender for the nomination in 2012, and is thought to be a near certain candidate in 2016. So the question that arises is why is Gov. Christie making statements that would seem to alienate the Republican base, the group that is needed in order to win the nomination.
When it comes to the national conservative base, though, the governor is at risk of earning a different one-finger salute.
Christie is already on probation with some conservatives for his praise of President Obama’s work on Hurricane Sandy in the closing days of the 2012 election — something a few critics have even suggested put the president over the top.
Now the potential 2016 presidential contender has lashed out at the National Rifle Association, calling a new ad from the group “reprehensible” for using Obama’s daughters to make a political point.
The answer is fairly straight forward, and reveals the fact that regardless of whether or not one agrees with Mr. Christie on his positions, everyone must admit that this is one heckuva smart political person. Gov. Christie’s strategy to the 2016 Presidency is clear and straight forward to anyone paying attention. It involves the following.
- Huge Re-election victory in 2013 in the NJ Governor’s race. To do this Mr. Christie must take positions that are popular with the independent and Democratic voters in the state, and that is exactly what he is doing.
- Assume that Republicans will be so hungry, so desperate and so demanding of victory in 2016 that they will nominate the candidate that has the best chance of winning, not the candidate that has the most Conservative credentials. This is the position of the late William F. Buckley, basically his gift to the Republican party.
- By taking strong positions and by showing independence the Governor expects to lead the polls, or be the most electable in 2016. This, in his opinion, will overcome any reluctance of Conservatives to stop him. And he will have strong Conservative positions on taxes, spending and most of all, opposition to public employee and teacher unions.
So there it is, the why’s and wherefore’s of how the Governor of New Jersey plans to be President. Unlike someone like Mitt Romney, whose goal was to get the nomination, Mr. Christie’s goal is to win the general election. For us observers, it is fascinating and enjoyable to watch a real professional at work.