Here is a Christie candidacy path....
NRO's Daniel Foster lists five land mines Christie may have stepped on with conservative voters. NRO's Rich Lowry was impressed with Christie's Reagan Library speech last night, "Real American Exceptionalism" (speech text--10 pages), seeing Christie's themes as "truth-teller" & "uniter" but still sharply aimed at Obama's policies.
That is, IF there is an election in 2012. If N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue has her way elections for Congress would be suspended for two years, to remove pressure from the voters and thus let Congress do the right thing. Said she, yesterday:
Now is a time when politicians need to be held accountable more than ever. To suspend an election would be removing the surest mechanism that people have to hold politicians accountable: the right to vote. Does the Governor not believe that people of North Carolina have the ability to think for themselves about whether or not the actions of elected officials are working?
By what passes for her logic the same holds true for the Presidency. The Governor's staff says she was using "hyperbole" top make a point, but according to reporters her tone was level, and serious. Former budget director Peter Orzag writes that we need less democracy, more reliance on devices like appointed commissions to do the "radical" things that need to be done. (Full article available by subscription only.)
Read Jennifer Rubin's political scenario and then Bill Kristol's timetable and Kristol's "Yikes!" take on last Thursday's GOP debate. You will get an idea of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie still has a road to the GOP Presidential nomination. Rubin's scenario includes a set of policy adviser teams with gilt-edged players, and passing the Iowa caucus (too much intensive lobbying required), targeting five key early primaries.
One key issue, writes ace demographer Joel Kotkin, is traditional energy as a driver of job growth, instead of Obama's Green energy fixation:
[T]he biggest growth by far has taken place in the mining, oil and natural gas industries, where jobs expanded by 60%, creating a total of 500,000 new jobs. While that number is not as large as those generated by health care or education, the quality of these jobs are far higher. The average job in conventional energy pays about $100,000 annually — about $20,000 more than finance or professional services pay. The wages are more than twice as high as those in either health or education.
Nor is this expansion showing signs of slowing down. Contrary to expectations pushed by “peak oil” enthusiasts, overall U.S. oil production has grown by 10% since 2008; the import share of U.S. oil consumption has dropped to 47% from 60% in 2005. Over the next year, according to one recent industry-funded study, oil and gas could create an additional 1.5 million new jobs.
This, of course, violates the widespread notion that the future lies exclusively in the information and technology industries. While technology may well be ubiquitous, as a sector it is far from a reliable creator of high-wage jobs. Since 2006 the information sector has hemorrhaged over 330,000 jobs. And those who do have jobs make on average about $20,000 less than their oil-stained counterparts per year.
How about those “green jobs” so widely touted as the way to recover the lost blue-collar positions from the recession? Since 2006, the critical waste management and remediation sector — a critical portion of the “green” economy — actually lost over 480,000 jobs, 4% of its total employment. Pay here is lower still, averaging something like $32,000 annually, about one-third that of the conventional energy sector.
Another gold mine of political opportunity is to run against regulatory excess enshrined by the Democrats in Obama's first two years; Peter Ferrara lists a host of laws passed by Congress, some of which the House this year voted to repeal, but the Senate refused to take action.
But the real test is how Christie explains away his "I am not ready" 2010 remark re being President. It is one thing to say "I am not interested" or "I am happy serving the citizens of the Garden State"; it is another to say one is "not ready" to run. To address this issue, Rubin suggests this:
Christie explains in his announcement that as time has passed, he’s come to recognize that what he has done in New Jersey and what he is able to articulate to the country make him more than qualified for the presidency. In watching the GOP debates he and his wife became convinced that no one in the field was showing the required courage needed to attend to our pressing needs. He jokes that while he suggested he’d have to commit suicide to convince the press he wasn’t running, he now sees that President Obama is strangling America, and it’s time for an intervention. He tells the crowd that he’s worked successfully with Democrats, adhered to conservative principles, taken on the unions and attacked runaway entitlement programs.
As to Kristol, he envisions three compact weeks, leading to an October 10 Christie announcement. Here is his exchange (6:59) on the Sunday, Sept. 18 Fox News Sunday, with Democratic Senator Evan Bayh (IN), Paul Gigot & Juan Williams, on Christie.
The opening has been made possible because Mitt Romney has never fully connected with a large share of the GOP primary electorate, due to flip-flops & authenticity concerns. Rick Perry seems to have squandered his initial blast-off entry, with too much Texas tough talk--calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme, with an excessive Evangelical emphasis that turn off independent voters the GOP candidate needs to win. Michele Bachmann has imploded, with serial gaffes after an impressive start.
Karl Rove notes that October 14 is the Michigan filing deadline. Figure no one jumps in after then. And if Christie fever is deflated, Noemie Emery asks "What about Bob?"--VA GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is Christie without the viral soundbites. Roger Simon likes Herman Cain, who is not deformed by the excessive personal ambition that most pols evince (though not Christie or McDonnell). As for Sarah Palin, still in "will she or won't she" media mode, CNN's latest poll numbers show her running way back in the GOP pack, and 21 points behind Obama, the worst number among possible GOP match-ups.
Bottom Line. With many Republicans not enthralled with the current field, there is a final chance--the hour is late--for a potential top-tier candidate to get in. Not likely, but not impossible.
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