Tags: Chris Christie | GOP | presidential race

George Will: Christie Is 'Antithesis' of Obama

By    |   Thursday, 09 October 2014 07:45 AM

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has already dealt with presidential-sized controversy but has "thrived" nonetheless, an indication that he possess the gumption to seek the White House in 2016, according to Washington Post columnist George Will.

His second term, begun in January, has been rife with "protracted" and "often partisan" investigations regarding the bridge-closing scandal arranged by several former aides who have since been fired, according to Will.

Despite all the controversy, "Christie today radiates serenity."

His proven electability in a blue state is evidence that he appeals to both sides of the aisle.
Last November he won re-election as governor — taking 60 percent of the vote, including 57 percent of women, 51 percent of Hispanics and 21 percent of blacks — as well as the coveted chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association, a position sought by fellow presidential aspirants.

Under his tutelage, the RGA has raised more than $100 million.

"He is a pro-life governor elected twice in a deep-blue state to which he has delivered $2.35 billion in tax cuts and in which the government budget is now less in real dollars than it was in fiscal 2008," writes Will. "To those who fault him for his positions on this or that, he amiably says: 'If you're looking for someone you agree with 100 percent of the time, go home and look in the mirror, because you're it.'

"And, he adds, if someone says he agrees with you completely, 'He's lying.'"

Christie addressed his reputation as a tough-talking, "pugnacious" Jersey Boy and the possibility that his tone and tenor might not play well on the national stage.

"He laughs, noting that, during his recent trip to Mexico, journalists traveling with him seemed puzzled by his sedate, diplomatic manner," Will wrote. "He asked them, "Do you think I have only one [golf] club, a driver, in my bag?"

Christie's candor and directness may actually be in his favor, according to Will, who points out that Americans have historically elected presidents who "conspicuously lack the perceived defect of the preceding president (e.g., Jack Kennedy's youth contrasting with Dwight Eisenhower's age, Ronald Reagan's strength correcting for Jimmy Carter's weakness).

"Christie, who exudes executive authority, is the antithesis of today's bewildered incumbent floundering from the disappearing 'red line' regarding Syria to the HealthCare.gov debacle to the Veterans Affairs scandals to the no-one-tells-me-anything surprise about the Islamic State to the Secret Service that cannot lock the White House's front door."

And if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Christie will have a built-in advantage: likability.

"During a 2008 Democratic candidates' debate, Barack Obama said icily, 'You're likable enough, Hillary.' He is not so much anymore. Is she?"

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Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has already dealt with presidential-sized controversy but has “thrived” nonetheless, an indication that he possess the gumption to seek the White House in 2016, Washington Post columnist George Will writes.
Chris Christie, GOP, presidential race
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2014-45-09
Thursday, 09 October 2014 07:45 AM
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