While feisty New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is said to be on the short list of potential running mates for GOP presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney, talk is arising that he may end up as keynote speaker at the convention instead.
Such a role at the August confab in Tampa, Fla., would buttress Christie’s profile as a possible presidential candidate in the future and help his 2013 re-election effort, The Newark Star-Ledger
Recall that President Barack Obama used his rousing speech at the 2004 Democratic convention to launch his presidential aspirations.
As for Christie, "He’s one of the best speakers ever. He’d be a wonderful choice — the best," former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, who delivered the 1988 Republican keynote speech himself, told The Star-Ledger. "I don’t think any [other potential speaker] has the magic that our governor has."
Christie has proven he can fire up the GOP base, as he did in a speech earlier this month to the Conservative Political Action Conference. But he also showed signs of statesmanship, striking a more moderate tone than fellow speakers in criticizing Obama.
That’s the kind of balance a keynote speaker needs to adopt, so that he/she can appeal both to hardcore, grassroots Republicans and the more moderate independent voters who will determine the election’s outcome, Kean said.
"If you neglect one or another, you’re in trouble," said Kean. "You’re talking to troop leaders, but that’s not really your mission. You have to move independent voters to your candidate. That’s more important than anything."
As for Christie’s prospects as Romney’s running mate, while he’s definitely in the mix, the New Jersey governor has pointed out that doesn’t play well as second fiddle.
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