Opinion Brief

Did Chris Christie kill his 2016 presidential chances?

The hard-charging governor of New Jersey was a GOP favorite, but his embrace of President Obama isn't sitting well with conservatives

During the GOP primary, several prominent conservatives, unhappy with the quality of their candidates, obsessively urged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to rescue them from mediocrity by jumping into the race. At the time, the blustery governor, who has a habit of berating people he doesn't agree with, was a rising star in a party itching for a candidate who could land some heavy blows on President Obama. But the GOP attitude toward Christie has changed in recent days, after he heaped praise on Obama for his response to Hurricane Sandy. Christie wouldn't be the first Republican to go down in flames after embracing Obama — a literal hug from Charlie Crist made the former Florida governor dead to the GOP. Did Christie kill his 2016 chances?

Yes. He'll be blamed if Obama wins: "What a difference an embrace makes," says Matt K. Lewis at The Daily Caller. Only last year, Republicans were "clamoring for him to run for president," but "should Obama win on Tuesday, Christie would surely be tagged for at least contributing to Romney's defeat. What is more, there are plenty of videos, tweets, and photos that Christie's Republican rivals can now pull out when necessary to remind" Republicans of his betrayal. "A history of hugs: Chris Christie gives future GOP rivals fodder"

And he'll never survive a GOP primary: "If Christie thinks he has a snowball's chance of being the Republican nominee, he is delusional," says Robert Kuttner at The American Prospect. "Republicans will never forgive Christie for this act of high treason." Indeed, "Christie has a better shot at being appointed by Obama to head FEMA" than becoming the GOP's standard-bearer. "Chris Christie's sly, futile move"

But if Romney loses, Christie can pounce: Rush Limbaugh, the id of right-wing conservative anger, has already "called the governor 'fat' and 'a fool,'" says Ewen MacAskill at Britain's The Guardian. But if Romney loses the election, Republicans "might just decide to move to the center, and that is where Christie has positioned himself, to the left of the present-day Republican Party." Furthermore, Christie has "emerged as the public face of the storm: Energetic, emotional, and efficient, a seemingly permanent presence on television screens over the last few days." Sandy has turned him into a "national figure." "Chris Christie sparks speculation at political center of the storm"

Recommended

The libertarian case for family policy
A mother and child.
Stephanie H. Murray

The libertarian case for family policy

Buttigieg most favored member of Biden's cabinet
Pete Buttigieg.
mayor pete

Buttigieg most favored member of Biden's cabinet

Family, politics, and classical liberalism
A Thanksgiving fight.
Picture of Damon LinkerDamon Linker

Family, politics, and classical liberalism

Biden taps 2 'history-making women' to lead OMB
Shalanda Young.
big day

Biden taps 2 'history-making women' to lead OMB

Most Popular

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation

Who pays America's taxes?
Taxes.
Briefing

Who pays America's taxes?

Solutions: Crossword and Sudoku - Issue: November 26, 2021
crossword
Puzzles

Solutions: Crossword and Sudoku - Issue: November 26, 2021