The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Chris Christie and Nothing But

Rich Galen

Wednesday September 28, 2011


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  • This Gov. Chris Christie. Is he running?

  • Yes, he's running. No he is not running. Former N.J. Gov. Tom Kean says he's running. Christie's brother says he's not.

  • This very strange turn of events was driven by the results of a non-binding straw poll in Orlando, Florida last weekend. For those who were out searching for wherever that dead climate satellite crashed, Herman Cain won the straw poll; with Perry coming in second and Romney third.

  • Nevertheless, the Punditocracy immediately determined that the results proved the GOP was dissatisfied with the field and were looking for someone else to get into the race.

  • That someone else is Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

  • Forget about the fact that Christie said he wasn't running and that he "might have to commit suicide" to prove it. The professional political class knew better. Rich guys from New York City said they would raise big money for his campaign.

  • Governor Christie. The bulk of your money has been raised by rich guys in New York. How do you think that plays here in (pick one) Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina?

  • In Twitterville the point was made that the last time there was a boomlet for Christie, he issued a positive denial. The fact that, within 20 seconds of this current wave having built, he hadn't officially denied it again yet meant he must - HE MUST - be reconsidering.

  • Last night Christie gave a speech at the Reagan Library in California. The New York Times led its coverage by writing that Christie "failed to address intense speculation about his presidential ambitions Tuesday night."

  • As we've discussed before, the most popular guy in almost every NFL stadium is the backup quarterback. He hasn't thrown an interception; hasn't fumbled a snap from center. Even if the fans have no clue whether he can move the team down the field, it is just the idea of having a new guy in there that is so intriguing.

  • About six-and-a-half weeks ago the backup quarterback named Rick Perry snapped on his chin strap and, to the roar of the crowd, took his place in the GOP backfield.

  • Turned out - and I'll finish torturing this metaphor after this - Perry's lack of "reps" (running plays in practice) showed in his first debate, continued in the second debate, and had him heading to the sidelines with his head down after his third debate.

  • The step up in class from being the Governor of one of the largest states in the union to running in all the states in the union has been a very difficult transition for Perry.

  • Just like - and I suh-WEAR I'll stop after this - a really good college quarterback from a really good college going to the NFL. He finds the game is faster, the opponents are bigger, the defenses are smarter, and the plays are far more complex.

  • I'm sure Gov. Christie is smart enough to be President, and is a good enough campaigner to have won the election as a Republican in NEW JERSEY against a well-funded incumbent Democrat, so the Intellect and Politics boxes are checked on his dance card.

  • But, and maybe I'm wrong on this, does New Jersey have a big immigration problem? I mean, if you don't count people who got lost trying to go from Brooklyn to Staten Island and end up on the Outerbridge Crossing.

  • Don't let people tell you that the Republicans are scrambling to get behind someone as if this is any different from any other year.

  • Like, just to pick one out of a hat, 2007.

  • At this point four years ago in September of the off year, the three leaders in the Republican race for the nomination were Rudy Giuliani (28%), Fred Thompson (23) and John McCain (15).

  • On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton was leading Barack Obama 47-26 with John Edwards third at 10 percent.

  • If you bet on McCain and Obama and took the points you are spending weekends at your new beach house and offering to raise money for Christie.

  • The Democrats didn't settle their nomination fight until June of the ON year after Obama won the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota, ending what the New York Times called "an epic battle" between Obama and Hillary.

  • Governor Chris Christie is not running. It is time to concentrate on the GOP field as it stands today.

  • One of them will likely be the next President of the United States.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to CNBC and my appearance Monday morning with Bob Shrum; The NY Times coverage of Christie's speech last night, and the NYT coverage of the night Obama clinched the nomination in 2008.

    Also a Mullfoto of a construction site in DC and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

    --END --
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