There’s more than a little grumbling among conservatives (just check the comments on the Christie topic at NRO, here for example). Christie is a RINO, he’s soft of jihad, he’s a global warmist, etc. etc., world without end, amen.
I’m not here to plump (sorry, couldn’t resist) for Christie’s conservative creds, just to remind us all about Bill Buckley’s axiom: nominate the most conservative candidate who can win. Let’s repeat that last, vital bit, slowly now: Who. Can. Win.
What about the True Believers’ heart-throb, Sarah of Alaska? She’s pure in heart, a natural, and all of that. Yes, I love her too, but Sarah Palin can’t win the general election: too polarizing. Too much into herself and showbiz.
Christie, though he may be a squish on social issues, has what I’d call heart and character. He’s got that “it” factor; I believe he can win. For instance, even though he isn’t running, he’s (statistically) even in a match up with Obama (Rasmussen poll).
By heart and character I mean that Chris Christie will say what he means, and mean what he says. He’s genuine, and he speaks in language that Americans will understand. No slippery faculty-lounge jargon or flights of rhetorical fancy. Just what he means.
Will he talk down to us? No, but he will get in your face if you ask what he considers to be a dumb question (cf his response to a question about where he sends his children to school; there’s a good analysis of that by Jonathan Tobin in Commentary). But you’ll have no doubt of where he stands.
Bottom line? I’ll vote for the man of character. In the current GOP field, among those who have even a remote chance of winning the general, that means Herman Cain. If Christie gets in the race, he’d also be in the running for my primary vote.
Our president needs to have a strong moral core, and the character to act accordingly. The character to mean what he says, and say what he means. Compare and contrast with the incumbent, and it’s no contest.
October 2 Update: Ann Coulter just appeared on Fox, and said that she did not think he’s going to run. His “no” means just that. For Coulter, who’s been pounding the Christie drum for some months now to admit this, says it’s likely true: No Christie campaign this year, but perhaps in four or eight years.