Jack Tame: Christie new US Christ


Whether it's his say-it-to-you-straight, pugnacious front, his volatile temper or his Zorb-with-four-limbs and otherwise perfectly spherical physique, Republican Governor Chris Christie is not a man one is tempted to describe as subtle.

And the victory speech after his romping victory in this week's New Jersey governorship election was rather less than subtle in serving his grander political aspirations. For the climax of his comments, Christie addressed not just his New Jersey constituents but what he described as a wider, "dispirited America".

At a time of massive public disapproval in Washington politics, Christie promised to make New Jersey an example of functioning bipartisan government.

It was 60-40, the split in the end: a comprehensive victory, especially impressive, given Christie's state has 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans. He won most women and most Latino voters, in the same election in which New Jersey voted to raise the state's minimum wage. A year since the state was devastated by disaster, Christie's response to Hurricane Sandy earns a resounding pass.

His actions in those few days last year immediately following the storm, likely proved the catalyst in his national popular rise. It was then, just a week before the presidential election and with the maximum possible media exposure, Christie abandoned standard politics for a shrewd, if self-serving front.

Instead of slagging off the president, Christie warmly praised Barack Obama and embraced him on national TV.

Polls show he's the most popular Republican among Democrats in the US. And if his recent gastric band surgery can deflate the Zorb a little more, his health and weight mightn't be the issue it's previously threatened to be.

Since last year's election, political factions and extremism have dominated the Republican Party. Crazy Tea Partiers caused the federal shutdown. Approval ratings are low. But three years out, Chris Christie may grow into a saviour conservative America needs. He's a man for the moderate masses.

Christie vs Clinton, 2016 ... what a race that'd be.

- Herald on Sunday

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