Chris Christie: the Wrong Man for the GOP


I used to like Chris Christie a lot. I thought he was tough and funny and smart. But there were signs along the way that maybe Christie was not a great a fit for the Party as a presidential candidate, at least not for the conservative wing of the party.

Problem number one is Christie’s obesity. Christie has done very well in New Jersey and is popular despite his physique. But his bulk would immediately be a strike against a presidential candidacy. Just imagine the crude jokes the left would unleash to mock Christie’s weight. Imagine all the doctors that would be interviewed on MSNBC or ABC or CBS on the psychology of overeaters or the physical dangers inherent in obesity. Picture Diane Sawyer looking sad (and a bit boozy) as she discussed the likelihood of his death from cardiac arrest in the first term of a presidency. His weight would be the 800-pound gorilla wherever he went. I’m sure, no matter his protestations, that the lap-band surgery he recently had was a sign that Christie himself knows that being fat is a major obstacle to higher office.

Christie’s other problem is much more general: he isn’t seen as a conservative and he doesn’t feel like a conservative. This liberal image persists despite the fact that on the issues, so far, he is not a typical liberal, either. He says he is personally pro-life and against late-term abortion, but he is ambiguous on abortion rights in general and Roe v Wade. He vetoed legislation approving gay marriage, but may find a way out of his conflict with his state’s voters via a referendum. He is fiscally conservative, but opted to expand Medicare in New Jersey under Obamacare, and yet he rejected setting up a state-run insurance exchange. Because there is such a difference between his stated views and what his state and he as governor have done, he will be open to charges of being too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.

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