I’ve enjoyed the YouTube clips displaying New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s no-nonsense style and unapologetic attitude as much as the next conservative, and love that he’s leading a courageous fight against spending, tax hikes and public sector unions. But I have to disagree with Jim Geraghty’s conclusion here:
It would probably not be best for Chris Christie or New Jersey if he were to run for president in 2012; he’s still got a lot of work to do and a lot of promises to Garden State voters yet to be kept. But right now, the idea of Chris Christie running for president or appearing on the 2012 presidential ticket just stopped being unthinkable, crazy, and implausible.
I think Geraghty was on the right track with his initial caveats. For Christie to be a plausible presidential candidate, he’ll have to do a lot more than say and do awesome things over a series of months. A lot of young executives come into office and act tough in the beginning — but soften up over time. So at the minimum, Christie is going to have to show that he can sustain this kind of performance. Even more important, he has to be able show that his actions produced tangible and objectively demonstrable positive results — balanced budgets, improvements in education, a better economy (at least relative to neighboring states). But it’s just impossible that we can know any of these things in time for him to mount a credible 2012 presidential run, keeping in mind that the 2012 campaign won’t start two years from now, but — if the 2008 race is any indication — five months from now, or the morning after the midterm elections. I think Geraghty is right about Christie’s potential appeal. So, it is plausible that he could be a presidential contender someday. Just not this time around.