Should Chris Christie move to the right?

8/12/13
 
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from CNN,
8/12/13:

If he decides to run for president, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will need to push back against the inevitable pressure that he will encounter to move to the right.

Christie has emerged as one of the most exciting potential candidates for the GOP, a Republican who has been popular in a blue state and who has demonstrated the kind of straight talk with the media that voters find appealing.

In New Jersey, a recent poll shows 30% of the Democratic vote supporting Christie.

His willingness to take on the barons of his own party, without capitulating to his Democratic opponents, has bolstered the impression that he would try to break the gridlock that has bogged down Washington, much as Barack Obama did as a presidential candidate in 2008. His emphasis on budgetary conservatism rather than social and cultural conservatism also has the potential to win over moderate voters.

The conventional wisdom will quickly push him to placate the right, even before he officially starts running, just in terms of what he does in a second term as governor of New Jersey.

For decades, pundits and experts have constantly warned that the nature of the presidential primary system means that a candidate has to move far to the right within the GOP if he or she is going to win over voters who tend come out for these contests, voters who veer toward the extremes of the political spectrum.

At the most basic level, moderate Republicans, often governors, who try to dramatically transform their images for primary voters are usually not very effective. Conservatives don’t walk away feeling as if they are true bedfellows, and the rest of the voters are left to wonder how hard the candidate will really fight for a new agenda that crosses the partisan divide. Democrats are also given a treasure chest of controversial statements to paint their opponent as an extremist.

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