The Elephant In The Room

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from The New York Times,

He won re-election in New Jersey with a campaign act designed to win the presidency in 2016. Why the New Jersey governor ain’t going away anytime soon

New Jersey voters never got to hear Chris Christie’s most important speech this year, because it took place behind closed doors at a Westin hotel in Boston, where the governor laid out his not so veiled pitch for the party’s 2016 nomination. “I’m in this business to win,” he told the crowd of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording smuggled out of the room. “I don’t know why you’re in it.”

It was pure Christie, combat bundled in cliché. All politicians want to win, but only Christie would stand before the men and women who run his party and question their motivations. Ever since he ousted Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in 2009, he has run the Garden State with combustible passion, blunt talk and the kind of bipartisan dealmaking that no one seems to do anymore. He doesn’t claim to be an ideas man or a visionary. There is no master plan, no promised utopia to accompany his pension reforms and boardwalk rebuilds. He’s a workhorse with a temper and a tongue, the guy who loves his mother and gets it done. What does it matter that he regularly calls his opponents idiots or jerks? “If people had a choice between prepackaged, blow-dried politicians and people who just say it the way it is, I think they would pick the latter,” he said at a debate. “That’s why we are having the success we had.”

A very different coalition in NJ.

Christie won a majority of Hispanics and women-more than a fifth of the African American voe- in a blue state.

In a companion article, What Holds Him Back? The Hunt for Pufferfish: A Double Down Excerpt, … During the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney ranked Chris Christie among the final contenders to be his running mate. That is until the Republican nominee started digging into the New Jersey governor’s record.

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