President Obama might have reason to worry, but not about any of the current Repub candidates: Bachmann? A joke. I mean, come on: “radically“? That reminds me of the ostentatious marquee-sized signs in front of the churches in towns like Knoxville, TN, each proclaiming that their congregations are going to Heaven, while the rest….not so much. Bachmann’s trying to say “I’m more born-again than anyone else on the stage. I’m more born-again than anyone else you know. Vote for me or you’ll burn in hell.” Gee, that’ll go over well in Knoxville, but it’s worn down to the cords everywhere else. Perry? Wow….those aren’t gaffes he’s making on the debate stage; they’re clear indicators that he lacks basic intelligence, to say nothing of the depth needed to be President. George W. Bush and his people look down on Perry from an intellectual standpoint, which ought to be all anyone needs to know about the current governor of TX. And Romney? The TP will never back him, so it won’t happen. Cain would be a surprise but his plain-spoken insanity resonates with TP’ers.
But there’s one person out there upon whom everyone’s waiting, and it’s Chris Christie. How come?
1) You want plain-spoken? Here it is on steroids. I have to respect him for saying precisely what he thinks, without filtering. It’s refreshing. I don’t like much of his approach, mind, but at least he says what he wants to do and then goes and tries to do just that. No end-arounds as with Bush Mk. 2. In this case, plain-spokenness equals a certain brand of populist honesty, or at least it comes off that way. Of course, if he should change his mind and decide to run, I dare say his protestations to the contrary will ring hollow as all hell.
2) Some voters are going to draw a line from there to other aspects of Christie’s personality, as in: his pushy, get-it-done-goddamnit demeanor, his tendency to call people out in public, etc., and find in him someone they can actually respect. Have a beer with the man? Some days it might even be possible. That’s what they seem to see in him.
3) That package inspires loyalty on the part of people who might simply, personally not feel much in common with the Repub candidates they now see and especially embrace someone like Christie, embrace him with their labor and in particular their money.
4) Imagine the debates between, say, Obama and Perry or Bachmann. My God, it’d be like a WWE in-ring promo in its sheer unintentional hilarity. Obama/Romney? Snoozefest.
But then there’d be Christie. That would be a contest, and the other side knows it.
I have to give Christie credit as possibly the most viable potential candidate the Repubs have. Give him Huntsman as veep and there’d be your ticket. Obama should be worried about this. There’s good reason. If Christie sticks to his guns, there could even be a draft movement on his behalf next year. In any event, watch him. It’s important.