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|An ongoing discussion about conservatism in New Jersey.|
Christie should ignore the sirens' song
|Peter C. Hansen (September 28, 2010, 2:49 pm)|
|In a recent National Review Corner note, Robert Costa reports a statement by David Axelrod of the Obama Administration:|
More from David Axelrod, in conversation with Politico’s Mike Allen at the Newseum: Asked about New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Axelrod calls him an “attractive” political figure. “I actually like him, and I just doomed his candidacy by saying that.”What candidacy could Mr. Axelrod be dooming? The presidential primary nomination? That's seriously in question?
OK, it's high time the political silly season ended. I bow to no one in my admiration for Gov. Christie's work so far. It's as if the man were formed by the swirling aether of NJ good sense into a planet-shaped force for good. He's got the "Big Mo," he's a wonderment to the nation, and he is the voicebox of New Jersey's soul. Behold, America, the champion of the householder! Behold the thunder-striking good government guy!
Facts are facts, though. The good governor has barely begun his orbit around the political firmament. In showing he is the pocketbook voter's friend, and in taking on the reactionary public-sector unions that NJ loathes, Mr. Christie has done merely the obvious and sensible thing. Not just for this election cycle, but in any cycle. If Gov. Christie seems a blinding revelation, that is a sad comment on the state of our politics. We should have hundreds of Christies standing like grim guardians across New Jersey. We should have ten-thousand Christies across the country, in whatever regional variant best approximates this most Jerseyan spirit.
Christie has a long way to go to be a transformational leader of a complex and idiosyncratic state, let alone the leader of the free world. Christie is just over 9 months into his administration. The French Revolution had barely got anywhere by that point. George Washington was months away even from retreating to Valley Forge. Like any great political transformation, Christie's work will take a long time, and be subjected to some severe thumps. Let's see how he does with his state-level challenges before national disgust at the Washington nomenklatura catapults him toward the Oval Office.
Gov. Christie may indeed be cut from presidential timber – a presidential sequoia, even – but let's make sure that he is really cut out for his present job first. Fortunately, Mr. Christie is appearing to laugh off all the suggestions of national greatness. He would be well advised to do so. The press loves to alight on new blooms, but it seldom leads to fruit. KZYUVU6T58ER