New Jersey and national Democratic politicos who are dancing with glee over the ‘damage” they think they are inflicting on Governor Chris Christie’s second term effectiveness and his presidential ambitions might as well enjoy the moment. Reports of Christie’s political demise are greatly exaggerated.
Starting today with his State of the State address (which can be viewed live here at MMM at 3PM) Christie’s comeback will begin. A comeback that the governor starts with a 59% job approval rating, according to the Monmouth University/USA Today-Monmouth/Ocean Edition Poll released yesterday.
The poll that was taken Friday through Sunday, indicated that even with the onslaught of negative publicity that Christie has gotten locally and nationally, New Jersey residents don’t care about Bridgegate with regard to how they view Christie. His job approval rating is net positive 27%. His personal approval rating is down to net positive 16%, but his negatives haven’t moved since Patrick Murray last asked the approval question in November when the net positive number was 31%. 28% had a negative opinion of Christie is Murray’s pre-election November survey. 28% expressed a negative opinion in the survey published yesterday. The 15 point drop in Christie’s net personal approval rating is the result of New Jerseyans waiting for the full Bridgegate story to come out. Those who said they have “No Opinion” of Christie personally, increased by the exact 15 points from November to January and the 15 point drop in those who said they had a favorable personal opinion.
Even though New Jerseyans think Christie knows more than he is saying about Bridgegate, we are giving him the benefit of the doubt. We still like him. If a smoking email surfaces that proves he knew of the George Washington Bridge lane closures, and what they were really about, he’s toast. If such an email exists, it will probably come out. If it doesn’t exist, Christie will come out of Bridgegate a stronger political force than he was last Tuesday, before The Record published the damning emails.
Christie knows if such an email exists.
If there is such an email, Christie should announce today that he is not running for president; that he will serve his full second term and finish “turning Trenton upside down.” Such an announcement would be met with glee by the Hillarycrats and the left stream media, who will then move on to their next target. Trenton Democrats will still obstruct the Governor, but the wind will be out of their sails, because the Hillarycrats won’t need them anymore. John Wisniewski will never be on Face The Nation again. Rachel Maddow will lose Loretta Weinberg’s phone number. Christie will live to fight another day, in 2020 or 2024.
If no such email exists, Christie should be Christie and boldly declare, “Do all the investigations you want. I have nothing to hide.”
If there is nothing for the investigators to find, all of the “negative press” Christie has gotten over the last week will turn out to be positive.
He said as much in his press conference last week, but that was when he was being contrite and apologetic. Starting today, in the State of the State, Christie should politely charge the super legislative committees investigating Bridgegate to do their jobs thoroughly and then brashly announce that he is getting back to work on his reform agenda for New Jersey (and America).
The previews of his State of the State speech indicate that Christie is ready for the fight. His proposal to reform education with longer school days and shorter summer breaks indicates that he is ready to resume battle with the once feared NJEA who served as a terrific foil for him in 2009-2011.
Christie should abandon his bi-partisan narrative. It was never going to work anyway. We wrote during the gubernatorial campaign that the Democrats would be less cooperative with Christie post-election than they had been running up to the election. Bridgegate just gave them an opportunity to attempt to derail Christie’s presidential ambitions sooner than they thought they could. Trenton Democrats were always going to obstruct Christie becoming president, his bromance with Steve Sweeney not withstanding.
If Christie’s strategy was to become president with the help of Democrats, well, that was as dumb as Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 Florida strategy. (Sorry, Mike, if that was the idea.)
Christie should go back to his 2011 redistricting self, with a little less colorful language for idiots, numbnuts and cantankerous widows. In his relationship with Washington, he should go back to his pre-Sandy self. That Christie can be elected President of the United States in 2016.