The Corner

Christie vs. Jindal, Perry, and Walker

From a profile by Matt Bai:

Part of the challenge for Christie here — and for other governing candidates in the race — is that voters this year just don’t seem to care very much about records or experience, or at least not yet. I mentioned to him a trend this year that has confounded me and many others: Governors, who generally made for the best candidates over the past half century or so, seem to be flailing this time around.

Nine current or former governors have been in the race on the Republican side. Of those, three — Walker, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal — were the first to leave the Republican race. Not a single governor is polling in double digits.

Christie shook his head at me.

“The governors who have dropped out earned it,” he said, a little coldly. “They earned dropping out. Your performance matters. This stuff doesn’t happen by coincidence or by chance. The people still standing are the people who are the best at this.”

Three points:

1) I don’t see any political upside for Christie to these comments. There’s a lot of goodwill for those three governors among active Republicans nationally.

2) I guess Christie does not foresee being in a position later in the primaries where their endorsements could come in handy.

3) Christie remains a longshot; reporters should clip and save this quote for when he drops out.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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