It seems like every week or so, you see blogs and Twitter comments in the vein of, “Hey, did you see this great speech by Chris Christie?”
And they’re not actually great speeches, at least not the way we’ve been conditioned to expect in the Age of Obama — not much flowery language, not much rhetoric that soars — but just him and a group of New Jerseyans, and him laying out the state’s enormous problems in blunt honesty, and a raw, unvarnished pep talk that the path ahead is going to be hard, but will be the responsible and wiser course in the long run. And what makes him seem great is that the audience knows he’s not trying to sell them anything; we know he’s not making an implausibly optimistic promise because what he describes is not all that appealing, or at least not all that easy. He’s leveling with everyone, treating the voters like grown-ups, and they’re appreciating it, recognizing that it is radically different from what politicians usually offer.
It would probably not be best for Chris Christie or New Jersey if he were to run for president in 2012; he’s still got a lot of work to do and a lot of promises to Garden State voters yet to be kept. But right now, the idea of Chris Christie running for president or appearing on the 2012 presidential ticket just stopped being unthinkable, crazy, and implausible.