…baby they were born to run. That’s right, I opened with a hack Springsteen reference. Don’t judge me.
It’s rare to find a Republican who excites you for, well, governing like a Republican. It’s even more rare for one to come from a blue state like the Dirty Jerz (aka New Jersey), home to My Chemical Romance, The View Askewniverse, and Tico “the Hitman” Torres. Enter Chris Christie.
It’s funny because, while I was amused by his appearance on “Imus in the Morning” (the one where he made fat jokes aboot himself), I went with a few friends to campaign for him and was a little underwhelmed. “Chris Christie is going to lower taxes.” Well, no shit. He’s a Republican. That’s the least we should expect. Six months later after criticizing the campaigning they had us doing (turns out being a blogger DOESN’T mean I know what I’m talking aboot), I found myself sending around a video of his from “Morning Joe” telling everyone I knew with an (R-State) after their name they needed to stop what they’re doing and watch. This was a guy who was the real deal. Quite frankly, when we went after the teachers unions it made my nipples hard pleased me greatly.
And it’s not just me, as per the dependently and radically right wing publication…The Washington Post? The heck you say…
The newly minted Republican governor of New Jersey is mentioned everywhere these days. Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGurn has praised Christie for reviving “Reagan Republicanism — Jersey style.” The Weekly Standard calls Christie “the unlikely conservative rock star.” National Review declares “Viva Christie!” And in The Post, George Will has called Christie “the Trenton Thunder.”
How has Christie captured the imaginations and hearts of conservatives after just 13 weeks in office? Begin with his willingness to speak the truth. He calls New Jersey a “failed state” and has pledged to end “Trenton’s addiction to spending.” He promises to deliver “smaller government that lives within its means” — and to do so without tax increases, declaring “I was not sent here to approve tax increases, I was sent here to veto them.” In the age of Obama, this is music to conservative ears.
More important, Christie is backing up these words with bold action. He put forward a plan to eliminate $10.7 billion from New Jersey’s massive $38 billion budget for 2011 — a cut of nearly 30 percent. He has taken on the state teachers union, demanding that teachers take a one-year pay freeze and begin contributing something to their generous state pensions and health benefits. When the union balked, Christie called on New Jersey voters to send a message by defeating local school budgets at the polls. Voters responded by rejecting 54 percent of the school spending plans, the most since 1976 — giving Christie a strong mandate to push through his reforms.
The Wall Street Journal ran a recent interview with him as well. A few choice quotes:
“We are, I think, the failed experiment in America—the best example of a failed experiment in America—on taxes and bigger government. Over the last eight years, New Jersey increased taxes and fees 115 times.”
“I’m a product of public schools in New Jersey, and I have great admiration for people who commit their lives to teaching, but this isn’t about them. This is about a union president who makes $265,000 a year, and her executive director who makes $550,000 a year. This is about a union that has been used to getting its way every time. And they have intimidated governors for the last 30 years.”
The talk aboot him as a Presidential candidate in 2012…let’s see him get re-elected Governor first. That said, we’ve been saying/lamenting for some time that there need to be more Republicans who will talk to voters like adults, and be prepared to make some tough choices. So far, Gov. Christie has been exactly what we’ve been looking for.
And I’m not opposed to him running for President. Baby steps…