Christie for President?

Chris Christie in 2012?

I continue to be mystified by Chris Christie’s campaign for Governor of the State of New Jersey.

Recent polls, including internal Democrat polls, show Chris Christie leading incumbent governor Jon Corzine anywhere from 4 to 14 percentage points. That should tell anyone just how accurate summertime polls are.

The recent arrests of over 40 individuals on corruption charges would seem to be an advantage for Christie. However, he hasn’t really capitalized on it and polls haven’t reacted. Why?

I recently reviewed the 79 points upon which Chris Christie is basing his campaign. There continues to be a lack of specifics on how he intends to accomplish any of his stated goals. Why?

Usually, when a candidate has a lead, the strategy is to not do anything stupid that would undermine their chances of being elected. However, I find this an unusual strategy given the amount of time left until Election Day. Back in 1993, Christie Whitman was out in front after the primary – but then down by 21 points in September – before coming back to win 49 to 48 percent.

It now seems the Christie campaign is campaigning like the election for Governor is over and that he will be the next Governor of NJ. This campaign is not being run in order to win; it is being run not to lose.

Some of the Christie team appears to be looking beyond November to their next election. After her 1993 victory, Christie Whitman was hailed as a potential candidate for national office. Some in the Christie camp appear to be launching a kind of platform for a run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Is Chris Christie already positioning himself to run for President in 2012?

How else to interpret the hit-piece on GOP presidential contender Sarah Palin penned by one of Christie’s closest supporters, lobbyist Jeff Michaels. Why would anyone care during a NJ Gubernatorial race unless Jeff is doing someone else’s biding. Why would they refuse the possibility of having her come to New Jersey to help in the first place?

Also consider Christie’s pronouncements in agreement with President Obama on energy and on his approval of liberal Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme court. Then take the balancing act of selecting a pro-choice Lt. Governor while he is claiming to be pro-life.

One of his major campaign supporters, minority leader Tom Kean Jr. has voted to re-appoint NJ Supreme Court justice Barry Albin. Given the fact that Albin is one of the most liberal activist judges on the NJ Supreme Court, it is unusual that he has not made any public commentary against this liberal activist jurist or activist court. What is his agenda?

There are only two gubernatorial elections in the country this year, so this election provides Christie with a national stage. His closest campaign advisor, Bill Palatucci, was President George W. Bush’s point man in New Jersey. Christie’s top campaign consultant and his campaign manager both come out of Rudy Guiliani’s failed presidential bid.

Is Chris Christie trying to position himself for 2012 as a GOP moderate who can win in a blue state?

Maybe we should take a look at what’s going on over at the state committee for an answer. State GOP Chairman Jay Webber has blocked attempts to allow a vote to have the New Jersey Republican State Committee adopt or endorse the platform of the Republican Party. Webber is doing the cha-cha, telling reporters that he’d like to have a vote, but then not setting a date to have a vote.

Webber used to be a reliable conservative. Before Webber was hand-picked by Christie to get the Chairman’s job (which paid the last incumbent in excess of $100,000 a year) you would have expected Webber to be leading the charge to allow a vote on the platform. He would have argued that it was the most natural thing in the world for New Jersey Republicans to loyally support the Republican platform. Now he’s appeared to have gone to the other side.

Is this battle for the soul of New Jersey Republicans the first act in Christie’s 2012 campaign?

When you see the bumper sticker, “Chris Christie for President” there will only be one question, what will be the slogan: “A Real Republican, for a Change”?

Stay tuned. Christie for President?