September 27 2011
The push for Chris Christie to throw his hat into the race shows there is still a huge part of the Republican primary electorate that wants someone other than Mitt Romney as their candidate.
After three debates in September, voters are frustrated. Romney, who, in effect has been campaigning for four years, is polished; but he lacks an intuitive commitment to limited government. While there was a lot of hope for Gov. Perry when he entered the race in August, he's failed to deliver at a level that is expected of him and a presidential nominee.
Which brings us back to Christie.
While I applaud the New Jersey governor on his work in expanding educational freedom and clamping down on public sector unions, a lot of voters may be surprised to learn that he's not as consistently conservative on other issues, namely the environment/climate change and gun control. In short, Christie - like Romney and Guiliani before him - is a Republican with blue state baggage.
Finally, there are serious challenges for a candidate who decides to enter the race this late in the game - and not just in terms of fundraising. It takes time to make a seamless leap from the state level to the national stage. Perry is just one of many lawmakers who's had difficulty making that transition; and it's where Romney's perpetual campaigning has really helped him.
Still, when the stakes are this high, the GOP ought to consider and encourage as many ideas and personalities as possible.