Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chris Christie -- leading GOPer for 2016 -- Is a Serial Flip-Flopper

Chris Christie: straight-shooter or bull-shooter?
So-so popular governor Chris Christie surged in the polls after Hurricane Sandy. No one should deny that his performance was masterful and really showed his political skills. Still, political skills might not help a moderate Republican win either the 2016 nomination or the presidency. Ask John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Can Chris Christie bullshit his way to the presidency in 2016? Again, ask Mitt Romney. And don't answer that Mitt Romney was a horrible candidate. He was, but remember, he also got himself elected governor of a blue state, Massachusetts, no mean feat. It was tacking to the right that didn't work out for Mitt.

And that's the minefield Chris Christie has to cross. Maybe he's come up with a solution now that he's safely elected to a second term: flip-flop now and get it behind him. If so, he's already made substantial progress.

He campaigned for governor as being in favor of immigration reform and a path to citizenship for the undocumented and gave lip service to the New Jersey DREAM Act. He won 51 percent of the Hispanic vote. Just recently, Christie has threatened to veto the version making its way through the NJ Assembly, saying he has problems with it. Classy, Chris.

He's done the same with climate change, saying he believes in it but denying that it had anything to do with Hurricane Sandy. Sounds familiar. The NJ Star-Ledger:
Christie withdrew New Jersey from a regional treaty on climate change, and robbed our state’s clean-energy fund of $1 billion to balance his budgets. Now, he refuses to acknowledge any role climate change might play in a storm like Sandy, calling it "a scientific discussion and debate that I’m simply not engaged in."
Real classy, Chris. Making headway in the flip-flop department, flipping on the Hispanics and the environmentalists. I get it. What do they have to do with the 2016 Republican nomination? Nothing.

I see how this works. He's done the same thing on gun control:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had such a remarkable change of heart on the Second Amendment over in the past six months that he actually vetoed part of his own gun-control agenda. The governor enraged anti-gun groups when he rejected three of the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s radical bills on Friday night.
Mr. Christie, who is running for re-election this year, used a conditional veto to rewrite the most extreme bills that came out of the Legislature this year. The key controversial one would have identified gun owners on a “smart card” such as a driver’s license. There was also a training requirement just to own a firearm and a ban on private exchanges.
The governor also vetoed a bill to ban .50-caliber firearms, which are never used in crimes, even though he called for this same measure earlier this year. The Legislature can accept the rewritten bills, find a two-thirds majority to override or the full veto stands, which is most likely. 
I can't blame you, Gov. Christie. It's savvy politics to avoid that etch-a-sketch moment, and doing it well in advance is also smart. But my question is: Do you look good wind-surfing?

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