Double-dog dare you, governor


On Friday night, the AP reported: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision to stay out of the race for the White House in 2012 and is expected to make a decision soon, according to several people close to the governor with knowledge of his thinking.”
“Soon” could have been after press time Monday, in which case, this column will be moot, so just skip it and check out Around Town or the police blotters.
But, on the off chance he is still wavering, or if he has said “no” for the umpteenth time, I am compelled to urge him to go for it. The sooner he declares his candidacy, the sooner the country will learn what this guy is really like, and the sooner he’ll get his ample posterior kicked. (No, I am not going the fat-guy-joke route; David Letterman seems to have that nicely covered.)
While oft denying ambitions beyond the governorship, at least for 2012, Christie has been feeding his massive ego with personal appearances hither and thither, always before audiences who see him as some sort of political savior.
Last week, the gov fielded questions from a smitten (as might be expected, considering the venue) crowd at the Reagan Library. One woman pleaded: “I know New Jersey needs you, but I really implore you, I really do . . . I mean this with all my heart. We can’t wait another four years to 2016 . . . please sir, reconsider. We need you. Your country needs you to run for the presidency.”
Cynic that I am, I wondered if she were a plant. If not, she appears to have the IQ of one.
New Jersey needs Chris Christie as badly as it needs Snooki.
The governor, well-practiced in pseudo-charm peppered with flashes of humor (thank you, ghostwriters?) has managed to manipulate a fawning national media. They have not yet discovered the bully behind the smiling mask.
When he is in the constant presidential-candidate spotlight, it would not be long before charm and humor are replaced by the nasty snideness and condescension with which New Jerseyans have become far too familiar. It is time the American electorate were treated to that side of the man.
The gov is fond of saying things like, “I’ll respect you, if you respect me.” But he appears to equate any disagreement with disrespect, and — poof! — civility vanishes.
So please, gov, go for it. Throw your hat in that ring. The American people are waiting to adore you. Or not.
A presidential run may not earn you the votes you think you deserve, but it would offer something far more valuable: a long-overdue lesson in humility.
— Karen Zautyk

P.S. On Sunday, the Star-Ledger noted that, if he declares his candidacy, Christie would have to “hit the ground running.” Shouldn’t that be ‘hit the ground waddling”? (Did I say there’d be no fat jokes? I lied.)

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