Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is seriously considering a run for president in 2024 — whether Donald Trump runs or not.
Christie has been a fierce Biden critic and was an ally of Donald Trump when the former president was in office. But as a former governor of a liberal Northeastern state, and after a spectacular failure of a run in 2016, it’s hard to see why he would make the effort.
Meanwhile, the field of potential Republican candidates is frozen, waiting for Donald Trump to declare his intentions.
- Christie, whose 2016 bid for the nomination was short-lived, has told friends that he’d be the only person in the 2024 field with executive experience who has run a presidential race before.
- That’s a clear shot at one potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s enjoying a surge of popularity from Republican voters for his handling of COVID-19 and his sparring with the media but hasn’t yet endured the scrutiny of a presidential bid.
- Christie could run on a reputation for toughness that appeals to Trump’s base minus the former president’s recklessness, said one source. Another said he has a mix of combativeness and charisma that Republicans are looking for to take on President Biden and Democrats.
- He has potential crossover appeal to blue-collar and suburban right-of-center voters.
- And his experience as a former federal prosecutor could help distinguish him in debates and prepare for a primary contest in which there may be less of a premium on ad-libbing than in 2016.
We might question why Christie would want to highlight anything about his 2016 run or draw attention to it at all. Besides, the center of gravity in the Republican Party is in the South. No Republican is going to do well in New England or Mid-Atlantic states so political pros might ask where Christie’s base is. He left office as the most unpopular governor in New Jersey’s history and even his warmed-over conservatism — a poor man’s George Bush — wouldn’t do well in the modern Republican Party.
It’s axiomatic in modern politics that getting an early start — especially if you’re not one of the frontrunners — is just about the only chance someone like Christie might have. In truth, the Republican Party has passed Christie by — blew by him, actually. Christie is a relic of the past and belongs in a museum.
Or at least as a talking head on TV.