With his witty, straightforward style and his relative success governing a mostly Democratic state, New Jersey Republican Chris Christie is gaining traction as a poster boy for the GOP. Rebecca Cathcart and Richard Pérez-Peña at the New York Times report:
Just eight months after taking office, Mr. Christie is in demand by Republican candidates across the country, political consultants say, receiving many more invitations than he can accept. His appearances with Ms. Whitman are the first of many he has scheduled over the coming weeks, including events Thursday with Susana Martinez, the Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico, and a trip next week to Ohio. ...
"Governor Christie is a little bit of a cable and YouTube sensation, especially with Republicans," said Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, calling him one of the best communicators the party has. "I've had a number of people say, 'Hey, do you know how to get me to Chris Christie?' "
The Republican Governors Association has promoted Mr. Christie as its new star, as in a long, polished video tribute that it released this month. His travel plans mostly include states like California, New Mexico, Maryland, Illinois and Pennsylvania, where the races for governor are expected to be closely contested.
"The thing this year for Republican candidates for governor is to campaign as budget cutters, and right now Christie is the best-known example," said Prof. John C. Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron.
Mr. Christie's itinerary repays a debt to the governors' association, which helped him get elected, but it is also typical of a politician with an eye on national office, trying to raise his profile in unfamiliar parts of the country.
Questions about presidential ambitions, and the governor's emphatic denials, have become a standard feature of his interviews.
Read the full story at the New York Times.
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