Chris Christie's landslide reelection victory Tuesday in New Jersey has prompted a new round of articles arguing he's temperamentally and politically unsuited to being president, a pugnacious Northeasterner who won't connect out on the hustings in real 'Murica if he makes a bid in 2016.
But Chris Christie is no Rudy Giuliani, the last man of his type to run for president and one to whom he is sometimes compared. He is not going to go the Iowa State Fair in old man shoes and stand around near hay bales looking lost, as I watched the former mayor do in 2007. He is not going to sit in a diner in Madison County and not talk to voters, or to decline to taste the local loose-meat dish at Ross' in Bettendorf. He will figure out the difference between field corn and sweet corn before he has to talk to anyone about it. He is not going to write off Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada try to start his campaign with a win in Florida, an insane and fateful strategy pursued by the former New York mayor during his 2008 bid for the GOP nomination.
On the most basic test of likability—is Christie a guy it would be a blast to have a beer with?—it seems impossible to answer no. People at the State Fair will enjoy his presence, because Christie is a politician who knows how to enjoy the quintessence of local commercial goofiness, which is much of what the State Fair is. Give that man spatula and set him to flipping pork chops: Anyone who can charmingly answer the phone at Hot Dog Johnny's can do retail politics in primary states. Giuliani was much more of a sourpuss.