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Jul 05th
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Chris Christie for president is starting to catch on

christiebudget032210_optBY MICHAEL COHEN

While a frequent flurry of Sarah Palin sound bites and Michael Steele gaffes dominate the hype surrounding the Republican party's leadership void, many point to New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie as a serious potential leader of the GOP.

Since his first budget address on March 16th, conservatives have applauded Christie's adamancy of spending cuts, and they particularly admire his battle with the state's teachers union over $820 million in state education cuts.

Conservative editorial pages in The Weekly Standard lionized Christie as a "rock star," and the Wall Street Journal canonized him with a Ronald Regan comparison.

To meet the proposed education cuts, Christie demanded that teachers take a one-year pay freeze and begin contributing to their pensions and health benefits. The teachers union disregarded the demands, so the governor urged people to vote against local school budgets. Last Tuesday, voters rejected 316 of 541, or 58 percent, of the proposed budgets, an unprecedented rejection rate.

Conservative columnist, George Will, supported Christie's demands on teachers' pay in a Washington Post column, and also commended the governor for closing a $2.2 billion gap with spending freezes and cuts.

Marc Thiessen, also a columnist for the Washington Post and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, said that the school budget defeats gave the governor "a strong mandate to push through his reforms."

Although Thiessen's piece suggested the possibility of a 2012 presidential run for Christie — an idea based on the recent ubiquity of the governor's name in national media — he also warned about premature presidential presumptions, using California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's ephemeral popularity as an example.

But whether it's a future presidential candidate or just a rational visionary, the GOP needs a leader. And as Peter Applebom of the New York Times' noted, "If the Republicans ever hope to be more than the Party of No, they should be paying careful attention to how Mr. Christie fares in his demolition derby in Jersey."

Comments (16)
16 Monday, 27 September 2010 07:47
Nan Shaw
NAN SHAW - Atlanta, Georgia
15 Monday, 13 September 2010 01:05
Terry Beard
Please Governor Christie consider national office. America needs you . If not President in 2012 then the head of the Republican party national commity. We need you Sir
14 Thursday, 29 July 2010 01:41
He's our last hope for true conservatism to take back its place in American society
13 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 14:08
American Voter
Christie for president would be the logical choice for informed individuals who care about their country and have a firm grasp on reality
12 Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:27
So far, the talk is good. Talk is cheap.
11 Wednesday, 28 April 2010 09:10
A Neighbor in MD
The fact that someone with an understanding of what really needs to be done is refreshing. Gov. Christie has a tough fight but as folks see what I am sure his results will bear ... He prove to be a qualified candidate in 2012 if he decides to run.
10 Wednesday, 28 April 2010 07:18
Teachers have it too good. Quit overpaying them. Charter schools can provide better education for less money.
9 Wednesday, 28 April 2010 06:28
I am thrilled to actually have a governor who is trying to get people to stay in NJ. In our town education is about 13K per child. Several years ago they had to reregister children during the summer because they had a suspicion of people who weren't residents. Over 30 didn't reregister. At $13k per child, that is a huge amount to a small town. I work in the private sector and have had a pay freeze for two years and may again this year. I'm not feeling the pain for teachers who won't take a one year freeze and contribute like the rest of us have to do.
8 Wednesday, 28 April 2010 06:18
I have no idea how much is spent per student in NJ, but in my home state of MN, we (the taxpayers) spend about 13k per kid each year on education through the Government School system. Now, I am Catholic, and choose to send my kids to parochial school, for which my wife is on the Board as the chair of the budget committee (volunteer work for her by the way-- try getting Government School Board members to work voluntarily!). The cost per child is about $6000, of which we, like all of the other families, pay $4000, and the church/diocese subsidized the rest, about $2000. Here comes the key question, why does private education cost less than 50% of Government run education per student per year!?!?! Privatization and deunionization is the only way we will fix education. Vote against EVERY Governemnt school tax/budget proposition. Bleed the beast, and it will eventually die!
7 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 19:21
Jeff M
Wow...All the state workers with too much time and money on their hands posting here seem to be getting so ticked off over Mr. Christie's simply following through on his promises and the voters' mandate that they might just take some MORE time off, get out of their easy chairs, and protest!!

Funny thing is, these are the same people who applaud the "messiah" in the White House for ramming unpopular legislation through the most suspect means ever.

I suggest the dissenters and their union bullies above take the advice of their beloved vice prez and recognize that, "It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal...". He was referring to doing your part to help get through the "crisis".

As wage earners who don't use their numbers to bully others into giving them more pay for less work, when times get tough and the money's just not there, we tighten our belts. Now you're gonna whine when you have to tighten yours...

And don't believe it for a minute that somehow through osmosis this is going to hurt property values, raise taxes, or shortchange students...Nice try, though.
6 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 18:38
I think Gov. Christie should be congratulated for standing his ground with all the Liberals/Progressives and Union Thugs! No easy task. I think everyone in NJ should stand behind this guy! He's watching out for you and your money. A lot of people moved out of NJ, because your state is one of the highest taxed states in the US. He wasn't asking much from the teachers, but they are so self-centered with their own interest and not the kids. If any school budget is cut, it's not Gov. Christie's fault, but the fault with your teachers and their union!
5 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 18:02
Public Workers Suck
You've all been living off our taxes for too long now!
4 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 17:52
First, teachers do contribute to their pensions already--it's the NJ government that has been skipping their payments to the pension system. That's illegal.

Second, Christie has a Facebook expert who makes more money than many NJ teachers and who also has benefits paid for by the state.

This guy is a hypocrite, if this is what the Republican party is holding up as a modicum of excellence, we are all in for long sad days.
3 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 16:31
NJ M. Jonasen
Christie for president, there's a terrifying thought. Wait until you see NJ school test scores go down because of no library instruction due to the firings of librarians. Watch Obesity take over because of gym teachers are being let go. Computers will change to slates and chalk. Now think of this on a national level, not just New Jersey. No air conditioning or heat in schools because to fix the systems, its not in the budget. Will the schools be clean because of no money to pay janitors?

President, what a joke
2 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:41
New Jersey, whose primary sources of revenues are property tax, and state aid that derives from income and sales tax receipts, are most vulnerable to the financial crisis and economic downturn.

New Jersey localities are most vulnerable because of future loss in property taxes as housing values decline.
1 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 14:25
The Governor is getting credit from the national right-wing echo chamber that knows nothing about New Jersey politics, let alone what is in the Governor's budget.

The fact of the state aid "cuts" are not cuts. If they were, then where is the income tax cut that should come in conjunction with it? After all, state aid is derived from the income tax and a half cent of the sales tax. By law, the income tax is to go to the Property Tax Relief Fund. "Cutting" these funds as Christie is doing is illegal.

Moreover, the funds are just going to the general fund.

Meanwhile the cuts in state aid will mean drastic property tax hikes for the very people in the suburbs who voted for Christie.

This is just one area where Christie is off course. There are many others. And i can assure you that not all conservatives in New Jersey are applauding. There are many like myself who know better.

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