Subscriber content preview. or Sign In
He won re-election in New Jersey with a campaign act designed to win the presidency in 2016. Why the New Jersey governor ain't going away anytime soon
New Jersey voters never got to hear Chris Christie's most important speech this year, because it took place behind closed doors at a Westin hotel in Boston, where the governor laid out his not so veiled pitch for the party's 2016 nomination. "I'm in this business to win," he told the crowd of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording.
Ever since 2009, Christie has run the Garden State with combustible passion and blunt talk. He doesn't claim to be an ideas man or a visionary. He's a workhorse with a temper and a tongue.
Christie has presented this character he has created as the savior for the GOP. At the Boston meeting in August, he said ideologues were overshadowing the winners in Ronald Reagan’s Big Tent. "If we don't win, we don't govern,” he said. “And if we don't govern, all we do is shout into the wind."
Christie then went out and won, and he won big. In a blue state, he got 61% of the vote for governor. "If we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey," Christie thundered, "maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now, see how it's done."