NJ's Gov. Christie would make a great president, in 8 years
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chris Christie, I love you, don't run.

I haven't been saying this because there was no reason to think that the governor of New Jersey might be a candidate for president. Chris Christie has made it perfectly clear that he isn't running, isn't going to run, and isn't kidding. Nothing I've seen of him would indicate that he'd either lie or be coy.

But there was some part of "I'm not running" that many people didn't understand, so this week he had to officially announce his non-candidacy. Chris Christie, I love you, thanks for not running.

It's not as if I wouldn't vote for him if I could. I've envied my first husband, who emailed me from New Jersey sometime in 2009: "Wait'll you see our next governor!"

My ex has envied me our Proposition 2 for decades. People in very few other states envy Massachusetts taxpayers, but while our per-capita tax burden is consistently fourth or fifth in the nation, New Jersey's is always between first and third, depending on what's happening in Connecticut and New York.

And while we at least have an initiative petition process that can cut or limit a tax, New Jersey taxpayer groups haven't been able to get the initiative/referendum provision into their constitution despite years of effort.

So when Gov. Christie set out, after his election, to limit property taxes, he had to file his own bill and fight to get it passed by the New Jersey Legislature.

Republican legislators who were working with the governor contacted Citizens for Limited Taxation as they worked on the bill, asking about overrides, possible exclusions, and data showing how Prop. 2 has worked here. They knew they had to compromise up front with their version, since they couldn't bypass the legislature as we did. But all things considered, the property tax limit they passed is a good start and we are happy for our Garden State taxpayer brothers and sisters (and ex-husband).

When Christie came to Massachusetts to campaign for Charlie Baker last year, I asked him to tell the story of how he got New Jersey a version of our Prop. 2; I knew the crowd would love his tale of combining toughness and cajoling as he kept calling legislators back into session during a holiday period until they finally voted.



Barbara questions N.J. Gov. Christie
(Oct. 24, 2010)
Click photo to enlarge

As I shook his hand, I reminded myself, unsuccessfully, of what columnist Peggy Noonan once wrote: "Don't fall in love with politicians, they're all a disappointment. They can't help it, they just are."

Then, of course, she fell in love with Barack Obama in 2008, and like so many other delusional voters, she lived to regret it.

Meanwhile, I have returned to my political youth, loving Chris Christie as I loved Barry Goldwater (who never disappointed me) and Ronald Reagan. But I know I'd have been disappointed if Christie breaks his word about not running for president.

Christie has a major role to play in Revolution 2012. Already he has inspired other governors to stand up to the public employee unions and try to get some control over health insurance and pension liabilities. He has also shown how a Republican governor can work with both Republicans and Democrats to pass vital legislation, while winning the respect of many of his opponents including some union members.

He is unafraid, in a way that people who don't lie or pretend are unafraid; he won't get caught saying anything he doesn't mean, so can handle any question or attack, can change a position if he wants to, and can relax into his authenticity.

I think that most everyone is hungry for honesty; no matter how bluntly delivered, it's better than the gamesmanship of which all of us have had enough.

Christie's reasons for not running make perfect sense. New Jersey still has major problems that need his full attention for at least a full term.

He has four children ranging in age from 8 to 18 who need his presence.

Of course, those are both reasons to run, as well. New Jersey won't survive a national economic crisis.

Anyone with children or grandchildren has a direct stake in saving the country, saving the world.

If there really was no other viable Republican candidate, I'd have to join those who are urging Christie to run.

Of course if I did, I wouldn't attack him the very next day if he didn't agree with me on all the issues as many conservatives would, guaranteed.

I'd enjoy his facing off with them as he has with the teachers' unions.

But I'm comfortable with Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate.

It's funny how someone who is tough and blunt is considered authentic, while someone who is genuinely nice is considered not real.

I myself relate more to Christie's occasional rudeness than Mitt's pleasant personality, but I don't need a kindred spirit, just a replacement for President Obama.

Chris Christie is only 49 years old. Our country will always need leaders like him, so we'll continue to see him on the public stage, and can vote for him for president down the road.

I look forward to it.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette.

More of Barbara's Columns

Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    508-915-3665