Republicans were aghast when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embraced President Obama after Superstorm Sandy last year. Some said they wanted to vomit.
The people of New Jersey, in desperate need of federal aid and frustrated by the inaction of Congress, didn’t mind the hug. They weren’t preoccupied with politics at the time.
They cheered the fiery governor’s efforts to get help for the disaster ravaged state. Christie’s favorability numbers soared over 70 percent.
Today, if projections hold true, the Republican governor will cruise to a double-digit re-election victory by capturing a third of the Democratic vote in a blue state.
Some are predicting Christie’s 2016 presidential run started today. Others are dismissing Christie as an overrated outlier who is too flawed to capture the White House.
Perhaps, but regardless of your opinion of Christie, there are lessons to be learned from his easy re-election. Christie, a staunch conservative, was able to walk to a victory in a Democratic state with a Democratic-controlled legislature by extolling the virtues of compromise. And he is unapologetic about it because it has worked in New Jersey.
Christie reminds anyone who will listen that compromise is not a dirty word. “People expect government to work for them. You can compromise without compromising your principles,” he says frequently.
It’s proven to be winning strategy for Christie who has been able to reach across the aisle to get things done in New Jersey.
But what makes Christie so appealing is that he appears to be the genuine article who tells it like it is. He is blunt, brash and charismatic and isn’t afraid to take on his own party like he did when Congress initially didn’t appropriate disaster relief funds for his state.
Voters appreciate that and will cross party lines to vote for the candidate that who demonstrate a track record of accomplishment.
Christie is refreshing because he is a different kind of leader. He likes to boast that he and his state are a model of governance.
That may be hyperbole, but his landslide victory proves that the people of his state believe he is doing a good job.
The question many are now asking is could he do the same for the country.