Monday, March 18, 2013

Gov. Chris Christie in a good place for 2016...

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wasn't invited to this year's CPAC convention last week, which caused much gnashing of teeth across much of political punditland.

I say Christie had more to gain by not being in the clown tent than he could've by showing up.

Think about it.

Why did Governor Romney lose the 2012 election to Barack Obama? Was it because he didn't earn enough support from conservatives? Probably not, as most conservatives still voted for him, even if they had to hold their nose while they did it. They sure weren't going to vote for Obama.

Was it because Romney failed to woo enough Democrats over to his side? No, because that wasn't likely to ever happen. Romney won self described independents but lost self described moderates. So, why did Romney lose?

Blacks, Women, Hispanics and Asians. In other words, minorities.

While there was some lip service paid to minorities at CPAC, consider how the GOP announced its "new direction" with the release of its "Growth and Opportunity Project" today. The New York Times started its write-up of it with this:

"Republican leaders on Monday offered a sweeping self-critique of a party they said was in an “ideological cul-de-sac” and needed better outreach and a new brand of conservatism to appeal to younger voters, ethnic minorities and women."

Uh, duh...

The ink was barely dry before conservatives like Rush Limbaugh began to attack its authors as being "totally bamboozled and lacking confidence."

Safe to say, the Republican Party and Conservatives are not on the same page. They can't even agree on immigration, which is going to be a hot button issue for the next few years. How in the world hard-line Conservatives expect to win over the Hispanic and Latino vote is beyond me. History tells us that African Americans since the late 1950's simply don't vote for Republicans above the 10-13% range, which is squat. Mitt Romney got less than 7% in the last election.

Gov. Christie doesn't need nor want any of the chaos that was found at CPAC. Its a bit like flypaper and once its on you, its hard to get it off. Let the others give speeches, drink big slurpies and incite the believers. Think minorities are feeling the love now after this year's CPAC? Why would they?

Its so, so early to make predictions for 2016, but I suspect Christie will be a factor and his not being viewed as "one of them" to many independents, moderates and yes, minorities can only help him. He doesn't need to win over the hardliners. He watched what that strategy did for Romney which was kill any chances he had to beat President Obama. They made Romney run so far to his right during the primaries that he simply couldn't find his way back during the general.

And that, as they say, was that.

In the end, the next successful GOP candidate will not go too far out of his way to woo the far right. Rather, the far right will...eventually...climb on board the campaign and play nice. Gov. Christie is positioned very smartly for a run in 2016. I'll be shocked if he makes the same mistakes Romney did.


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