GQ columnist Reid Cherlin says Mitt Romney should pick Governor Chris Christie as his running mate over the “milkiest of milquetoast options,” Ohio Senator Rob Portman or former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Hat tip to Bob Ingle.
Yes, I know the criticisms. Chris Christie is a hot-head and a showboat. He’s overweight. He doesn’t represent a key swing state. He’d be uncontrollable, in the way that Sarah Palin was uncontrollable. He’d suck up all the oxygen and leave Romney fiddling in the wings, or worse, cleaning up his messes. All that is true, to a degree.
But let’s remember the other key truism here: people vote for the top of the ticket, not the would-be VP. As you’ve read countless times, the real virtue of the running mate pick is that he can be nastier on the attack, he doubles your capacity for in-person campaigning, and your selection of him says something essential about your judgment. I think Christie would be a win for Romney on all three fronts. He is an excellent attack dog. He lives for town-hall campaigning. And his pick would make loud and clear—to Romney’s still-unenthused Republican critics, and to swing voters who love moderate East Coast Republicans—that he’s serious about kicking ass. Most of all, though, Christie is damn entertaining. He is disarmingly blunt. He’s a ham, he takes tough questions head-on, and he loves the parry-and-thrust that is weaker pols’ undoing. There’s a reason he remains so popular.
The campaign so far has been an utter grind, and Romney’s VP announcement is our last, best chance for an infusion of something fresh, interesting, and new. Please, Governor Romney: I know you’re a businessman above all else. But can’t we all just have some fun for once?
I have to agree. Portman or Pawlenty will put voters to sleep.
I would love Romney to make an “out of the box” VP choice like Condie Rice, Allen West or Marco Rubio. But Rice doesn’t want to do it and probably would not perform well on the campaign trail. West is a patriotic hero but comes across as angry. Angry scares voters. I don’t think Rubio is ready, for the office or for the glare of negative media attention that would come down on him.
No one articulates the case against Obama better than Christie. Christie has a Reaganesque optimism and ability to communicate it in a way that inspires like no one else on the national scene.
Christie will bring an excitement, and fun, to the race that no one else can bring.
If the presidential race keeps going the way its going, voters will tire of the campaign before Halloween. Christie will engage voters more than any VP candidate since Thomas Jefferson and the media won’t get the better of him like they did of Sarah Palin. ( I can’t believe I just put Thomas Jefferson and Sarah Palin in the same sentence.)
Most importantly, with Chris Christie as his running mate, Mitt Romney can win.