Chris Christie has a choice: He can be patriotic and run for president or be unpatriotic and not. That sounds harsh — perhaps even unfair — but Christie himself has set the standard.
Christie has acknowledged that America is at a crossroads moment, to use the language of Newt Gingrich. The New Jersey governor recognizes that America is on a fiscal “path to ruin” and that action must be taken now if ruin is to be averted.
“We are teetering on the edge of disaster,” he declared during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in March.
Given this urgency, Christie has implied that the 2012 presidential election could be pivotal — perhaps the last opportunity for a leader to be elected to right our course. And since Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan have chosen not to run, Christie is considered by many the last man standing mulling a bid who has a deadly serious budgetary focus.
Now, if Christie believed he was capable of leading America to better days but thought that he didn’t have a shot at winning the nomination or the White House, that would be one thing. Even just war theory states that regardless of whether the cause is just, you shouldn’t go to war if you have no prospect of success.
Yet Christie not only believes that he has a prospect of success, but that he would win if he entered.
“I already know I could win,” he told the National Review earlier this year. (RELATED: Conservative foreign policy experts praise Christie, but want more specifics)
So if you believe America is teetering on the edge of disaster and you believe you articulate the fiscal challenges facing America better than any current Republican contender and you know that you would win if you entered, what excuse do you have not to enter the race for the White House to save America?
Christie gave an answer Tuesday night during his speech at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., after a women in the audience pleaded with him to enter the race:
“It’s extraordinarily flattering. But by the same token, that heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. The reason has to reside inside me,” he said.
As Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said in response to Christie’s answer, “it’s not about you. It’s about your country.”
Depending on what report you believe, Christie is either reconsidering his decision to enter the presidential race or he is not. If he enters the race, he certainly would bring a rush of energy and excitement to a field seemingly devoid of passion.
I am not as confident as Christie that he would win if he entered. He may have weaknesses that have thus far hidden under the surface which will be exposed when put under the glare of a national spotlight. But he certainly would have a fighting chance. His YouTube videos are electrifying and the passion he inspires among the conservative base is nearly unmatched.
At worst, the GOP field would certainly benefit greatly from his voice.
America is in trouble. This is a time for patriots. Will Christie choose to be one?