Early polling seems to suggest the Paris attacks didn’t quite change everything in the political world (Donald Trump is still on top!). But maybe they changed something? Might this moment force voters to give a serious and experienced governor a second look?
That’s what George Will suspects, at least. “Heightened security concerns might be [Chris] Christie’s opportunity,” Will writes in his recent column (which is appropriately titled: “After Paris, we should look to Chris Christie“).
There’s an old saying that in baseball you’re never as good as you look when you’re winning, and you’re never as bad as you look when you’re losing. This seems to apply to Christie. The fanfare and adulation he received a few years ago felt overwrought and premature, but his low poll numbers for most of 2015 have seemed disproportionate to the sins he might or might not have committed.
This is an incredibly talented politician who, by all rights, ought to be tapping into the Republican base’s zeitgeist. He’s as irreverent and brash as Trump, but far more experienced. And in a world where national security takes on increased importance, his law-and-order bona fides ought to account for something.
And maybe they will? “[S]omething remarkable has happened,” observed NJ.com’s Claude Brodesser-Akner on Tuesday. “Christie’s ratings have improved dramatically, now standing at a very positive 54 percent favorable and just 32 percent unfavorable in New Hampshire.”
Every once in a while, the Granite State likes to rescue people—to almost single-handedly revive the hopes and dreams of a politician on the ropes. “Fortunately,” writes Will, “sufficient days remain for Republicans to reshuffle the deck, to relegate Trump’s rampaging to the nation’s mental attic, and to recognize in Christie a serious political talent.”
Predictions of a Christie comeback might amount to wishful thinking on the part of writers like George Will, but Christie has been underperforming for so long that one wonders when the markets might correct themselves. Sometimes miracles do happen.