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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What Exactly Is (Was) Chris Christie's Strategy?

For some time political pundits have been telling us that New Jersey governor Chris Christie is by far the best debater of the presidential candidates. His skills were on full display last weekend when he completely undressed Marco Rubio in front of a national audience. But this begs the question: Why focus on Rubio? As others have noted ("Maybe Chris Christie Should Have Taken On Donald Trump") Christie's been running low in the polls, not because he's been losing voters to other establishment candidates like Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich, but because he's been losing voters to Donald Trump:
But for Christie, whose yard signs boast of a candidate “telling it like it is,” the biggest problem of all might be Trump. Trump has usurped the Christie brand of being the unrepentantly loudmouthed alpha male who will tell you the truths that other candidates avoid.
Yet, throughout all of the debates he has avoided going after Trump; instead, his primary target has been Rubio. Perhaps its because he and Trump have been friends for some time. Or, who knows, maybe it's been his secret plan all along to help Trump win the nomination. Although this seems unlikely, and Christie probably really does want to be President, his strategy may have succeeded in taking Rubio out, but it hasn't done him any favors either. Put simply, he targeted the wrong guy, and it appears to have cost him. In fact, there's a strong likelihood that he'll drop out of the race altogether ("Chris Christie Heads for Home To Reassess His Campaign"), while others (including Marco Rubio, who finished ahead of him in New Hampshire) will continue to soldier on against front-runner Donald Trump.

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