Saturday, June 8, 2013

To some Republicans, Gov. Chris Christie... a N.O.P.E.

What's a "N.O.P.E.?" According to a piece in today's Times (my emphasis):

Still, not everyone was in a forgiving mood. A major Romney fund-raiser brushed off the standing ovation as simple politeness. Mr. Christie “broke the bro’ code,” said the donor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to agitate Christie supporters. “I’m telling you straight up, there’s a large group of people in that room who are N.O.P.E. on Chris Christie — not one penny ever.” 

And I think that's right. Or at least "Not One Penny in 2016."

I still think the next Republican nominee will be someone from the party's far right wing, like Gov. Scott Walker, Paul Ryan (if Walker doesn't run), Rand Paul, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. (And, yes, I consider Rubio far right; he was one of the original tea partiers, remember?)

So while Christie is expected to run (as will Gov. Bobby Jindal -- another centrist?), 2016 won't be his year. But the New Jersey governor should do well enough to benefit from the Great Republican Reckoning that's sure to follow the Goldwater-style debacle that a Paul or a Cruz candidacy would be.

If a Democrat (Hillary?) wins big in 2016 on the coattails of the Obama Recovery, the GOP may look to a moderate like Christie (or Jeb Bush) to lead the ticket in 2020. The New Jersey governor will be only 59 by then. (Jeb will be 67; still young enough to run.)

That's my prediction for today: a nutcase in 2016 followed by a moderate in 2020. Who knows? Christie may be playing the long game here.

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