Unlike most political reporters and analysts, I never bought into the notion that Christie was the favorite for the Republican nomination. (Here‘s what I wrote about that almost a year ago in this space.)
Polls show him “leading” the race, but the race has not really started. Voters across the country don’t know much about the potential hopefuls, not one of whom has yet announced. So the polls measure nothing but name identification and the nature of the early coverage of potential hopefuls.
I’ve been skeptical that Christie will sell to enough GOP caucus attendees and primary voters around the country to win his party’s nomination, though I certainly haven’t said that he can’t win. The more Democrats make their attacks on him resemble a partisan witch-hunt, the better Christie’s chances become — as long as his opponents don’t find a smoking gun.
The governor is a controversial figure who has stepped on toes over the years, so it is no wonder some are gleeful about his current situation and others are looking to pay him back. But the smell now emanating from the Garden State isn’t merely the pure sweetness of good government. It also includes a pungent odor of partisan politics and pettiness coming from Christie’s detractors.
And someone needs to say that at the same time we are all following the criticism of the governor and the details about the mess on the George Washington Bridge.