“If we’re going to lead, we need to stop worrying about being loved, and start caring about being respected again.” –Chris Christie can be heard firmly proclaiming this over video images of his recent presidential campaign announcement from Livingston High School in New Jersey. What venue would be more fitting for announcing Christie’s presidential hopes than his alma mater where he was class president for 3 years?
Christie, born in Newark in 1962, is currently the 55th Governor of New Jersey; the state he lives and breathes for. The only time he has lived away from his beloved New Jersey was to attend The University of Delaware, but upon graduating, Christie returned home to attend Seton Hall University School of Law, where he received his J.D.
By 2002, Chris Christie had been involved in campaigning for both George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. The latter of the two appointed Christie to be the United States Attorney for New Jersey, a position he held for six years. Christie’s role as U.S. Attorney led him to focus his attention on issues such as the trafficking of arms, sexual slavery, racketeering, political corruption, and many others.
These issues carried over to Chris Christie’s governorship, which began on January 19th, 2010. The next year, Christie considered running in the 2012 Presidential Election, but later decided against it. He endorsed Mitt Romney, and was even talked about as a possible running mate for him, but this too did not quite pan out. Because of this semi-involvement in the election, Christie’s name became somewhat associated with presidential possibilities.
After the infamous “Superstorm” Hurricane Sandy left it’s devastating impact on New Jersey, Christie made headlines for heavily supporting President Obama’s efforts in the disaster relief that followed the storm. This helped him develop an appeal to a broader base of possible voters.
Because he has only recently announced his presidential bid for 2016, Christie is far from being a frontrunner as he is only polling around a 3.3%. His current ranking in the polls makes him seem unthreatening to his opponents, but I believe it’s far too early to rule him out. Larry Hogan, the Governor of Maryland seems to see promise in Christie. Hogan endorsed Christie on July 15th, during Christie’s visit to Maryland.
Christie is known for his passion, outspokenness, and is seen as a down-to-earth candidate. In an election that promises to be full of political jargon and beating around the bush, America is likely to appreciate Christie’s bluntness and unwavering confidence to speak his mind. Will his charisma be what separates, and eventually elevates Christie above his opponents, or will it be the very bane of his candidacy? Only time will tell.