New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared on the Sunday morning talk show Meet the Press and it was a pleasure to watch.
"I'm not a halfway kind of guy" sums up Christie and his dialogue. While the press enjoys noting that Christie's approval ratings have fallen a bit since he has enacted some of his key legislative agenda, most notably reigning in the runaway benefits to unions, Christie is still immensely popular among those who would vote for him. The unions were never Christie's base anyway.
On the current negotiations on raising the debt ceiling in Washington, Christie pointed out that President Obama is failing to lead as an executive. I would agree, as Obama's utter lack of executive experience is painfully apparent in his governing 'style'. The man cannot make a decision. Christie said, " You can't lay back and wait for somebody else to do it. Everyone must have skin in the game." He said if the President finally gets in there and leads, we won't get to the point of defaulting on the debt.
Christie made the observation that during the negotiations with unions and others in New Jersey, he never demagogues the other side. He said it makes it too hard to sit across the table from others and work together.
Christie said that purity tests and litmus tests are not how parties should judge candidates. Stand by our principles, he said, and leave out the tests. He said the voters are longing for a candidate that will look them in the eye and tell the truth, especially on the national level. The problem with purity tests is that it assumes that if everyone is not in total agreement, then the dissenter is not worthy of votes. "Everybody sounds the same", he said because they allow political consultants to give them pat answers to tough issues. Dissension is not a bad thing.
As is typical, the host asked Governor Christie if he has the appropriate temperament for governing, if he shows respect for those asking questions of him. After getting the host to answer that yes, Christie is respectful in answering questions, he said in the case of the person asking how Christie could cut public school funding if his own children are in private school Christie said his response was appropriate. "Damn right he should", Christie said when asked if a Governor should be abrupt with a questioner. Christie told the woman asking the question at a town hall meeting that it was none of her business where his children went to school. He said he and his wife wanted their children to have a religious school upbringing and it didn't affect his decisions on public schools. As a taxpayer, Christie as well as all other homeowners pay taxes for public schools and if their own children are in private schools, they pay tuition on top of that. Christie said that he is a father first and his children are off limits in political debates.
A politician with a strong backbone. Just what we are in dire need of in today's political arena.
The good news is that Governor Christie is not ruling out a run for President in 2016.