Tomorrow morning, John Hawkins will publish a flash poll of conservative bloggers on their presidential favorites. I voted for Chris Christie. Why? Because a) he’s walking the walk in New Jersey, and b) man, he can talk the talk:
[T]he irony of Christie’s rise to superstardom is that, for all the goofing we do on Democrats and their “messaging” obsession, that’s really his key selling point. Messaging. It’s not that his solutions to Jersey’s budget problems are somehow novel or ingenious, it’s that (a) he’s willing to back the obvious solutions to the hilt, no matter the political risk, and (b) he has a genuine gift for persuading people that this is the right thing to do, notwithstanding the sacrifices involved. And of course, the second point affects the first one: It’s because Christie can sell fiscal conservatism, red in tooth and claw, like virtually no one else that the political risk to him is less than it is to anyone else.
Meanwhile, it’s clearer than ever that Sarah Palin is running:
Escalating speculation about a possible presidential run, Sarah Palin offered a teasing hint Thursday of the type of candidate she would like to see in 2012: a multi-tasking mother with experience at the state and local level who has already been a vice presidential nominee.
. . . .
“I look at those poll numbers and I say, ‘If I’m going to do this, I obviously gotta get out there and let people know who I am, what I stand for, and what my record is,’ ” said Palin, adding that prospective candidates need to get into the contest “soon” so that voters can begin to take their measure.
I know that, until Christie gets the nod from the big-time talk show hosts, certain folks among the “staunch conservative” crowd will continue to run him down, and go with Palin as their preferred candidate. But I think Ann Coulter showed clear thinking when she said that, if we don’t run this guy, and we go instead with another candidate (whether it be Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, or, God help us, Mike Huckabee) we’re going to lose. None of them can make their points the way Christie does in the clips above.
I wish Palin could, because I think physical attractiveness counts a lot in a presidential election, where huge numbers of low-information voters cast their ballots according to the silliest criteria possible. She has that attractiveness, and Christie doesn’t.
She also has the right ideas. On fiscal issues, which I think weigh most heavily on us right now, so does Christie. The difference is not the ideas. It’s the presentation. It’s the confidence you feel that the person standing in front of you has a clear vision and a spine and a way to articulate their vision.
Palin may have the first two. But she has not mastered that last skill.
If she’s our nominee, I’ll support her. But right now, while nobody has yet announced, I’m throwing myself in with Ann Coulter. We have to draft this guy Christie somehow.
UPDATE 2-18-11: Christie has won Hawkins’s poll.