- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being prudent during his three-day trade mission to Mexico. Though it may seem an unlikely match, there’s a certain coziness between his state and the border nation: New Jersey exported $2.1 billion in goods to Mexico in 2013; the Garden State also imported $3.4 billion from Mexico. And of interest: Mr. Christie won 51 percent of the Hispanic vote during his 2013 re-election.

There are no taxpayer funds involved here. As Mr. Christie perfects his public image, his travel is being paid for by Choose New Jersey, a private development group. He does not plan to make a ceremonial trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving that task, he says, to President Obama himself.

Mr. Christie also meets with Mexico President Enrique Pentildea Nieto and multiple officials.

And one more thing. He’s not speaking any Spanish during the big visit, either.

“You have to know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. I have never been really good at foreign languages. I tried in high school. I tried in college. And I never had an aptitude for it. I think the worst thing in the world is when politicians try to fake it,” Mr. Christie told a town hall meeting shortly before his trip.

To his Mexican hosts, he said, “I’m here to listen and learn.”

Two more potential presidential hopefuls are also in a global mood. A mere 48 hours after Mr. Christie return stateside, Texas Gov. Rick Perry departs on his own trade mission, destination China. The “International Business Recruitment Mission” has been organized by Texas One, a privately funded group that promotes the Lone Star State as business-friendly.

Hillary Clinton also heads to Mexico at week’s end to attend an event organized by billionaire Carlos Slim, and celebrate students who have received scholarships from his charity. Mr. Slim has also reportedly donated to the Clinton Foundation.