- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Is he getting his brusque, Tony Soprano groove back? Maybe. A simple comeback strategy has emerged from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, following the rigors of Bridge-gate, internal reviews, official investigations and multiple subpoenas for his former staff members.

Mr. Christie appears to be emerging from the quagmire with the style that proved popular and compelling with voters in the Garden State and beyond.

“The first thing that happens to you is extraordinary disappointment. But you only have a few minutes to wallow in that disappointment and then if you are a leader you have to try and get a handle on the story and take decisive action, which we did by letting people go and talking to the public about it,” Mr. Christie told 1,200 members of the Economic Club of Chicago during his recent visit to the Windy City.

“If there is more action that needs to be taken, I’ll take it,” he added.

Ah, but there’s much work to be done. Mr. Christie now trails Hillary Rodham Clinton by 21 percentage points in a theoretical presidential match-up, according to a McClatchy/Marist poll released Tuesday.

Only four weeks ago, the governor was 13 points behind, and was still classified as the Republican Party’s greatest hope for 2016. But like most “scandals,” Mr. Christie’s traffic woes could have a relatively short shelf life as press and public lose interest - possibly to pay closer attention to Mrs. Clinton and newly revealed details about her past.

The poll is a cautionary tale for the Grand Old Party and its cast of indistinct characters. She currently leads all Republican contenders because the GOP field is “fractured” and “largely unknown,” suggests Marist Poll director Lee Miringoff. Voter preference may have little to do with her actual political and policy prowess at this point.

“People are a long way from forming voting choices,” Mr. Miringoff says.

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