....is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's endorsement of Mitt Romney for President makes sense while at the same time is befuddling.
I understand that Romney was once a blue state Republican governor like Christie is now. East coast Republicans, fair or unfair, have broader appeal amongst the GOP establishment than do more conservative candidates. As much as my fellow righties kvetch about the electability argument, the fact remains that President Obama isn't so vulnerable that we can put forth Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul at the top of the GOP ticket. Bottom line is no one wins a Presidential election with only the support of their respective party's base. Independent voters are key and who ultimately swung the 2008 Presidential election to Obama.
On the other hand there's the issue of entitlement reform. That's the one place where Christie is conservative and Romney isn't. While Christie took on New Jersey's public employee unions and their benefits packages in an attempt to overhaul the state's fiscal mess, Romney has used Rick Perry's desire to reform Social Security and Medicare as a way to demagogue the issue, implying that Perry is looking to cut off such valuable benefits from today's senior citizens. Also, as much as Romney attempts to differentiate Obamacare from Massachusetts' health care reform (aka Romneycare) he signed into law in when he was the state's Governor in 2006, it's been for naught. Romneycare's chief architect, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, was a paid consultant for the Obama administration and thus a booster of the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." In fact, Gruber said earlier this year that Romney's plan essentially "gave birth" to Obamacare.
Bottom line is this is a huge "get" for Romney. After all, many GOP supporters for weeks pined for Christie to get into the Presidential race despite his saying "no" at every turn. Like it or not, the New Jersey Governor's endorsement of Romney will definitely (pardon the pun) carry some weight.