When Christie makes the rounds of the Sunday talk shows and looks the NBC audience in the eye on Meet the Press and when asked if he was a moderate or a conservative replies: “I don’t get into these labels — that’s the Washington, D.C. game and what all those men and women down there play… The people of America aren’t interested in that game” — Christie is foolishly playing a game. And in fact he’s terrible at it.
Contrast Christie’s game playing — the reluctance to choose one side or the other — with the stark contrast of Ronald Reagan in a 1981 speech in which Reagan proudly referred to himself and his audience as “those of us who call ourselves conservatives,” “we conservatives,” and “fellow conservatives.”
Amusingly, neither Christie nor his advisers seem to understand that Christie’s answer (whatever happened to that famous blunt outspokenness?) on Meet the Press unerringly identifies him with the Ford/Rockefeller/Bush Establishment wing of the party. Setting up any Christie run in precisely the same way Romney, McCain — and Tom Dewey — set themselves up: Alienating the party base by playing a game of buzzwords.
Something for Illinois Republicans to keep in mind in these times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.