Watch Out, Kid Rubio

Chris Christie - “Too Big?”

For new readers of “The Christie Chronicles,” keep in mind the model the author is using is “The Federalist Papers.” This is #37. The earlier papers can be accessed at

The Manchester Union-Leader, the most prestigious newspaper in New Hampshire, endorsed Chris Christie for President on November 28th. I have withheld my endorsement until now, not wanting to skew the race unfairly.

Before I go on, I want to say a few words about how disappointed I am with the limited field of candidates in 2016. The race began with 17 who would be President, historically known as The Magnificent 17. The group, now known as “the rat pack,” is down to 10, more or less. One of my favorite original 17 candidates— for there is nothing I like better than a 17-person debate— Sen. Graham called those who dropped out “ toast.” Among the quitters are such distinguished burnt “toastees” as Gov. Rick Perry, who had even gone to the trouble of memorizing the names of the three departments he would eliminate if elected, and Gov. Bobby Jindahl, the only Indian–American in the race who had changed his Christian name from Piyush to Bobby in honor of his hero Bobby on “The Brady Bunch.” The other feckless weaklings are too numerous to mention here. Suffice it to say, it gave me no joy to have finally put out my “Pataki 4 President” lawn sign for recycling.

Okay, where do I stand, or sit, on the New Hampshire Primary?

I predict our boy in the race has a good chance to win on Tuesday. By “win,” I should explain I mean finishing third. This is the new definition of “winning,” as enunciated by the boy wonder, the callow youth serving as the freshman senator from Florida, Marco Rubio.

Anybody can be #1. It’s the goal striven for by everybody in all endeavors. #2 isn’t so bad either.

But being #3 is worth crowing about, as Sen. Rubio seemed to be saying while doing victory laps after his stunning third place finish in the Iowa caucus.

I will go out on a limb here and predict —and it’s only my guess— Chris Christie will win the important race for third place

My guess is based on the fact that he has already beaten the honorable ex-senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucus.

That was the campaign strategy going into Ioway. It wouldn’t be easy. Santorum, the only candidate with a Latin last name, which might appeal to the Christian vote, was a major obstacle in the race to not finish last. I mean, the holier than thou candidate finished first in 2012.

Christie deliberately stayed away from Ioway, while he appeared in the Granite State as regularly as if he was a feature on the local news, like the weather and sports. And the strategy was more than successful.

Our boy’s 3,284 votes, not only nearly doubled Santorum’s 1,783. (Not to rub it in, that’s 1.8% to 1%) But he also beat Gov. Gilmore who got 12 votes. As if that wasn’t convincing enough, he crushed “Others” with 119 votes.

The impressive showing in Iowa demonstrated the effectiveness of the strategy to carpet bomb New Hampshire. It reinforced the feeling that he is the acting governor of New Hampshire, his home away from home, while staying away from his day job in Trenton.

Neither snow, nor sleet, nor rain, nor bridge lane closings, nor low favorability ratings, or storm warnings could stay Candidate Christie from making the rounds of villages and hamlets, town halls and coffee shops. He set what may be a Guinness Book of Record by holding 179 town hall-type events as of Feb. 3, according to “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

The latest obstacle in the campaign was Storm Joshua leaving part of his other state under water, which didn’t stop our governor from rushing back to the Granite State after a brief stop over in New Jersey.

There were those who say he should have lingered longer since parts of his home state were under water.

“What did they expect me to do,” he said in defense of his tight campaign schedule. “Go down there with a mop?”

Humility was never the governor’s strong suit.

Nevertheless, a photo of him with a mop would have been priceless in improving his favorability rating at home.

You have to admire the governor’s courage at these town hall-type events. As he emotes about how beloved he is as a two-time governor, how he has fixed the economy, despite nine bond downgrades, and balanced the budget, which hasn’t been balanced since 1996, you could hear the natives back home with their pikes and flaming torches getting ready to batter down the doors of the gubernatorial castle, Drumthwacket.

As I study the paltry band of brothers still running, the biggest boulder in the race to become number three is the boy in the bubble, Marco Rubio.

He will be a pebble by the time Gov. Heftiness runs over him.

What’s the plan?

He will crack the boy senator’s bubblehead by accusing him of playing hooky from his job in the Senate; of memorizing his campaign speeches; of taking questions only from reporters in his pocket; or flip- flopping on issues, ignoring the fact that nobody can accuse our governor of inflexibility. Our guy has been able to take all three sides of issues like gun safety.

Now I’m not saying Chris Christie is another Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan or even Tom Dewey. But he is good enough to be a number three



Marvin Kitman
February 5, 2016

The writer is chairman of “Christie for President in 2024 (formerly 2016).”

Public Domain Photo of the George Washington Bridge by National Park Service Photographer Jack E. Boucher from Wikimedia Commons.