Chris Christie will be the GOP. And you are naive to think otherwise.
You can make the argument that tea-party conservatives just won't vote for him in a primary, but in a race with 2-4 solid tea-party candidates, some (Brownback) with money (Koch Bros.) and others who will do or say anything (Cruz, Rand Paul), he doesn't need a majority.
Further, the corporate masters of the GOP, the ones who want Keystone, who want their slice of the pie, will not tolerate losing. They will back a winner. And that is what the media have deemed Christie. Even MSNBC was gushing about his "victory" (despite his making sure he's not on the ballot with Booker).
And make no mistake, Christie is a true Conservative/tea partier. He's just smarter and shrewder than some of the others and hides it better.
More in extended...
History is on the side of Christie being the nominee. Who have the Republicans nominated the last several election cycles:
2012 Mitt Romney, most moderate-perceived candidate, other than the bland Huntsman, the most moderate candidate in the race.
2008 John McCain, the RINO -- though us progressives know he's quite conservative. Despite his mavericky streak, he is perhaps the best argument for a Christie nomination - - his appearance as a maverick and occassional pragmatism on foreign policy masks a deeply conservative man.
2000 George W Bush - we forget that in 2000, Bush ran on "compassionate" conservatism and traded on his father's moderate legacy. And in fact, was viewed by progressives as less conservative than McCain, who we knew held some pretty far right positions over the years. See that trojan horse?
1996 Bob Dole - it was Dole's turn, but Dole, the father of the ADA, Senate compromiser, while conservative was a reasonable guy not at home in today's GOP. If Dole were governing New Jersey, I'm thinking he'd be a lot like Christie.
1988 - George HW Bush - we forget that Bush on the ticket was Reagan's nod to the moderate wing of the GOP, and in retrospect, he was a lot more moderate than anyone the GOP has produced in a long time.
You get the picture - in the modern, 24 hour news era, the GOP has consistently nominated that candidate the media deemed the most "moderate", whether that was actually true. It is clear that this is Chris Christie.
And I think anyone who argues otherwise is plain naive. He is being anointed as we speak.
And I think he is a huge threat to beat Hillary in 2016.