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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention
Chris Christie may have more in common with Mitt Romney than we realized
As we've repeatedly seen in public polling, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's crossover appeal to Democrats and independents has all but evaporated in the weeks since the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has blown up. As a result, Christie's central claim on the GOP's 2016 nomination—that his crossover appeal makes him more electable than any other Republican—has vanished.

Short of another "opportunity" like Hurricane Sandy, Christie doesn't have any obvious path for getting back to where he was, and based on his performance yesterday at a fundraising appearance for the Republican Governor's Association in Chicago, he seems to know it:

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey delivered an unexpectedly blistering broadside on Tuesday against the Democratic Party’s growing emphasis on income inequality, warning that the movement would “drive America toward mediocrity” and portraying its leaders, like Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, as local liberals unlikely to ignite a national cause.

In his most expansive, engaging and combative remarks since scandal enveloped him, Mr. Christie mocked President Obama for entering office without “a respect for the other party,” complained that George W. Bush was “grossly underappreciated” in the White House and seemed to make a novel case for his own, now-blemished candidacy for president in 2016.

Based on that, get ready for Chris Christie 2.0 who most definitely won't be the Democrat-hugging post-partisan guy who ran for re-election in New Jersey: He'll be a fire-breathing conservative seeking the GOP's 2016 nomination. Back in the old days, Christie went back and forth on whether he was a conservative. Now he's all about how the tea party is a much bigger force in America than Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio:
Mr. Christie pooh-poohed the issue and its champions, Mr. de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, predicting that they would never achieve the level of influence that the Tea Party had exerted in the Republican Party. “I don’t think they are affecting the rest of the country all that much,” he said.
The thing I find amusing in all this is that for all the talk about how Chris Christie is blunt and direct and nothing at all like Mitt Romney, I think we're seeing the beginning of an effort by Christie to completely reinvent himself ... just like Mitt Romney would do.

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