How Chris Christie Could Still Win The Nomination
Sure, he announced today that he's definitely not running for president, but that still hasn't stopped desperate Republicans from pining for the candidacy of Chris Christie. Should he ultimately change his mind, here's a foolproof campaign strategy that turns one of his weightiest liabilities into a political asset.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Even after he again ruled it out, Republicans are still hoping that Governor Chris Christie will enter the race for the GOP nomination for president. And nobody (well, hardly anybody), is writing in any serious way about what he stands for, what he believes in, his position on the issues. Over the last few days, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more talking heads than I can count, have started talking about what they refer to with varying degrees of embarrassment, as the elephant in the room. That being the case, if he changes his mind and does decide to enter, I have decided to suspend my traditional journalistic qualms about offering candidates political advice, and reveal a foolproof strategic plan that will guarantee Christie the Republican nomination. (Since I am not a Republican (and have no use for any of the candidates, including Christie) I guess I should state my interest which is to avoid yet another boring round of boring media speculation on what his campaign strategy ought to be. Not only will my foolproof plan will enable him to avoid tough policy questions like those that tripped up his fellow Governor Rick Perry on immigration, vaccination and social security. It will guarantee him immediate and continuing national attention.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez) On day one all he has to do is announce that before he can run for president he will have to lose weight. He will admit that a grossly fat candidate is a bad example for kids, not to mention the population at large, you should forgive the expression. Therefore, what he proposes to do is to lose one pound a day for the next 30 (or given his excess blubber, should it be 60?) days, and if he succeeds he will run. This plan has a number of obvious advantages. First, it has nothing to do with the issues (which the press and to a degree, the electorate, have already demonstrated they don't care about.) Second, for those members of the press who haven't gotten the message and want to know his position on say, health care, he can tell them that by losing weight he is standing on a pro-health platform (if he doesn't break it.) Third, it is better than reality television it IS reality television--and if choreographed properly Christie would not only be the surviving candidate, but would have higher ratings than The Survivor or the Big Makeover. Imagine Governor Christie mounting the scale night after night just before the Six O'clock News (memo to staff: find scale that he can mount, and have sound technician test best bell to ring as scale shows loss of pound). Fourth, as he sheds weight, he will appear to have "earned" the job through discipline and hard work, an implicit answer to those who claim that he has no qualifications for the office.
(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) Finally, an added bonus, without mentioning the issue, it will be his version of a how-to-put-people-back-to-work program, as his campaign distributes nightly videos of tailors feverishly taking in his baggy pants, sewing new buttons on and other alterations. Where, one might ask, does this leave Obama? Of course the Dems could adapt as their campaign song that old favorite, "I don't want him/ You can have him/ He's too fat for me," but Obama himself has two options: He can throw in the towel, or my preference, instead of a debate on the issues, challenge him to a game of one-on-one. Victor S. Navasky is Chairman of The Columbia Journalism Review and at work on a book about political cartoons. He is the former editor and publisher of The Nation, and also of Monocle, a journal of political satire.