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Chris Christie Goes National. Romney’s running mate? NJ insiders say it’s not so far-fetched.
National Review ^ | 05/07/2012 | Robert Costa

Posted on 05/07/2012 7:15:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

A few steps away from the Delaware River, in the marble halls of New Jersey’s capitol, there’s a consensus among Trenton insiders: Governor Chris Christie would gladly accept the vice-presidential nomination, should Mitt Romney offer it.

“Christie is open to it, his family’s comfortable with it, and he’s been vetted before,” one top state lawmaker says. “He isn’t going to campaign for it, but it’s no secret that he would relish the opportunity to play at that level.”

The open question, however, is whether Romney will actually pick up the phone and call — tapping one of the GOP’s brightest rising stars to share the stage. As one Garden State operative puts it, “It’s like asking Joe DiMaggio if he wants to play alongside Mickey Mantle.” Christie would help the team, but he may steal the spotlight.

“I think Christie has enjoyed the national attention,” says Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican consultant who managed President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign. “I think he would bring star quality to the ticket and he could help energize the base,” but his “big personality might overshadow Romney.”

Sources close to Christie acknowledge that the first-term governor doesn’t mind the speculation. But they’re mixed on whether he would eventually sour on staying on-message, all of the time.

“This is a man who runs things, be it as United States Attorney or as governor,” one Christie ally explains. “It’s fun to imagine him debating Vice President Biden, and then there’s the reality, if he’s picked, of going along with Boston’s plan — sticking to the script and playing a role.”

Romney, a Christie aide says, calls the governor on a regular basis, and the pair have reportedly bonded during their appearances together on the campaign trail. But beyond that, the aide says, there are few veep clues.

As Romney mulls over his choice, an active push is underway by state GOP grandees to cast Christie as a forthright national leader, not just a YouTube star who spars with teachers. New Jersey Republicans rarely become national power brokers, which is one reason Christie’s friends want Romney to elevate him. In background conversations, many of them speak more about his pragmatism and his policy smarts than about his famous outbursts during the state’s budget wars.

“The [vice-presidential] attention is well deserved,” says Nicholas F. Brady, a former United States senator from New Jersey and secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. “Maybe some would be turned off by his direct approach, but I think people appreciate it. They like it when someone tells it like it is.”

One of Christie’s mentors, former governor Tom Kean, tells National Review Online that Christie did not feel ready to run for president last summer, but with regard to the number-two spot, he’s more than prepared. And with President Obama running a Chicago-style brass-knuckles campaign, Kean says, Christie’s tenacious personality would surely be an asset during the general election.

Kean takes care to frame Christie’s response to the chatter as “honest and candid,” not as part of some strategy or quiet campaign to win Romney’s affection. “He does not want to be vice president,” Kean says. “But he recognizes that if Governor Romney puts the pressure on, he’ll have to think about it hard. That’s what he’s said publicly, and that is what he has told me privately.”

Last week Christie stumped for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who faces a recall election next month. He boosted Walker, calling him “courageous” for battling Big Labor. He also touted his own accomplishments in a deep-blue state, where he has proposed various austerity measures and tax reductions.

“Because of what we’ve done over the last two years, New Jersey now spends more time being talked about on the Sunday talk shows than the late-night talk shows,” Christie said. “If conservative values can work in New Jersey, conservative values can work in Wisconsin and in every other corner of America. We’ve got to stand up.”

Badger State conservatives, according to news reports, embraced Christie and enthusiastically discussed the upside of putting him on the Republican ticket.

Once he returned home, Christie couldn’t avoid the veep fervor. When it came up at a town-hall meeting in Plainsboro, N.J., Christie reiterated his commitment to staying in Trenton. “I really love this job,” he said.

But Christie also had a fresh caveat: “If Governor Romney called and asked me to sit down and talk to him about it, I’d listen, because I think you owe the nominee of your party that level of respect,” he told the crowd. “He might be able to convince me; he’s a convincing guy.”

New Jersey Republicans applaud Christie’s rise but worry that if he goes to Washington, he may leave a vacuum in the state, where the Republican bench isn’t very deep. A Quinnipiac poll last month showed Christie’s approval rating at 59 percent, his highest-ever mark while in office.

“As an elected official, I’d hate to see him go, because I don’t think he can be easily replaced,” says Vic Sordillo, a deputy mayor in Warren, N.J., and a state committeeman. “He’s such an outspoken character, so I understand why there is interest. But I’m not sure it’s time for him to leave the work he’s doing here in New Jersey.”

Presidential historian Alvin Felzenberg says Christie’s flair at using national television coverage and the web to share his gubernatorial record and leadership style will likely sustain the vice-presidential talk until Romney settles on a pick. For Christie, he says, who will face a tough reelection battle next year, it’s a win-win scenario.

“Christie has captivated the national media,” Felzenberg says, instead of simply looking to impress the New York–area media, which would leave him “competing with the politicians across the [Hudson] river for the cameras.” He adds that Christie, unlike many northeastern Republicans, has been able to develop his own political brand, one that’s not tied to a demographic or a region. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, for example, are considered vice-presidential contenders because of their popularity in their respective swing states. But Christie is popular all over. This is an important aspect of his career, one that’s separate from the vice-presidential sweepstakes.

Christie’s advisers argue that the media attention isn’t something they seek, pointing out that Christie rarely grants the kind of sit-down interviews with national outlets that stir vice-presidential rumblings. But behind the scenes, Team Christie is quietly confident that should Romney ask Christie to be on the shortlist, they’ll be able to handle the ordeal, and should he be picked, to quickly adjust to the new role.

In many respects, Christie already has a national-level political presence and team in place, from his role at the Republican Governors Association, where he serves as vice chairman, to his inner circle, where senior advisers such as Mike DuHaime and Bill Palatucci provide national fundraising connections and presidential-campaign experience.

Christie has also been vetted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A decade ago, the FBI conducted an extensive background check on Christie before he became United States Attorney. This investigation is different from that done on most veep candidates, many of whom have been vetted only by Beltway attorneys and members of the press.

As the buzz increases, not every Republican in New Jersey is eager to see Christie gain more prominence. GOP pollster Rick Shaftan, who was a strategist for Steve Lonegan, Christie’s primary challenger, in 2009, thinks Romney would make a mistake by selecting the incumbent governor. “It’d be a replay of the 1948 campaign,” he says, with the GOP led to defeat by moderates.

“Christie isn’t a real conservative,” Shaftan says. “He has appointed liberal Democrats to his cabinet and he has appointed left-wingers to the state Supreme Court.” Conservatives may cheer Christie’s teacher tangles, he says, but they won’t cheer his ideological positions.

To no one’s surprise, Christie confidants disagree. They say the governor is not losing the trust of the Tea Party and conservatives, even as he reaches out to moderates on education and pension reform. Most poll numbers, they point out, show his favorability among Republicans to be in the 90-plus range, and among independents and centrists, he often draws a majority.

Part of the reason for this continued success, Governor Kean says, is due to Christie’s broadening of his message in policy speeches at the Reagan Library and a Bush Institute event. As Kean sees it, Christie has become much more than a town-hall performer; he’s a viable vice president because of his principles and how he articulates them.

“If the Romney people are smart, and they are, they’ll give him a major speaking role at the convention,” Kean says. If it’s as a surrogate, that’s fine, he says, but as Romney’s running mate? In New Jersey, at least, the idea is gaining steam.

— Robert Costa is a political reporter for National Review.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: chrischristie; romney; vp
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The second coming of William Howard Taft. Just compare the girth.


1 posted on 05/07/2012 7:16:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh, yeah...an ‘all northeast ticket’...that’ll work.


2 posted on 05/07/2012 7:17:12 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Looks like the GOPe really doesn’t want open rebellion.


3 posted on 05/07/2012 7:18:17 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Do I really need a sarcasm tag? Seriously? You're that dense?)
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To: SeekAndFind
He will just be another BIG reason that I will never vote for romney.

LLS

4 posted on 05/07/2012 7:18:33 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Pray hard and often!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Gov Susana Martinez for Veepee!


5 posted on 05/07/2012 7:19:42 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: SeekAndFind

Aww... a RINO love fest.


6 posted on 05/07/2012 7:24:26 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: SeekAndFind

Nope. Ohio, Florida, maybe Pennsylvania. Not New Jersey. There is no way the ‘Pubbies could hope to win that state so Christie is out.


7 posted on 05/07/2012 7:27:57 AM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: who knows what evil?
no....Romney is a left/center moderate...but not totally dumb, and he will most likely choose a conservative running mate, like Marco Rubio, who will also give him some of the Hispanic vote.

Just my opinion ...and we all know what opinions are like...

8 posted on 05/07/2012 7:29:03 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How about Bob Dole?


9 posted on 05/07/2012 7:29:15 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I like the governor for a lot of reasons especially his “not putting up with stupid people”, he is however a liberal.
So if they were to run together it would be two liberals against to liberals.
It would be enjoyable to see the governor debate the vp


10 posted on 05/07/2012 7:31:11 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: SeekAndFind

I would love to see him debate goofball Biden.


11 posted on 05/07/2012 7:31:35 AM PDT by windcliff
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To: Izzy Dunne
How about Bob Dole?

Easy, boy.

12 posted on 05/07/2012 7:32:05 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: SeekAndFind

If Christy moved into the Naval Observatory, would DC tip over?


13 posted on 05/07/2012 7:32:44 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Chen Guangcheng: Gutsy call, Obama /UltraMegaDrippingSarc)
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To: Izzy Dunne
How about Bob Dole?

The only good thing would be if it helps to resurrect Norm MacDonald's career.

14 posted on 05/07/2012 7:33:18 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: SeekAndFind

To fat.

Like it or not, elections are won by perception. He will be attacked over his girth.


15 posted on 05/07/2012 7:35:36 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Little Ray

Another reason I’m thinking it will be Rick Snyder. There’s an actual chance of pulling Michigan and Rick Snyder is about as conservative as Al Gore. Perfect for Romney.


16 posted on 05/07/2012 7:37:13 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

I doubt it.

Same for the lady Senator from NH who was ‘the one’ over the weekend.

Those are too regional, with Romney being from MA.

He will select someone from the south or mid west.

These stories are being pushed by the sycophants of various political entities.

Last week, Pawlenty had the inside track — supposedly. Then, Rubio.

We will continue to see this kinds of stories, promoting various individuals, until (1) Romney has the delegate count and (2) he actually names the VP candidate.


17 posted on 05/07/2012 7:37:51 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: SeekAndFind

So far I think I can hold my nose and vote for Romney. But if Christie is on the ticket, I’m done. Willard best choose his vp candidate carefully. I could vote for McCain because Sarah was on the ticket. I can’t pull the lever for Romney if he puts someone more liberal on the ticket with him


18 posted on 05/07/2012 7:38:52 AM PDT by Mom MD (The country needs Obamacare like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask)
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To: SeekAndFind
As NJ governor, he's about a bazillion times better than Corzine, but he's no conservative! (Either way, Obama is a shoo-in for winning this indigo-blue state, it only goes Republican in true landslide elections. So it's a dumb idea just from a strategic perspective. When was the last time that a presidential AND VP candidate on a ticket BOTH lost their home states, and the ticket still went on to win?)


19 posted on 05/07/2012 7:39:34 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: SeekAndFind

Just when you think the GOP-E can’t get any dumber.


20 posted on 05/07/2012 7:40:40 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Photobucket
21 posted on 05/07/2012 7:41:58 AM PDT by lonevoice (Klepto Baracka Marxo, impeach we much.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Christie is just what Mittens needs - - a northeast “moderate” Republican who managed to get elected in one of the nation’s most liberal scumbag Democrat states to balance out his own reputatiom as... a northeast “moderate” Republican who managed to get elected in one of the nation’s most liberal scumbag Democrat states.

Yeah. Diversity. That’s the ticket.


22 posted on 05/07/2012 7:44:19 AM PDT by Lancey Howard (No Romney, no way.)
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To: Obadiah
Easy, boy.

Sorry, is my cynicism showing?

23 posted on 05/07/2012 7:44:19 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I have convinced myself that I must vote for Romney in November no matter how much it sickens me. Putting Christie on the ballot will change my mind. I cannot bring myself to vote for a Romney/Christie ballot. No freakin’ way. That’ll possibly hand the party over to the liberal wing for the next 16 years. Arrogant RINOS think they have us where they want us.
24 posted on 05/07/2012 7:44:32 AM PDT by KansasGirl
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To: SeekAndFind
My guess: Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia who is from what many pundits are calling one of three critical swing states in 2012 (the other two Ohio and Florida, and all three with 'Pub governors). Virginia govs are limited to one term — and that paves the way for atty. general Ken Cuccinelli to seek McDonnell's current job, a win-win scenario.
25 posted on 05/07/2012 7:45:49 AM PDT by twister881
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To: SeekAndFind
...one Christie ally explains. “It’s fun to imagine him debating Vice President Biden, and then there’s the reality, if he’s picked, of going along with Boston’s plan..."

"Boston's plan".
Whew... that definitely does not sound good. Not good at all.

26 posted on 05/07/2012 7:47:52 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: who knows what evil?

Ya think ?


27 posted on 05/07/2012 7:49:05 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: KansasGirl
I'd rather see Zero burn the country down then hand it over to the RINOs....
28 posted on 05/07/2012 7:49:45 AM PDT by rightwingextremist1776
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To: dfwgator

“Just when you think the GOP-E can’t get any dumber”

It is slowly sinking in to me that they are not dumb this is just who they are. They don’t like the constitution or real americans anymore than the democrats do....


29 posted on 05/07/2012 7:51:33 AM PDT by Breto (The Establishment party is killing our country)
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To: SeekAndFind

Two gun banning Yankees on the ticket?


30 posted on 05/07/2012 7:53:09 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Izzy Dunne

LOL!


31 posted on 05/07/2012 7:55:44 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Taft was a piker compared to Christie.


32 posted on 05/07/2012 7:56:55 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: SeekAndFind

By the way, can you imagine Moochelle’s “eat right” campaign getting about ten times the attention it already gets from the Democrat “mainstream” newsrooms.
The message would be clear.


33 posted on 05/07/2012 7:58:33 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: SeekAndFind

By the way, can you imagine Moochelle’s “eat right” campaign getting about ten times the attention it already gets from the Democrat “mainstream” newsrooms?
The message would be clear.


34 posted on 05/07/2012 7:58:48 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, let’s see. That would change my vote from ‘hell no’ to ‘what are you smoking?’


35 posted on 05/07/2012 7:59:36 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Obama vs. Romney: Zero x Zero = Zero.)
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To: KansasGirl
That’ll possibly hand the party over to the liberal wing for the next 16 years. Arrogant RINOS think they have us where they want us.

The GOP is already firmly in the hands of the liberal wing, and the RINOS already have many conservatives exactly where they want us - voting against our interests and supporting a left wing, super-pac funded, insider.

2010 was the year of the TEA party.

2012 is the year of the conservative smack-down.

36 posted on 05/07/2012 8:00:34 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: All

Does anyone have a well informed list of Christie’s values? Where does he stand on God/Country/security?


37 posted on 05/07/2012 8:02:02 AM PDT by Milagros (Y)
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To: rightwingextremist1776

RE: I’d rather see Zero burn the country down then hand it over to the RINOs....

Hey you know what? You just might get what you ask for...


38 posted on 05/07/2012 8:06:37 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

How about Chris Christie for VP, and Ann Coulter for Secretary of State?


39 posted on 05/07/2012 8:07:18 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SeekAndFind
Oh goodie, another fat elephant from the Jersey shore...at least Ms. Coulter will be happy. :(


40 posted on 05/07/2012 8:07:59 AM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: CharacterCounts

[2010 was the year of the TEA party.

2012 is the year of the conservative smack-down.]

Really? One of those entrenched RINO incumbents is going to get their walking papers handed to them by a Tea Party candidate in tomorrow’s Senate primary in Indiana. Cnservatives may have lost the White House, but the Congressional, state, and local elections is where we will win. We can take control of the party from the bottom up.


41 posted on 05/07/2012 8:08:26 AM PDT by KansasGirl
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To: Milagros

RE: Does anyone have a well informed list of Christie’s values? Where does he stand on God/Country/security?

________________________

You might want to look at his record and personal statements by clicking here:

http://www.issues2000.org/Chris_Christie.htm


42 posted on 05/07/2012 8:08:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Daffynition

Ann might actually have an “O” if she hears Romney picks Chris.


43 posted on 05/07/2012 8:08:58 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: All

I can already see the photoshop pic of them on Laurel and Hardy like the Kennedy/Kerry photo a few years ago.


44 posted on 05/07/2012 8:11:52 AM PDT by jimmyo57
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To: cripplecreek
Another reason I’m thinking it will be Rick Snyder. There’s an actual chance of pulling Michigan and Rick Snyder is about as conservative as Al Gore. Perfect for Romney.

Yes, and a whole bunch of people here will be telling us Michiganders to not believe our "lying eyes", and that Snyder is really a conservative.

45 posted on 05/07/2012 8:15:18 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: KansasGirl
I'm not saying that the TEA party is gone - far from it.

All, I'm saying is that the GOP-E have embarked on a course in 2012 to try to smack conservatives down.

Its the whole point of the Romney candidacy.

Does anyone hear really think the GOP-E is in favor of a strong TEA party?

46 posted on 05/07/2012 8:20:16 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Good possibility....


47 posted on 05/07/2012 8:26:14 AM PDT by rightwingextremist1776
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To: CharacterCounts
Wiki is right up to date.

Richard Dale "Rick" Snyder (born August 19, 1958) is an American business executive, venture capitalist, and Governor of Michigan. A member of the Republican Party, he assumed office as the 48th governor of Michigan on January 1, 2011. From 2005 to 2007, Snyder served as the chairman of the board of Gateway, Inc., based in Irvine, California. Previous to his election as governor, he was chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based venture capital firm Ardesta LLC. Snyder has been mentioned as a potential pick to be the Republican Party candidate for Vice President of the United States in 2012. Snyder's business executive background and positive style have been cited as assets, with his accomplishments seen as strengthening the case for electing Mitt Romney as President.
48 posted on 05/07/2012 8:27:19 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

As long as it’s not Condi Rice. That would be the worst pick possible.


49 posted on 05/07/2012 8:28:51 AM PDT by Signalman
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To: windcliff
Newt was my first choice if nothing else to see him debate Obama. However, Christie, not so much as a choice for President but just for entertainment purposes, vs. Obama would be amusing. Obama would get manhandled like the chump that he is.
50 posted on 05/07/2012 8:29:03 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement (Obama "acted stupidly.")
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