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Red White House
Christie Walks Like Walker

When Scott Walker made the appearance in Iowa that put him on everyone’s radar, Chris Christie must have been taking notes. As the Des Moines Register points out, his subsequent speech sounded a lot like the Wisconsinite’s in its attack on public unions:

[Christie] said he led “tough, common-sense reform” in New Jersey.

“We still have more work to do. I’ll tell you, not only in my state but in 40 other states in this country, the pension and public employee health-benefit systems are going to be the thing that eats states alive if we don’t get them under control,” Christie said.

He said that [New Jersey’s] legislation passed with a Democratic legislature and public employee unions demonstrating on the state Capitol steps every day. The point, he said, is that even in the bluest of blue states, fiscal reform is possible with the right leadership.

It’s early, but we might be seeing the development of a key campaign issue here. It is certainly safer for GOP hopefuls to go after public unions than, say, tackle the foreign policy porcupines like Putin or ISIS. Scott Walker has made a strong start; not only can he tout his record on reining in public unions on the campaign trail; he’s in the midst of taking on another set of state employees: Wisconsin’s university system. Those are big steps for a presidential hopeful and could influence the rest of the field. Will we see contenders other than Christie arguing that they too can walk like Walker?

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  • Pete

    Spotlight is on the parasitic public sector.

    Good. This should have happened 30-years ago.

  • wigwag

    Christie’s campaign is imploding. Other than Ken Langone all the other fat cat Wall Street types have signed up with Bush, though Walker has done somewhat better than expected with the monied crowd. With Bush getting most of the donors and Walker attracting a big part of the GOP base, there’s very little political oxygen left for Chris Christie.

    I’m beginning to wonder if Christie is even going to run. He looks like he’s toast before he even announces.

    Who do Christie’s prospects most resemble? He reminds me of another loud mouthed, obnoxious former federal prosecutor from a northeastern state.

    Care to guess who I mean?

    • rheddles

      Could be a good veep.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Let’s hope a GOP nominee would be nutty enough to chose him. Would help the Dems win.

        • Andrew Allison

          With Hillary as front runner, they’ll need all the help they can get.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Indeed. But no new Obama is emerging.

          • rheddles

            Run Lizzie, Run. Let the donks roll out all their boomer wannabes.

      • Andrew Allison

        The logic escapes me. If he’s not electable, should he be a heartbeat away from the job? And Walker is clearly the leader in tackling the public sector unions. Christie, like Walker seems to have the intestinal fortitude to do what needs to be done, but may carry too much baggage.

        • rheddles

          Several unelectable VPs have done well, eg TR and Truman. Christie would help in some swing states. Part of the VPs job is to be a pit bull saying bluntly what the Pres can only think. He is a contrast to Walker. He knows he isn’t going to get the POTUS nomination so why not go for the consolation prize? He wouldn’t be my choice, but he wouldn’t stop me from voting for Walker.

    • FriendlyGoat

      There is really something crazy about a long-term public employee bullying the public employees. Christie is not going to be nominated.

      • JR

        I don’t think Christie will end up running. But his approach to public sector union reform is right on. Costs of these unions are astronomically high and growing much faster than the overall revenue of their employees, the local governments who have to provide services. We are at the point where many municipalities are resorting to pretty much extorting their residents with constant writing of tickets, ala Ferguson and many other small poor suburbs out there. We have Detroit? How would you resolve this conundrum? If what Christie is doing is so disagreeable how would you deal with it?

        • FriendlyGoat

          Christie has drawn quite a few high-dollar salaries from the public sector. He is out of place bullying the public sector workers.

  • Jmaci

    I wish WRM & Co., would comment on the current Walker controversy: His failure to complete a college degree. With the costs of college leaving graduates with crippling debt, the poor employment prospects for grads who didn’t choose wisely when picking a major, and the rampant incompetence shown by our highly “educated” government officials, Walker’s choice to leave school and work seems pretty smart. He’s seems to have been smart enough to grow and develop in the jobs he’s had. He might be a good role model for many young people thinking about college today.

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