What Chris Christie has that other politicians don’t

February 27, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been in the headlines quite a bit over the last few days after being snubbed for a speaking slot at next month's Conservative Political Action Conference.

And, as we wrote recently, there's little question that some (many?) conservatives aren't happy with Christie for his embrace -- figurative and literal -- of President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last fall in the heat of the presidential campaign.

But, we continue to believe that in spite of Christie's problems with some elements of the conservative movement, he is a major player in 2016 if he decides he wants to run for president.

Why?  A lot of reasons but most importantly because Christie has the sort of common touch that is the rarest (and most valuable) gift in a politician. Take the clip below -- from a Montville, New Jersey town hall meeting -- where Christie gives his answer to a little girl's questions about the best part of being governor. (Hint: It involves blocking traffic.)

Now, imagine Mitt Romney having that same conversation. You can't do it. Christie gives off the "normal guy" vibe better than anyone else -- up to and including Marco Rubio -- who is operating on a national stage for Republicans at the moment.

And, that matters when it comes to running for president. A lot.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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Aaron Blake · February 27, 2013