8 Questions

Dan Balz on the Republican National Convention in Tampa

Question 4: Will Chris Christie steal the show -- or overplay the moment?

The New Jersey governor is one of the party’s biggest stars and a showman to boot. That means his keynote address on Tuesday night will be one of the most highly anticipated events of the convention.

Christie is fully capable of stealing the limelight-and of overplaying his hand. Blunt talk comes naturally, especially in unscripted moments. He has been one of Obama’s harshest critics, especially for what he says is the president’s lack of leadership on debt, deficits and entitlements. Democrats are bracing for a very tough speech aimed at the president from Christie.

Some Republicans tried to persuade Christie to run for president this year and he’ll be measured as a future presidential candidate while on the stage in Tampa. But Tom Rath, a Romney adviser, said there’s no worry that the governor will try to overshadow the presumptive nominee.

“He is an extremely effective advocate for Romney,” Rath said. “The press conference in Hanover, N.H., when he endorsed Romney was one of the most successful moments of advocacy for Romney in the nomination fight.”

There will be other notable speeches, Ann Romney for one and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio another. Still, Christie’s speech could be a showstopper and one quite satisfying to the Romney campaign. “Christie doesn’t conjure up images of Goldilocks,” said California GOP strategist Rob Stutzman. “But I think he’ll be just right.”

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