Commentary Magazine


Well, People Do Change Their Minds

He said he’s not interested in a run in 2012. He jokingly asked if he’d have to commit suicide to convince the press he wasn’t running. But Chris Christie has become a rock star in conservative circles — chiding the press, whacking the teachers’ union, refusing to raise taxes, slashing spending, and now cutting public broadcasting and radio in New Jersey. Yup:

New Jersey Network, the state’s non-commercial radio and TV operation has sent out 45-day layoff warnings to all 170 state workers, and would effectively shut down all TV & radio operations. The layoff notices come after Gov. Chris Christie ordered state funding for NJN to be ended. He had already cut the network’s budget in half for 2010-2011.

It’s that sort of decisive, no-nonsense fiscal hawk who many on the right are looking to lead the party in 2012. Christie might really be serious about sitting out 2012, but I suspect the base is going to try to convince him otherwise. Dumping public TV and radio is just one more item on the list of actions he’s taken in the first year on the job, which just convinces more conservatives that, to borrow a phrase, he’s the one they have been waiting for. And if he really isn’t going to run, the GOP would be wise to find someone with the same moxie, determination, and governance skills as Christie possesses.