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Chris Christie for president?

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Marc Thiessen

Many years ago, New York Times columnist Russell Baker invented the oracle known as the "Great Mentioner" -- who makes politicians presidential contenders simply by mentioning their names. William Safire later took up Baker's mantle, channeling the Great Mentioner throughout his illustrious career.

Baker is retired, and Safire is no longer with us. But if the recent buzz is any indication, the Great Mentioner lives on, and he has a new name on his lips: Chris Christie.

The newly minted Republican governor of New Jersey is mentioned everywhere these days. Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGurn has praised Christie for reviving "Reagan Republicanism -- Jersey style." The Weekly Standard calls Christie "the unlikely conservative rock star." National Review declares "Viva Christie!" And in The Post, George Will has called Christie "the Trenton Thunder."

How has Christie captured the imaginations and hearts of conservatives after just 13 weeks in office? Begin with his willingness to speak the truth. He calls New Jersey a "failed state" and has pledged to end "Trenton's addiction to spending." He promises to deliver "smaller government that lives within its means" -- and to do so without tax increases, declaring "I was not sent here to approve tax increases, I was sent here to veto them." In the age of Obama, this is music to conservative ears.

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