Cal  Thomas

At 49, Christie still has plenty of time should he choose to run for president. What he should do now is concentrate on New Jersey and strengthen the state's economy. While New Jersey's credit rating was recently downgraded by Moody's and Standard and Poor, Christie's defenders make a good argument that since he's only been in office two years he can't be blamed for the economically harmful policies of his predecessor.

In his "Fact Checker" column for The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler writes, "New Jersey's unemployment rate jumped from 9.1 to 9.5 percent during Christie's first year in office, but it's highly debatable whether he should take the blame for that. The state has also shown a tiny improvement since then, with unemployment dropping to 9.4 percent as of August."

Christie must get serious about shedding weight. Not only will he feel better, he'll look better, which is critical in the TV era. And he might live longer, which ought to be incentive enough. He can contact Drew Carey for inspiration. The host of "The Price is Right" lost 80 pounds on a strict no-carb diet and looks great.

Christie can also modify some of his political positions to better fit today's Republican Party and a national campaign, should he eventually choose to conduct one.

Whatever he decides to do, Christie has already demonstrated his value to the GOP. He could be instrumental in helping to deliver deeply "blue" New Jersey to the eventual Republican presidential nominee. If he does that and his state's economy rebounds, look out for Chris Christie in four or eight years, because his time by then might very well be right.

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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