Pat Buchanan

"Maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now and see how it's done," said the big winner of Tuesday last.

"I did not seek a second term to do small things," Chris Christie went on, but "to finish the job -- now watch me do it."

Humility is not the governor's strong suit.

Yet, Christie registered a remarkable victory. He won with 60 percent in a blue state, winning 55 percent of women, half of the Hispanic vote and 20 percent of African-Americans.

If he could replicate those numbers in New Jersey and nationally in 2016, Chris Christie would be elected president in a landslide.

"[T]his fellow is really on the right track," says seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, "if the Republican Party is not too stupid." To fill out Christie's ticket in 2016, Hatch proposes Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who made eight campaign stops with Christie on Monday.

Democrats concur with Hatch. The headline on the lead story on page one of Thursday's Washington Post reads: "Democrats Take Aim at Christie: He's Seen as GOP's Best Hope for 2016."

"The Elephant in the Room" is the title of Time's cover story.

And with the corporate contributors and Beltway bundlers gravitating to him, Christie is emerging as the establishment's hope to recapture the GOP from its Tea Party, libertarian, social conservative and populist wing.

Will Christie be the candidate in 2016?

Put me down as a skeptic.

Some of us yet recall James "Scotty" Reston of the New York Times writing in 1963 that Nelson Rockefeller had as much chance of losing the Republican nomination as he did of going broke.

Comes the retort: Christie is no Nelson Rockefeller, but a pro-life conservative with five kids and Middle American values.

Why then the skepticism?

Geography, persona and culture -- for openers.

The Republican Party is a Southern, Midwestern and Western party, suburban and rural. Not since Tom Dewey in 1948 has the GOP nominated a candidate from the urban Northeast.

And Chris Christie is not only from New Jersey; he is indelibly and proudly so.

The candidate who comes closest to him is Rudy Giuliani, hero of 9/11. Christie may be the hero of Hurricane Sandy, but Sandy is not remembered nationwide like the shock and horror 9/11.

As Rudy won two terms in the toughest turf in America for a Republican, New York City, Christie has now won two terms in New Jersey.

So, how did Rudy, who started off 2008 as the front-runner in the Republican polls, do? He did not win a single primary.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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