Illustration: Mark Marturello/The Des Moines Register
BORN: September 6, 1962 in Newark, New Jersey
What he’s got: The biggest, brusquest, most boisterous personality in the GOP field; unparalleled political brawling skills; executive experience as two-term governor of New Jersey; a set of first-term accomplishments, working his will with/over his state’s Democratic legislature, to score victories on taxes, budgets, and pension reform; demonstrated ability to win election in a deep-blue state with strong support from Hispanic and African-American voters; a potentially potent national donor network; a substantial, growing, serious-minded policy agenda; high name recognition; regular-guy relatability; media savvy galore; and a ready sense of humor (including a capacity, when it suits him, for self-deprecation).
What he lacks: Polling strength nationally, in the early-voting states, or at home, where his approval rating has dipped to 30 percent; with indictments issued and investigations ongoing, ability to put Bridgegate behind him fully; a convincing explanation for his state’s fiscal and economic woes (nine credit-rating downgrades since he took office, an unemployment rate one full point above the national average, a derisory 0.4 percent growth rate in 2014) in spite of those first-term wins; notable or broad backing from the sort of establishment Republicans who once pined for him to run; a path to the nomination that doesn’t require winning New Hampshire; national-security credentials; consistent calibration of his trademark outbursts so that they come across as candid and refreshing rather than arrogant and obnoxious.
Orange You Glad We Gave Chris Christie A Hug?
John Heilemann and Mark Halperin do their own version of Chris Christie's "Cowboy Hug."
“It’s a mischaracterization of who the people are here in New Jersey and so I’ve said all along that I think ‘Jersey Shore’ is bad.”
“I also do not want to thank the reporters who put themselves in danger, you know by walking into the middle of the hurricane with their cameras. We don’t need you to tell us there’s a hurricane—we have windows!”
“I’m basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life.”
“I was in overalls and a hat. I was the guy working the cones.”
“Sit down and shut up.”
Christie is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. He claims to have attended more than 100 of his concerts.
Mary Pat Foster
Former managing director at Angelo Gordon & Co., a private investment firm.
Andrew Christie, Son
Sarah Christie, Daughter
Patrick Christie, Son
Bridget Christie, Daughter
Sondra Christie, Mother
Wilbur James Christie, Father