If Saturday Night Live is any validation, the most revered public figure to come out of this Hurricane Sandy catastrophe is none other than New Jersey governor Chris Christie. The man was calling out incompatible mayors, lambasting accusations of political treason, surveying his state with daily press conference updates, and, throughout all, rocking the hell out of his governor sweater.
Since this storm, his popularity in the state has skyrocketed, with many of those on the opposite side of the aisle praising the governor for putting politics aside to lend a helping hand with President Obama. So it makes complete sense why, yesterday, it was reported
that the governor has filed his papers for re-election in the statewide polls next year. With those in hand, the governor will be able to fundraise, set up shop for campaigning, and hire a team of electioneers.
But the real question now is: Who the hell is he going to run against?
In 2009, Christie rode the wave of a 86,000 vote margin into office, beating out Democrat Jon Corzine, the now embattled former CEO of Goldman Sachs and MF Global. Looking back, it's easy to how that happened by simply looking at the year of the election. Re-elect a former CEO of Goldman Sachs? Not gonna happen.
But since then, the Republican has remained a likable figure (in politics, that places you somewhere around the 50 percent approval mark) amid tensions with the state's teachers union and public workers union. And, of course, what happened over the past month in regards to the Sandy recovery.
So in terms of opposition, the two biggest names thus far to arise from the Party of Blue are former Democratic Governor Richard Codey and Newark mayor Cory Booker.
Codey has the experience: He has been governor already, he has been a senator for more than 30 years, and he's the second-highest ranking official in New Jersey's Senate. Yeah, the guy knows what he's doing, to say the least.
Booker, on the other hand, has the media darling angle going for him. And there's countless examples of this: the food stamp challenge
, the Gosling comparisons
, the praise
toward his use of social media during last year's Snowpocalypse to name a few. We'll admit it: The link dump here indicts us for this as well.
But in the modern age of political love, that's a damn effective weapon to wield. It's one thing that the Democrats in New Jersey are urging him to run but, when the press is slipping "Booker 2014" into the conversation, it's hard to ignore that. We did a piece on this whole phenomenon a few months ago that you can find here.
In that case, the Codey-Booker electoral relationship is similar to that of McCain and Obama in 2008; the veteran politician against the inexperienced youngster, if you will. However, none of them have made any more than a mention of their plans for next year.
So this is all speculation. Take it or leave it. But someone's gonna have to face the music of Chris Christie (which, we guess, is just Bruce Springsteen?) in due time.
Also, since it exists, we leave you with Christie's appearance on SNL two weeks ago: