There’s a certain greener pastures quality to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
To many Republicans, he seems more verdant, more fertile as a Republican candidate for president.
Which is why so many Republicans continue to press him to get into the GOP primary race despite repeated statements by Christie that he won’t run … but thanks for asking.
But let’s remember: The same greener pastures logic was applied to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
How’s that working out for y’all?
The issue is that the GOP is a party divided, unable to have a clear direction or consensus about the ideal candidates with the credentials to defeat a struggling but still incumbent Democrat Barack Obama.
Remember the old saying “I don’t belong to an organized political party; I’m a Democrat”?
That could be said of Republicans these days as their ideology is in a tug of war between the settled establishment (itself divided between the Rockefeller Republicans and the Reagan Republicans) and the rambunctious tea party.
It all comes down to a concern that good ol’ Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, makes certain party people nervous because they don’t believe he has what it takes to defeat Obama.
Left unsaid by these same folks, however, is exactly what constitutes the perfect candidate in the eyes of the GOP.
Truth is: There isn’t a perfect candidate. There aren’t greener pastures when it comes to politics, only pastures that are less trod upon.
Lots of New Hampshire folks ached for Perry to get into the race. Same was true in Iowa. They visited him personally in Texas to plead with him to get in the race.
But he’s been a disappointment: Sometimes a little too extreme on the right (Social Security as a Ponzi scheme); sometimes a little too extreme on the left (in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants). And he was close to incoherent during one part of the most recent GOP debate.
A recent Patch-Huffington Post Outsiders Poll shows a majority (57 percent) of the 160 GOP influential politicos in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina surveyed say their impression of Perry has grown less favorable in the last two to three weeks.
As quickly as Perry was sought to be in favor, he has fallen out of favor, and all eyes once again have turned to Christie — fiscally conservative (but not totally socially conservative, mind you), affable, self-deprecating.
But as Christie insists, seemingly on deaf ears, he won’t be a candidate … but thanks for asking.
It’s that polite quality — that thanks but no thanks — that for some reason still gives some Republicans hope that he can be talked into it.
But, as Dante Scala, chair of the University of New Hampshire Political Science Department reminds us: “It’s always what you cannot have that you want the most.”
There’s been enough buyer’s remorse going on among Republicans lately.
Paul Briand is an editor/blogger for the non-partisan, non-profit Live Free or Die Association. See the LFDA’s full coverage of the 2012 presidential primary in New Hampshire here.