Thursday, March 03, 2011

I Could, I Would

If public opinion polls are a barometer, Republicans around the country are very fond of Chris Christie. They love his arrogance, belligerence, and hostility toward public school teachers. Now another trait of the New Jersey governor they may like has been put on display: his utter dishonesty. In an interview conducted last week by National Review and published Tuesday, Christie responded to a question from conservative Repub talk show host Laura Ingraham by boasting

Believe me, I’ve been interested in politics my whole life. I see the opportunity. But I just don’t believe that’s why you run.Like I said at AEI, I have people calling me and saying to me, “Let me explain to you how you could win.” And I’m like, “You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.” That’s not the issue....

But if you thought that was the NJ governor asserting that if he were to be the 2012 GOP nominee for President, Christie wants to disabuse you of the notion. In an interview the day after his comments became public, he protested

I didn't say I would win, I said I could win. But that's not a good enough reason to run for president.

Certainly, Chris Christie knew when he said "I know I could win," it would be almost universally understood as "I would win." Interpretation, aside, however, "I could"- in the context of the likelihood of winning an election- means either:

a) "I would win"; or

b) "I would win if I tried."

It's hard to believe that Christie meant that he could win the hypothetical election but might not actually try to win it. But that is the only alternative to "I would win." Further, Christie's assertion "I already know I could win" allegedly came in response to fans saying "let me explain to you how you could win." Christie was obviously correcting them: "You're barking up the wrong tree." Then he told them he would win.

One Wall Street Journal columnist refers to "reports that Christie has been working out with a personal trainer three times a week and is gradually shedding the pounds." And protestations about running are not insurmountable, as Barack Obama (video, below) happily discovered. But it's unlikely that the first-term governor, who is aching to be begged to seek the nomination while he repeatedly denies that he will, really wants to face an incumbent.

Perhaps, however, the N.J. governor, who clearly believes he is, frankly, astounding, actually is ready to be President of the United States. Christie appeared yesterday at a town hall meeting in the state in which he pops up periodically and a supportive resident inadvertently confirmed the greatness of the man:

"I think he's really believes in what he says," said township resident Annette Kaplanasky, 54. She jokingly added, "If he's lying, then he's doing a great job."

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