Apologies for following the herd some more on the subject of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s possible try for the Republican presidential nomination, but Nate Silver’s piece in the The New York Times is worth a read on where Christie stands and how hard-core conservatives might not consider him such a great alternative to the current set of candidates once they learn more about his positions.
Basically, as the governor of a relatively left-center state, he has a lot in common with former-Massachusetts-Governor Mitt Romney, except that he’s less easily labeled a flip-flopper. Christie has held moderate positions on gun control (he supports his state’s fairly strict gun laws), the environment (he accepts the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming, and he opposes oil drilling off the New Jersey coast), and immigration (for example stating in 2008 that “being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime,” which is technically true — in itself it’s a civil violation), and same-sex civil unions (he appears to support New Jersey’s law authorizing same-sex civil unions but opposes same-sex marriage).
He holds more conservative views on other subjects such as his opposition to abortion rights and his tilt in favor of the rich over the average worker. He advocates major changes in Social Security and Medicare, and he publicly opposes the Affordable Care Act (though he wouldn’t join efforts to have it declared unconstitutional).
Conventional wisdom says that Republican primary voters demand a very conservative candidate, and Christie may well not be right-wing enough to make them happy, but in 2008 Republican primary voters picked relatively moderate John McCain, quite possibly because they thought he had the best shot at winning, and they could conceivably end up favoring Christie (should he end up joining the race) despite the Kevin Manahan’s piece referenced in the previous post.