Dick Polman thinks he knows why Chris Christie is all the rage these days.
It’s not his bluster; it’s certainly not his policies; it’s certainly unlikely to be the avoirdupois.
No, it’s that politics abhors a vacuum, even as it loves vacuity.
Seriously, who speaks for the GOP these days? John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, leaders of the hapless congressional wing? John McCain and his sidekick-echo Lindsey Graham, the showhorses of Sunday TV? Newt Gingrich, whose power peaked circa 1997? Paul Ryan, who couldn’t even carry his home town in the ’12 election, arguably fills the pragmatic conservative niche, but that’s all. Marco Rubio, who, unlike Ryan, opposed the fiscal cliff deal, arguably fills the purist conservative niche, but that’s all. Meanwhile, there’s nary a peep from George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. And Mitt Romney has apparently vaporized. A few years back, the pollsters at Pew asked Americans to name the leader of the GOP; only 27 percent managed to same someone. The number-two choice was Rush Limbaugh.
This is where Christie comes in. He’s a potential party leader, if only by default.