Will GOP Control of Senate Hurt Gov. Christie?
For the first time since 2006, Republicans have a majority in both Houses of Congress. As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Chris Christie is getting a lot of credit for helping make that happen. Some political experts however warned that having the GOP control the Senate could be bad news for Christie should he decide to run for president in 2016.
Analysts say Republican senators can grab the spotlight at the same time Christie starts to lose it as his RGA run comes to a close.
"It's going to be tougher and tougher for Gov. Christie to get the consistent limelight that he has been able to get over the past several months," said Brigid Harrison, professor of political science and law at Montclair State University. "In the U.S. Senate we'll see Rand Paul (R-KY) in particular and Ted Cruz (R-TX) really trying to make hay against the Obama Administration and now as they're in the majority they really have the platform to do that."
By raising $106 million as RGA chairman, Christie has racked up IOUs and can demand some loyalty when and if he decides to make a run at the White House, Harrison said. However, he will not be getting free national attention by traveling to 36 states as he did this year.
"I don't think it's great news for Gov. Christie that Republicans are in control of the senate and I think that one of the things that happens here is that the national dialogue becomes much more conservative and I think that the message that Gov. Christie has tried to develop since he first hit the national spotlight has been a more moderate voice," Harrison said.
The newly-empowered GOP senators will get the headlines, while Christie may find it difficult to gain traction going forward, Harrison predicted. She said Christie is not a politician who should ever be counted out.
"He has built up a enormous amount of political capital throughout the country," Harrison said. "He's raised record funds. He's traveled (as RGA chairman) and even in the places where his candidates didn't win it doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't have a political debt to collect there."
By: (Kevin McArdle)
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