Spoke to Mona Charen, Larry Johnson, Nan Hayworth, Devin Nunes, Salena Zito, David Drucker, Gene Countrymen, Jeff Bliss, McKay Coppins, re the twinned premier speeches at the Tampa GOP, Ann Romney and Chris Christie, in the one hour allotted by TV networks for the ceremony. Ann Romney was effective and warm in her autobiographical chronology of her courtship, marriage and family-raising; however the comet of the evening for me was the governor of New Jersey's mom, the eight-year deceased Sicilian single mother whom the governor calls "the Enforcer." I am told that Chris Christie was subdued on the Tampa stage. The over-the-top Governor Christie must eat the mics as well as the scenery, because the performance was presidential timber.
Chris Christie is a GOP star now established by the sort of keynote speech that launches presidential campaigns. If Mr. Romney fails this November, we can expect the Governor Christie, born 1962, will lead the canvas for the open White House in 2016. Chris Christie's remarks about his ambition for a "Second America Century" and his belief in "American Exceptionalism" point to the scale of argument that can dominate a political campaign for years. Christie makes POTUS Obama's rhetoric about "fairness" seem cautious to the point of defeatist. I mention that McKay Coppins observed that the Ann Romney speech was originally for Monday night, and that placing her gentle anecdotes before the gritty Christie was not the GOP design. Isaac dictated the change, and the result was an exciting hour of political gamesmanship. Ann Romney is for 2012, but Chris Christie is raw potential on the scale of Fiorello LaGuardia and Huey "the Kingfish" Long. It is exciting to contemplate the Christie action-figure with a case of Potomac Fever. Is the detail that he has a distant relation to the Genovese crime family the perfect next turn, an Irish/Sicilian scenery-eater on the road to the White House from New Jersey? Popcorn!