(c) 2013 by Tom King
a smart thing when he replaced the recently deceased Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg from New Jersey with unknown New Jersey Republican attorney general Jeff Chiesa to fill the post. I think it was also smart to call a special election for October to fill the seat more permanently. Chiesa has said he won't run for the post, but will instead concentrate on carrying out the duties of the office. Now, that's downright refreshing.
By doing this, Christie lets the people of New Jersey decide who THEY want for senator. At the same time, He deflects criticism that he's completely circumventing the will of the voters, since this new guy is only temporary and isn't running this fall. His replacement will be elected by New Jersey citizens in just a few months.
This leaves Chiesa free to act upon his conscience up there in Washington without having to worry about the impact of anything he does on his chances for election. I think Christie is a very smart man. One really good thing about Christie is that he is NOT afraid of the voters. We need more Republicans that trust the people's wisdom that much. The country club Republicans would have appointed a Republican for the remainder of Lautenberg's term figuring on people "getting used" to having a Republican in the Senate before the next election. The political strategerists at the RNC keep trying to trick people into electing Republicans by crafty machinations and by portraying Republican candidates as both moderate liberals and moderate conservatives, hoping they'll get the "moderately confused" vote I suppose.
If the voters like Jeff Chiesa as much as they seem to like Christie, it strengthens Republican chances in the October senate race. If the voters are as smart and as conservative as Christie thinks they are, he may be able to make an incremental change in balance of power in the senate.
Christie's move at the very least tells NJ voters that their governor respects them and trusts them to make a wise decision. His appointment of Chiesa also tells them what kind of man the governor thinks New Jersey should send to the senate. If only the RNC will just get out of the way and not try to tell grass roots New Jersey Republicans who to vote for in the interests of "the party". The voters will do just fine on their own. Republicans may lose this election, but the contrast between an honest campaign and the kind the Dems tend to run will get the Republicans more love in the long run than running a Democrat style campaign ever will. When you do that, the voters have a hard time telling the difference between your candidate and theirs.
Why can't the RNC get it through their thick heads that the people don't need to be manipulated to select the candidates that the RNC thinks ought to be elected. They need to take a lesson from Christie and get out of the primary manipulation business and let the grass roots pick em.
Just my opinion.