IN AN election season full of upsets and surprises, some old rules still seem to apply. One is that those running for president under false pretences will be found out. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Carly Fiorina, the former boss of Hewlett-Packard (HP), a technology firm, learned this lesson and dropped out of the Republican race for the White House on February 10th, after suffering drubbings in the New Hampshire primary of the night before. Both had attempted the same trick: posing as outsiders in a vain bid to harness this election’s mood of anti-establishment rage.
In a different year, and with a different campaign strategy, Governor Christie could have made an interesting contribution to a Republican primary contest. He is a larger-than-life, pugnacious conservative elected twice to run a Democratic state, after convincing New Jersey’s “Oh yeah? Says who?” citizens that he would bring order to public finances left in chaos by years of mismanagement, including generous pensions and other benefits for public officials. Mr Christie became legendary for public slanging matches with everyone from trade union bosses to...Continue reading