Any Republican candidate who wants a realistic shot at becoming governor in New Jersey has to learn to speak like Rush Limbaugh in the primary and Barack Obama in the general election.
No doubt to the chagrin of those managing Democratic Governor Jon Corzine's campaign (and conservative Republicans as well) Chris Christie is proving to be a quick learner.
The former federal prosecutor won the Republican primary by appealing to the party's conservative faction (a requirement since those motivated folks always show up in strong numbers at the polls regardless of the weather).
Yesterday, he came roaring out of the summer campaign starting gate with a television ad designed to appeal to the majority of New Jersey voters who are moderate-to-liberal on most social issues but just shy of California-nuts-and-berries-liberal on the environment.
The ad (below) contains plenty of pictures of gleaming solar panels and whirling wind turbines and even a picture of the President, yes, that president, the liberal Democrat guy. The ad's star is a very earnest-looking candidate Christie who says he agrees with the president on the importance of renewable energy and promises to be New Jersey's Number 1 renewable energy activist. Wow! A closet greenie all along. Who would have guessed.
The Corzine camp was quick to respond, sending around a YouTube video of Christie, during the Republican primary, telling an appreciative crowd that they could expect lots of battles with the DEP and the EPA when he moves into the governor's mansion.
I guess Christie's neo-con backers never imagined their candidate could have meant he'd be "battling" for even greener programs than his opponent.
But, hey, that was then and this is now. Sticking with Rush-speak from now to November wins you nothing but a consolation trip to Disney World.
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