Christie has seen a massive boost in his popularity in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with 77 percent of New Jerseyans saying they approve of the governor in a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released Monday. That’s up from 56 percent before Sandy. (Respondents from the first poll were re-contacted for the second one.)
It's easy to look at those numbers and think that Christie is on the way up—the first paragraph in the WaPo story suggests that Christie should start thinking about 2016—but approval ratings always look good right after a disaster. Christie probably has his reelection in the bag, but let's not hyperventilate over that 77 percent just yet. And let's not forget that nationally, Republicans assume that Christie is a big reason why President Obama was reelected, (he wasn't) and those very good New Jersey numbers aren't going to persuade voters in, say, Iowa that Christie isn't a big traitor.
2. Elsewhere, Jeb Bush met with campaign operatives for about an hour, presumably to talk about his presidential prospects. One of the people he met with? "Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney's campaign pollster." I don't know if Romney's poll guy is the first person I'd meet with to talk realistically about a presidential run; Newhouse is a big reason why Romney was so confident he was going to win Ohio, and he had a hand in that whole unskewed polls thing the Republicans were bandying about.
3. And Jon Huntsman continues to demonstrate why so many Democrats wanted to love him and why so many Republicans outright hated him:
Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Monday urged lawmakers, including those in his own party, to temper their criticism of the administration's handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
If the Republican Party realistically considered how they lost the 2012 presidential election, they'd look to Huntsman as a model of what their next candidate should look like. Instead, they're calling a member of the Bush family a "fresh" face. On the other hand, who can blame them? Richard Nixon was the last Republican to win the presidency on a ticket without a Bush.