In convention speech, a test for Chris Christie
A game-changer for Christie?
Christie probably doesn't need to be told that he needs to deliver on Tuesday: A strong speech on his part will help gin up excitement for the Romney-Ryan ticket, but it could also be a huge boon for his political future.
"You don't need any more evidence than Barack Obama to indicate how career-changing a speech like this could be," said the Democratic strategist. "Most people probably don't know much about Chris Christie. This is really his first opportunity to really gain a national office and to speak more broadly to the national Republican Party."
In order to achieve that level of success, the Democratic strategist said, he needs to "check every box that the nominee's campaign needs to have checked."
Clark Judge, a former speechwriter for President Reagan and founder and managing director of the White House Writers Group, points out that Christie has a powerful incentive for doing just that.
"The up-and-coming candidate won't make a name for himself unless he does a good job in promoting the candidate," he said. "If you handed this to me today, I could write that speech and so could about 200 other people. There is a broadly shared consensus about what the problems are and what direction to go in. The question here is, can Governor Christie deliver that message? And there is every reason to think that he can."
Barring a disastrous, off-script gaffe, it's unlikely Christie can do much harm on the podium -- even if his speech doesn't get rave reviews.
"It's hard to imagine serious damage," said Demarest. Pointing to Bill Clinton's 1988 convention speech, in which the then-Arkansas governor delivered a 33-minute address that, according to Time magazine "seemed about five times as long," a lackluster speech is more likely to slip under the radar than not.
"People wrote then that that would be the end of Bill Clinton's career," Demarest said. "He obviously proved them quite wrong."
Christie doesn't seem too concerned. At a press conference earlier this week, he emphasized that nerves are not a problem: "I'm not nervous. Nah. I'm excited. It's a great opportunity for me personally, it's a great opportunity for our state."
- no next page
Popular in Politics
- Obama prom pictures surface
- Drones, Gitmo part of broad Obama counterterrorism speech
- Lawmakers push to punish sexual offenders in the military
- Boehner calls out Obama administration's "arrogance of power" 75 Comments
- IRS' Lerner: "I have not done anything wrong" 843 Comments
- House passes GOP bill to speed Keystone XL pipeline approval
- Issa: IRS' Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights
- Could the GOP pull an upset in Mass. senate race?