CHRIS Christie’s appearance on the Late Show on Monday night (February 4) is a clear indication that he is going to be among the Republican contenders for the presidential nomination in 2016.
Christie was the butt of numerous jokes on the show during the 2012 campaign, some of them pretty vicious ones, and all directed at his weight.
He showed that he could take it very well and even came armed with two doughnuts in his pockets, which he pulled out and ate at the right moments, putting the laugh back on his host, David Letterman.
US politicians are aware of the power that Letterman has; during the 2008 race, John McCain was mercilessly torn to pieces by Letterman when he suddenly broke an appointment to appear on the Late Show. Despite this, McCain came back on the show when he had the time and took all the ribbing that Letterman dished out. He knew that he was gaining votes by doing so.
As Letterman himself put it, “the road to the White House runs through here,” meaning his show.
That’s why Christie showed up, despite being an object of derision time and time again in 2012. Bridges were mended pretty fast and Letterman more or less endorsed him to recontest the post of governor of New Jersey. And there is no doubt that when Christie runs in 2016, he will have access to the Late Show.
In 2012, Mitt Romney kept away from the show which tends to poke fun at Republican candidates. That was a mistake. Letterman, though now in his 60s and nearing the end of an illustrious career, can still make or break politicians. Barack Obama appeared on the show a few times during the campaign and his wife did likewise. It did him no disfavours.
Christie will need to do something about his weight before he runs for the presidency; it tends to get in the way of conversation. But that can be done easily and given his personality he looks to be a good bet for the Republicans, who at the moment are looking like a party without a base.