The good news for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida was that he entered Saturday night’s #GOP debate in New Hampshire with the wind at his back, having gotten an unexpected third place performance in the Iowa Caucus. The bad news for Rubio was that he arrived at the debate with a target drawn at his back. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired at that target with both barrels, staggering the young presidential candidate. Rubio did not help himself by making the rookie mistake of repeating a line about President Barack Obama at least four times, suggesting that he was preprogrammed and not capable of original thought.
The gist of Christie’s attack was that, unlike a governor of a state, Rubio lacked any accomplishments to boast about. Christie managed to suggest that Rubio is just like Barack Obama, whom the senator from Florida correctly suggested, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, is a failed president. Rubio, like Obama, has blown into the Senate and is a first termer without much to show for it. The comparison is at once accurate and unfair.
One of the truisms that many in politics like to repeat is that being a state governor, because it involves making administrative decisions, prepares one far better for being president of the United States than any other office, say a United States senator. Christie obviously has someone in mind, though John Kasich is also a governor and Jeb Bush a former governor. Two men who have been governors, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Perry of Texas, are no longer in the race.
Christie’s potential point has a mixed result in the real world. Ronald Reagan was a former governor and became a world-historical figure as president. However, Jimmy Carter was also a former governor and is widely considered a failed president. The maxim that governors make better presidents would have excluded George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and John. F. Kennedy from the presidency.
It remains to be seen whether Christie’s attacks and Rubio’s subpart performance will have an effect on the results of the New Hampshire primary. #Election 2016