Josh Kraushaar at National Journal writes:
Even as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slowly rises in the New Hampshire polls, he faces deep-seated skepticism from party leaders, pundits, and donors. His relentless focus on the Granite State has left him with bare-bones operations in other consequential states, and few party operatives think his abrasive, tell-it-like-it-is style will play at all outside the Northeast. If he does capture momentum, fresh reminders of his post-Hurricane Sandy embrace of President Obama along with the Bridgegate scandal risk tripping up his campaign yet again.
All told, many party operatives fear that a Christie victory—or strong second-place finish in New Hampshire—would be a worst-case scenario for the GOP, sidelining the establishment’s best hope in Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and potentially splitting the center-right wing of the party indefinitely.
That’s certainly a credible scenario, one I outlined in my column last week. But Christie allies welcome the low expectations given their candidate outside New Hampshire, and feel confident he is as well-positioned as Rubio to make a strong showing on Super Tuesday. As much as Rubio’s compelling biography and political potential excite GOP operatives, Christie’s role as a former U.S attorney and governor better fits the traditional mold of an experienced commander-in-chief…
Read the article here.