I had the pleasure of attending Governor Terry Branstad’s fundraiser at the Hy-Vee Conference Center last night featuring New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Although the absolutely packed house, energy for Branstad’s campaign, and solid program were great to see; Gov. Christie’s potent and relevant comments were what made the evening for me.
I noticed Governor Christie during his gubernatorial campaign but didn’t really start paying attention to him until he started making waves on education reform shortly after being elected. His famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) dialogues with reporters and and teacher union members at town hall meetings across New Jersey are all over YouTube and have resonated with the residents of New Jersey and concerned Americans nationwide. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him speak in D.C., here in Des Moines, and in the media since.
But more than his quick wit and honed debating skills, his simple message of treating voters like adults is what resonates most with me and most Americans. His “unfiltered” messaging and frankness is so odd for someone in the political class, he stands out conspicuously.
And just to address the inevitable speculation that comes with speaking in Iowa, he addressed it for reporters by saying, “I’m governor of New Jersey, I’m not going to run for national office…You have to want it more than anything else in the world, and I don’t. … You have to be ready for it, and I’m not.”
The message of his speech was simple:
“As a party, it is put up or shut up time…,” he said. “We lost our way a number of years ago, and we became tax and spend light…Less spending, smaller government, less regulation, smaller government — we’re going to be all about that again. We have to step up and stand for those principles again.”
My take away from the event last night was this: Gov. Christie resonates, in my opinion, with most Americans who haven’t made government/secular humanism their religion (those people will never be won over with facts). Americans who respect Judeo-Christian values, American Principles, and Common Sense will respond to public servants like Christie who speak truth articulately and without political filters. Republicans, Conservatives, Tea Party Activists, and Libertarians nationwide would do well to channel his plain-talk and brutally honest, fact-based style that shows respect for the voter. Americans are starving for it.