After a well-received speech at the annual gathering of conservative activists known as CPAC, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is having a rare moment of mutual (if hesitant) good feeling between himself and the GOP's hardcore base. But just because Christie's no longer the Tea Party's least-favorite Republican — a distinction that probably would have to go to Sen. John McCain — it hardly means the Jersey GOPer is set to cruise his way to his party's presidential nomination in 2016. He's still got legal and political obstacles aplenty.
Here's the latest for Christie:
- On the legal front, Bridgegate-involved former Christie aides have once again requested from a judge that subpoenas issued to them by the state's Legislature be dismissed. The aides in question, former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and former Christie top aide Bridget Anne Kelly, have argued through their lawyers that handing over the documents the legislative inquiry has requested would be akin to testifying against themselves. They also cite the fact that the feds are investigating Bridgegate, too, as further reason they shouldn't have to comply.
- On the political front, Christie came in fourth at this year's CPAC presidential straw poll, falling behind Sen. Rand Paul (the runaway winner), Sen. Ted Cruz and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. While Christie is clearly far from the CPAC attendees' ideal candidate, however, his placement in the straw poll shows that, at least when it comes to the more establishment-aligned GOPers, Christie is the CPAC crowd's favorite Republican, preferred over Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Paul Ryan, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Scott Walker. Worth keeping in mind as well: While the straw poll at CPAC is a good indicator of how the activist base is feeling, it's a far less reliable gauge of who will actually win the party's nomination.
- On the personal front, Christie was down in Florida on Sunday, watching his beloved New York Mets play an exhibition game against the Braves. We're a bit surprised Christie's a Mets guy, in all honesty; he always seemed like more a Yankees type.