New Jersey

Violated: Why the Supreme Court Desperately Needs to Draw a Line on Strip Searches
October 14, 2011

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court confronted the latest frontier in the battle over strip searches: Does the Constitution allow prison officials to conduct a strip search of everyone arrested for a minor offense, no matter how trivial? And instead of focusing on high principles, the arguments took a surprisingly graphic turn.

What the Failed Christie Bid Teaches Us About the GOP
October 05, 2011

As soon as news leaked that Chris Christie was going to say (again) that he wasn’t running for president, the press immediately began beating itself up for paying any attention to the drama in New Jersey.

Chris Christie and the Ghosts of Madison
October 04, 2011

I'll leave it to the pundits to decide what will happen in the Republican primary now that Chris Christie has decided to keep his talents in Trenton. What does seem worth some thought, though, is what we won't see happen that we likely would have if Christie had gotten in: a full rekindling of the war over public employee unions. The issue has receded somewhat in the public consciousness since the showdowns in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere earlier this year, even as the fight carries on in several states.

This Was Christie’s One Shot to Become President—And He Missed It
October 04, 2011

And so it ends—not with a bang, but a wimp-out. Chris Christie, who had become the most courted reluctant Republican since Dwight Eisenhower, permanently closed the door Tuesday afternoon on a 2012 White House run: “Now is not my time. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I just can’t abandon.” A self-described “regular guy from New Jersey,” Christie exudes more self-confidence than even Rick Perry out shooting coyotes.

Why Christie Is the New Giuliani
October 04, 2011

A little over four years ago, a pair of wealthy businessmen made a foray into presidential politics on behalf of a charismatic, tough-talking, blue state Republican. Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone volunteered his considerable talents as fundraising chair of the candidate’s leadership PAC, while hedge fund billionaire Paul E. Singer served as the campaign’s east coast chairman. Charmed by the politician’s law and order bona fides, pro-business conservatism, and swing state appeal, the two billionaires helped raise an impressive $60.9 million dollars for their candidate in 2007.

Would Chris Christie's Weight Have A Real Impact?
October 03, 2011

Dissatisfaction with a subpar field of presidential candidates has turned Republican eyes towards a potential new savior: Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey. The growing speculation has been accompanied by discussion of Christie’s considerable girth.

Chris Christie's Crowd-Sourced Weight Is ...
September 30, 2011

The people have spoken. Averaging the 19 estimates offered by readers in TNR's comment section for this blog--including one that, annoyingly, required me to convert from kilograms to pounds--I arrive at a crowd-sourced weight estimate for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 334 pounds.  I initially planned to lower the mean figure by 10 points to correct for liberal bias. But on reflection I think there are probably two biases at work here. One is the liberal one, which would drive the estimates up. The other is a demographic one, which would drive the estimates down.

Lay Off Chris Christie’s Weight! It Might Just Help his Chances.
September 29, 2011

Is Chris Christie too fat to be elected president? Amid reports that the New Jersey governor has become the latest choice of the anybody-but-Romney movement to try to derail the remarkably tenacious Mormon, Christie’s waistline has once again become a national news story. All the anxieties currently being attached to the governor’s weight, however, are likely overblown.

Why Christie Makes GOP Hearts Go Pitter-Patter
September 28, 2011

The longing for a Chris Christie presidential run is baffling for many reasons. Among them is the fact that, ideologically, he actually isn't that conservative. As old friend Jonathan Chait writes today at his blog -- which, by now, you should have bookmarked -- Christie on Tuesday endorsed the Bowles-Simpson fiscal plan. As you may recall, Bowles-Simpson calls for reducing the deficit with a mix of spending cuts and, yes, tax increases. The ratio is roughly three-to-one, which makes it pretty conservative by my standards.

Capital Tracks
September 28, 2011

Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern AmericaBy Richard White (W.W. Norton, 660 pp., $35) I. The scene is iconic, known to many Americans even casually acquainted with their history. Locomotives of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads come engine grate to engine grate, separated by a mere railroad tie, at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, commemorating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.