When Chris Christie won the special election for New Jersey governor in 2009, liberals pointed out that it was the predictable result of skyrocketing unemployment and a state government forced to make unpopular budget choices. Conservatives, by contrast, hailed it as an ideological rejection of liberalism:
The victories of McDonnell and Christie were an unmistakable clue that the country was turning against Obama and Obama’s Washington. McDonnell attacked the president and his policies and won in a landslide. With his appearances in New Jersey, Obama may not have aided Christie but he certainly didn’t help Democratic Governor Jon Corzine.
Since then, they have singled out Christie for adulation as a model for resurgent conservatism. (See here, here, here, here, and here.) Christie is responding to tough economic times by implementing a hard-line GOP agenda. And, wouldn't you know it, he's already massively unpopular:
Only 33% of New Jersey residents approve the job Christie is doing as governor.
Nearly twice the number, 63% disapprove.
Update: I forgot Marc Thiessen in today's Washington Post, who has another love letter to Christie. Here's the best line:
Tough medicine can be tough to swallow, and recent polls show Christie's approval rating slipping. But if he succeeds in putting New Jersey on solid fiscal ground, his poll numbers will probably rebound. And if the voters of New Jersey don't want him, perhaps the rest of America will.
Perhaps! There's only one way to find out.