Before “Bridge-gate”, Governor Chris Christie tried to build a sense of inevitability about his potential presidential campaign. That’s gone now, and, at least today, it’s by no means certain he’ll even run. Republicans should therefore focus on qualities we need most in a nominee rather than prematurely coalescing around any one specific candidate.
Above all, we need a standard bearer who can unite the party, simultaneously mobilizing all its elements. Anyone too closely associated with one ideological wing of the party—as Christie is with Northeastern pragmatists, or Rand Paul with libertarians, or Ted Cruz with the Tea Party—won’t easily bring Republicans together.
Fortunately, unifying alternatives exist—including Scott Walker, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Susana Martinez, and many more. To win in 2016, the GOP needs party-wide cooperation, not the definitive victory of one faction over the others.