James Carville and Mary Matalin talked about the presidential race too, but, as always, Gov. Chris Christie was the (GOP) elephant in the room at last night's New Jersey Chamber of Commerce forum at Pines Manor in Edison.
Matalin, of course, was complimentary, lauding Christie's tell-it-like-it-is style. The Republican pundit noted that people should never be surprised at what Christiesays, because, as she put it, he is "true to his principles." The only thing people don't know in advance is how Christie will say it, Matalin said.
Matalin related that recently someone had said to her that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney needs some more Christie in him. Her reply? "There's only one Christie. You can't fake that."
Matalin even called Christie "lovely" at one point. That resulted in some quizzical-sounding murmurs in the crowd and even one, "LOVELY??!! Christie??!!" (We have used a wide-ranging menagerie of adjectives to describe Christie in the NJBIZ Face Time weekly feature, but "lovely" hasn't been one of them. But, hey, you never know.)
But perhaps the more interesting stuff came from her husband Carville, a Democrat. During the Q&A from the crowd of 400 attendees, someone asked Carville to comment on Christie as a presidential candidate in 2016. Carville predicted that Romney will lose and then the GOP will conclude their "appeal has become too narrow," and the Republican party is "too old and too white."
"They will be looking for something different," said Carville about Republicans if Romney loses.
And Christie will be an attractive candidate in 2016 because he doesn't sound like the typical politician, Carville added.
"He'll certainly come into the race as someone who will be taken seriously," Carville said.
Not surprisingly, Matalin ducked the Christie-in-2016 question, saying Romney will win in November.
I guess we'll find out Nov. 6 which half of this political husband-and-wife duo is correct. We'll probably have to wait a bit longer, though, to find out what Christie decides to do.