Christ Christie has to appoint a new United States senator, and whether that appointee will stand for election in November of 2013 or November of 2014 –and when there is doubt, strong executives assert the most authority the law arguably gives them– Christie’s appointee becomes immediately central to the ongoing debate over immigration reform. I thus hope he appoints a conservative who is open to smart reform, and one willing to support a border fence mandate that is clearly spelled out in the law, fully funded and authorized to proceed to construction immediately “notwithstanding any other law,” with design and mapping spelled out.
The governor has been on the receiving end of a lot of unfair criticism about his welcoming of President Obama to his state in the aftermath of Sandy. I said it now and haven’t stopped saying it since –Christie did what any good governor would have done and did it in a way that any person of great heart and soul would have done. It did not impact the outcome of the election thought the storm certainly did, and critics are more likely than not simply backing a different horse in 2016.
Governor Christie’s choice of a new senator, however, will impact ever American and certainly every Republican. He needs to figure out his appointee’s views on immigration and on the other key issue that will loom –the filibuster and especially whether the nominee is going to support Leader McConnell in the preservation of the filibuster for possible use in blocking a wildly unacceptable Supreme Court nominee down the road.
Immigration and the judiciary are the two key issues looming between now and November –whether Novemebr ’13 or ’14– and Christie’s appointee will reflect back on the man who sent him or her to the Senate. The electability of the appointee matters as well, but to the GOP primary voters watching this key decision very closely, the substance of the choice will stay with them for as long as Chirst Christie stays on the national stage.