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Hail Caesar!

April has been a good month for New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

12:50 PM, Apr 27, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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The press secretary's office for New Jersey's governor must be pretty busy these days. Or weeks, to be exact. Not only was Chris Christie interviewed in the Wall Street Journal, but he was described by the Journal's Bill McGurn as bringing to voters "a dose of Reagan Republicanism—with a Jersey twist."

"Christie's running a bold experiment," wrote Gene Healy in the Washington Examiner, "treating voters like adults, telling them what's needed to get out of their predicament." And of course our own Fred Barnes profiled the governor, who seemed quite aware of his political heft:

Though his agenda is far-reaching, Christie has the power to get much or all of it done. New Jersey has “the strongest constitutional governorship in the country,” he told me. He has three types of veto authority, one allowing him to rewrite legislation. He appoints the attorney general, controller, every judge and county prosecutor, and the members of 700 boards, authorities, and commissions. “It’s a pretty powerful job,” Christie notes.

The Washington Post's George F. Will noticed this too, entitling his column "Bringing Thunder-ous Change to New Jersey," and reminding readers that "New Jersey's governors are the nation's strongest—American Caesars, really—who can veto line items and even rewrite legislative language. Christie is using his power to remind New Jersey that wealth goes where it is welcome and stays where it is well-treated. Prosperous states are practicing, at the expense of slow learners like New Jersey, 'entrepreneurial federalism'—competing to have the most enticing business climate."

Will has actually made the comparison of New Jersey's governor to a caesar before: in an April 1994 column devoted to that other Christie—former governor Christie Todd Whitman. "A New Jersey governor is an American Caesar, the nation's strongest chief executive," he wrote at the time. "On a national ticket [Whitman] could help Republicans where they particularly need help [among women].... Whitman is making waves and Republicans nationally are taking notice."

I guess what they noticed was she'd make a great EPA secretary.

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