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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a keynote speech at the Republican National Convention with a theme of “leadership delivers” taking on status quo politicians that cannot say no when needed.
He appropriately and effectively called out the weakness in leadership which panders for votes with a “yes” when a “no” is needed. Most importantly, he explained why it matters to future generations that the status quo is broken now at this point in our nation’s history.
Governor Christie continued a strategic Republican theme that it is possible to return to sound fiscal management by reviewing spending priorities, being honest with citizens, and treating voters as adults and not children to be taken care of by government. He put forth we are in a “new era of truth telling.”
He followed a parade of Republican governors, many elected during the last three years, during the recession years, who have faced hard decisions and shown true leadership in delivering on election promises to balance budgets, cut wasteful spending, and attracting new businesses and jobs to their states without raising taxes.
Most notably these governors included Scott Walker from Wisconsin, Nikki Haley from South Carolina, and John Kasich from Ohio. Bob McDonnell from Virginia noted, “Conservative fiscal policies are working, and so are more Americans in states with Republican governors. Now, just think what we can do if we had a President who would support us, not obstruct us.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich put exact numbers in his conservative principles leadership delivery detailing, “Ohio was 48th in job creation and is now 4th in the U.S. and 1st in the Midwest.”
Christie brought the theme “leadership delivers” home with exact examples from his work in New Jersey. “They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit. Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes. We did it.”
He continued, “They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy. With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension. We did it.”
He challenged Washington politicians with “If we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican governor, Washington is out of excuses.”
He challenged President Obama directly with, “You see, Mr. President, real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.”
Christie challenged those who believe big government is the answer. He challenged those who believe a less than exceptional America is acceptable with, “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century. I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. I want them to live in a second American Century.”
He spoke directly to the American people in a personal and compelling way when he offered his vision of generational pride and duty. He reminded us of America’s history and the sacrifices of past generations for us now.
He spoke in a serious yet uplifting way regarding American values being handed from one generation to the next. “This is the American way. We have never been victims of destiny. We have always been masters of our own. I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you.”
"What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we've acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can't? Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?”
Leadership does deliver. And part of this “delivery” must be for this generation’s leaders and citizens to resolve the debt and deficit realities we have and to not accept future generations living with problems saddled on them years ago.
Christie showed he deserved his political rising star status in reflecting a new generation of Republican leadership willing to tackle big issues with big vision. He made any campaign that wants to focus on “free birth control” as a main issue or wants to divide the country by fear and smear seem very small in the big picture for our country.
Our next generation deserves leadership now who has proven experience in delivering effective results and is committed to delivering results now without whining about what they inherited and without blaming others for their failure to deliver.
We need leadership who will face challenges head on and reclaim the vision of America we were given by our founding fathers and restore the values of America we know built this great country. As Governor Christie highlighted, we need leadership that will deliver now more than ever.
We also need citizen leadership that will deliver. Governor Christie understood this too. "It's been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues. And we've stood silently by and let them get away with it. But tonight, I say enough."