TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — All eyes will be on vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan when he accepts the Republican Party’s nomination on Wednesday night.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired up the crowd Tuesday night, and may prove to be a tough act to follow, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
It seems that every convention keynote speaker has something you nitpick. Bill Clinton went on for so long they cheered when he said “in conclusion” and it took Christie 16 minutes to mention presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But that hasn’t stopped his rock star-like ascension in the party.
“A lot of times, the person who makes the keynote address comes back to play a larger role,” Bob Schieffer, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent and host of “Face the Nation,” said.
President Barack Obama, then only a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, delivered the keynote address in 2004.
RELATED: Watch The Speech In Its Entirety
Christie may have spent the better part of his keynote speech talking about himself, but it apparently didn’t hurt Christie’s value to the Republican Party in energizing the base and drumming up support for the presidential ticket. Maybe it’s his authenticity, his willingness to say things other people would keep to themselves, like when Romney asked Christie if he could win the Garden State.
“He said, ‘Chris, is there any chance I can win New Jersey?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And he said ‘I didn’t think so,’” Christie said to laughter.
Christie’s keynote speech was topic Wednesday in Tampa, with many talking about, first, his failure to mention Romney for 16 minutes and, second, how it positioned him to run for the top job one day.
“If this is the start of a campaign for Chris Christie it also has to be the start of a little self-reflection of how Jersey is going to play in the rest of the country,” Hofstra University political pundit Larry Levy said.
“I think the governor is a national figure and as he moves forward I think he’s going to be more national,” New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said.
“Everybody knows Chris Christie. This is more adding to his luster as opposed to creating it. He’s already been elected governor. He’s already been an effective governor and is already the most fun on YouTube than anyone,” for New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Story
Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Christie mentor and the 1988 RNC keynote speaker, spoke with WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell about his protege.
“It was a visionary speech. I mean, he took his own experiences and his own life and his own experiences as governor and projected into what this country has to do to solve some of the most serious problems we’ve had since its founding. I mean, that’s Presidential,” Kean said.
Former Somerset County GOP Chairman Dale Florio said that, if nothing else, Christie certainly raised his profile.
Kean didn’t suggest Christie is angling for the White House, but many, including Florio, feel Christie would be among the early front runners in 2016 if President Obama is re-elected.
Levy said while it’s true Christie is more of a love him or hate him type of personality, there’s no denying the fact that he’s brought New Jersey front and center during this campaign season.
“We won’t know for a while whether this is the start of a campaign for president, but it’s definitely the start of his re-election for New Jersey. I mean when your guy, even if you don’t like him that much, gets up on the national stage you can’t help but feel proud,” Levy said.
Whether Christie will run for president or not remains to be seen, but the race many hunger for Christie versus New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in any year.
Do you think that, if Mitt Romney loses, Christie will run in 2016? Sound off in the comments section below.