By now, everyone knows how to do the Republican presidential hokey pokey: You put your right foot in. You take your right foot out. You put your right foot in and you shake it all about—preferably while railing against immigration reform, Obamacare, gun control, abortion, Big Government, or whatever stew of left-wing evils happens to be roiling Sean Hannity’s Facebook page that day.
Later, after assuring the base that you share its no-compromise, anti-Obama rage, you can start working to woo back the electoral center: maybe you don’t put your left foot all the way in, but you at least stop shaking the right half of your body quite so violently.
Gov. Chris Christie knows the dance. He’s watched the dance. He’s sneered at the dance. And now, as he lays the groundwork for 2016, America’s “hottest” political leader is ever so delicately attempting to choreograph his own variation.
Over the past week or so, as much of the political class luxuriated in the relative serenity of Congress’s summer recess, Christie executed a trio of policy moves on ticklish social issues that raised eyebrows across the political spectrum.
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