- Chris Christie is blunt, straightforward and honest. He's a strong potential 2016 candidate.
- Marco Rubio is not blunt, he's embellished his personal history a bit and he's performing the jig that the money people like. He's touted as a 2016 potential.
Gov Christie has the record - his Hurricane Sandy leadership was astounding - and he has the negative in that many hard line conservatives blame him, because he was effusive about President Obama, for the GOP 2012 loss.
Marco Rubio has a history of following orders.
I'll toss into this the fact that many of today's social issues, gay marriage, DOMA, gays in the military, Obamacare, abortion, are likely to be either resolved-for-now, or well on their way to resolution. And that, aside of Hillary, the Democrats don't really have anyone waiting in the wings. I also suspect that the Dems will overreach and start proposing and nominating Mike Dukakis, Gary Hart wannabe's. (I don't think Hillary will run.) On the other hand, I don't think we've seen the last of the extremists. Even as their aging benefactors take up lobbying The Horned One, the sort of extremism we're seeing from the Republican Party takes months to bring about and decades to remove.
Most of the clowns we saw in 2011/12 won't be able to run. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann were implausible to begin with. Rick Perry shot his load, so to speak, and ruined any chance he has. The rest were sideshows. And, of course, Mittens lost and his political career came to a sudden stop. He doesn't even get a chance to play Kingmaker. Jeb Bush won't run - George was so disastrous no one, and I mean no one, wants to see another Bush in the White House.
That's not to say it won't be a lively lineup; I expect it to start shaping up in 2014, early 2015 and be just as large a field. Ted Cruz, Susana Martinez, Jan Brewer, Virginia's Rob McDowell, and a few more of the lesser players will ensure that the debates are endless and that the number of people on stage equals the number in the audience.
The question, then, is which one: Chris Christie or Marco Rubio. Governor Christie would be the formidable, wise choice. Which is why I think they'll go with Senator Rubio. If I were him, I'd be boning up on foreign policy and what policy is. I'd also start thinking about the ground game. And how to carve an independent path through the thicket that is Republican "policy". And that is why I think it will be Senator Rubio: he won't carve that path because he's incapable of doing so.