ICYMI: Is this what the savior of the GOP sounds like?

In Case You Missed It, I took a look back at the gov's week that was -- and wondered what it could mean for his future, specifically in the 2016 presidential race. I'm out of the office for a few weeks -- but I'll be back long before 2016, so chew on this for now:

From a man who had consistently and pointedly contrasted himself with the inhabitant in the White House, the words were startling to hear.

"The president has been outstanding," Gov. Christie said, and he "deserves great credit," because his administration has been "excellent."

Christie praised President Obama without prompting. Asked about it, he doubled down on the praise. He even did it on Fox News. All this, days before an election in which Obama was running against the guy Christie had spent 13 months campaigning for.

Is this what the savior of the GOP sounds like?

To ears stinging with the shrill of partisanship, Christie sounded devoted to his state, concerned about protecting his people, and apolitical. From Sandy-ravaged swaths of New Jersey to swing counties of Pennsylvania, his name had messianic appeal.

Jill Spotts, 47, an unemployed event planner from Upper Southampton, Bucks County, told Inquirer reporter Jennifer Lin she was reluctantly voting for Obama. But, Spotts volunteered, "I'd vote for Chris Christie right now!"

Likewise, a firefighter on Sandy-beaten Long Beach Island, Jay Zimmerman, told Christie when he visited Wednesday: "I wish you were running last night."

With only 1,457 days until Election Day 2016, maybe Christie's unapologetic bipartisanship is a formula to lead the party back to the White House. Maybe the party sees a need to broaden its base beyond white men. Maybe an antiabortion Republican who doesn't talk about abortion, a gay-marriage foe who favors civil unions, an antiunion guy who doesn't try to take away all benefits is the kind of moderation the GOP needs. 

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