Last night, a packed ballroom full of supporters listened to speeches from Josh Mandel and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Attendees arrived early and enthusiasm was high. Mandel is a terrific speaker, and he certainly motivated an already excited room full of NE Ohio Republicans to help him unseat Sherrod Brown in November.
The star of the show, however, was Chris Christie. The governor emphasized how even in New Jersey, they know how important Ohio is to the presidential race and to control of the Senate. For myself, and most of the crowd, it was our first time hearing Christie speak in person, and he did not disappoint.
One of the main things people love about Christie is his unapologetic manner of telling people what he really thinks, and knowing that it is completely natural to him. That honest sincerity certainly was on display. But he also had the audience laughing throughout his address.
He joked with the supporters that they had better keep volunteering and supporting Josh, because he will back to Ohio, and he had better like what he sees. "I seem very friendly up here right now, but as I'm sure you've seen on the news...there's another side to me." (Paraphrasing)
The governor took a couple of questions from the crowd, and of course, the first one was whether he would consider being Mitt Romney's running mate. "Well that didn't take long, did it?!" Christie replied that that choice will be completely up to Governor Romney. He said that he is not actively seeking or expecting the opportunity, but if Romney calls, he'd certainly "pick up the phone."
Josh also received support in Ohio from Senator John McCain yesterday.