Chris Christie's moment of truth

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Prediction is hazardous, but I will predict this: It will be nearly impossible for Christie to run in 2016, be nominated by Republicans and be elected. He can do two out of three, but if he moves so far to the right to become acceptable to the rightist GOP base, he will lose his street cred with moderate and independent voters and suffer the fate of Mitt Romney, who ended up with street cred with nobody and has disappeared.

On the other hand, if Christie takes a high-risk, highly principled position and becomes a powerful voice of political independents at a time when both parties and Washington are unpopular, all bets are off and things get interesting.

To do this, however, he would have to reject the wishes of the radical right and partisan Republicans in Washington. What most media miss is that the stakes in Christie's Senate choice are very high for Obama. The political lovemaking that Obama offered Christie last week in New Jersey was a virtual endorsement of Christie for reelection.

Considering how much Christie's conduct in the closing days of the 2012 campaign helped Obama, Obama owes him. But if Obama and some of his donors hurt the Democrat candidate running against Christie for governor and pour money into Christie's coffers that will not only help him be reelected but could also help him run against Hillary Clinton in 2016, that would create huge controversy among Democrats and liberals if Christie's Senate choice votes against Obama and Senate Democrats on major issues. 

Stay tuned. This is high-stakes poker, and Chris Christie is about to show his hand.