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New Jersey governor makes presidential declaration

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie effectively announced his campaign for president Tuesday, declaring in his re-election victory speech:

“I know that tonight a dispirited America, angry with their dysfunctional government in Washington, looks to New Jersey to say, ‘is what I think’s happening really happening? Are people really coming together? Are we really working – African Americans and Hispanics, suburbanites and city-dwellers, farmers and teachers – are we really all working together?’ Let me give the answer to everyone who is watching tonight – under this government, our first job is to get the job done. And as long as I am governor, that job will always, always be finished.”

While many mainstream Republicans cower when confronted by tea party activists, Christie doesn’t demure from crossing the political aisle to work with Democrats – something he hopes will set him up to be the next Ronald Reagan.

A few hours after the speech, the New Hampshire GOP announced Christie’s regional political director Matt Mowers will be its new executive director. That move suggests New Hampshire Republican leaders want the party to move closer to the political center.

One gets the sense that the Granite State could become a crucial battleground for determining the future direction of the Republican Party.

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