New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is fast becoming a media celebrity. And his recognition of President Obama during Superstorm Sandy--a show of camaraderie that many Republicans blasted--provided some dramatic human contrast to an otherwise nasty, divisive campaign in which both sides painted the other as the forebears of national ruin. Christie is certainly a likable guy. And many voters find his outspokenness (read: bluntness) a refreshing attribute for a politician.

Gov. Christie also is in the news as far as health reform goes. New Jersey apparently is going to sidestep the creation of a state insurance exchange--an option available to each of the states under President Obama’s health reform law. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling, states can opt out of the exchanges and essentially let the feds run the show. You’d think that the GOP--with all its emphasis on state and local ownership--would jump at the opportunity to broker such an exchange (which would bring in the commercial plans as well as public ones). Christie told the Washington Post that he’s concerned about the cost of running the exchange.

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