By Christine Todd Whitman
August 15, 2012

I am a proud New Jerseyan following the announcement that Gov. Chris Christie will be a keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention at the end of August. As co-host of the 1996 Republican convention in San Diego, I have seen firsthand the challenges and opportunities that come with being featured on such a nationally prominent platform.

Gov. Christie has a delicate balance to strike between revealing his distinct personality and following the preferences of the Romney team who will be carefully planning every element of the convention. It is only fair that the Romney-Ryan campaign vet everything; after all, it is their convention and it is about their message for the fall campaign season. I’m sure, however, that he can allow some of his New Jersey spirit to shine through despite the inevitable scripting.

Gov. Christie has a unique role to play because of his accomplishments in New Jersey. As he has pointed out on several occasions, New Jersey has moved in the right direction during Christie’s administration. President Obama’s comments about how the nation’s governors and mayors are the reason the economy isn’t growing in America – an unfair and inaccurate accusation – open the door for Christie to contrast Republican leadership at the state level and Obama’s nationally.

I know Gov. Christie can represent New Jersey and the Republican mindset well, and I look forward to his keynote address.