Really absorbing profile by Matt Bai of Chris Christie's fight against the teacher's union in New Jersey (subscription possibly required). The biggest thing I took away from it was what a capable politician Christie is. He knows how to craft compelling narratives and I get the sense that he's like Obama in that he can maintain high approval ratings even when people disagree with some of his policies, simply because of his personal appeal.
The prevailing wisdom seems to have been that Christie's star would fade as he actually began to enact the reforms that he had been promising, and that governing in a budget crisis creates tough choices that hurt people and thus would hurt Christie politically. But it seems like the combination of the New Jersey Educational Association being unsavvy political maneuverers who are having trouble adjusting to the changing times, and the rising unpopularity of unions has created an opportunity for Christie to move forward with his agenda with the perfect scapegoat to fight against, and actually come out of it with an even better reputation because he will be able to cast himself as a maverick reformer.
I'm also not convinced that he's not going to run for president in 2012. I know that he has ruled it out, but any politician actually holding elected office always denies thinking about running all the way up to the second that they announce their candidacy because otherwise they look unprofessional and paint a bullseye for their opponents earlier than they need to (for example, Obama also flatly ruled out running in the last presidential cycle several times before announcing his candidacy). In a relatively weak Republican field, Christie could turn his flavor-of-the-moment buzz into a formidable political machine, and in a general election I think he could be a very dangerous opponent for Obama.