The Republican Presidential hopeful Chris Christie arrived in London, on Sunday, for a three-day visit that will include a meeting at Number 10, for informal talks, with the Prime Minister David Cameron and a trip to the Emirates for the ‘soccer’ match between Arsenal and Aston Villa. The Governor will also meet with Chancellor George Osborne and sit through a rehearsal of Shakespeare’s Henry V at the Globe.
Governor Christie’s aids say the trip is a trade mission on behalf of New Jersey to bolster economic, cultural and diplomatic ties with Britain. With the US Presidential election coming up in 2016, this trip has the added benefit of increasing his foreign policy credentials. This sudden visit comes after trips to Mexico, Canada and Israel. Since taking office, Governor Christie has spent over $1million in travelling expenses, coming under heavy criticism after it was revealed he had paid for his diplomatic trip to Middle East, in 2012, with New Jersey taxpayers’ money.
Potential US Presidential candidates often visit allies in order to showcase their ability to lead America and the World. In November, US Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush visited David Cameron “for drinks” at Downing Street and met with George Osborne, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Chief Whip, Michael Gove. Ahead of the 2012 US Presidential race, Mitt Romney paid an infamous visit to the UK where criticised the preparations for the London 2012 Olympics, leading to public rebuttals by Mr Cameron and Boris Johnson. Next up will be the Wisconsin Senator, Scott Walker, who will arrive in London, on the 9th of February, for a similar trade mission on behalf of his state.
After Mitt Romney announced, on Friday, his withdrawal from the 2016 US Presidential Race, Governor Christie is seen as one of the favourites leading into the Republican Party primaries. Former President George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, and libertarian Rand Paul are believed to be Governor Christie’s main rivals. With President Barack Obama unable to run again after completing two terms, the front-runner to land the Democratic Party presidential nomination is former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.