The first time I saw New Jersey governor Chris Christie on television, a few years ago, my first reaction was astonishment: “A talking Republican!”

It would scarcely have been more astonishing if there had been a talking giraffe. For reasons unknown, most Republican leaders seem to pay very little attention to articulation — certainly as compared with leading Democrats, who seem to pay little attention to anything else.

Governor Christie’s nearly two-hour-long press conference last week showed again that he is in a class by himself when it comes to Republicans who can express themselves in the heat of political battle.

When it comes to policies, I might prefer some other Republican as a 2016 presidential candidate. But the bottom line in politics is that you have to get elected in order to have the power to accomplish anything. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if you can’t be bothered to articulate them in a way that the voting public can understand.