Chris Christie just made the GOP race a lot more interesting

The governor of New Jersey was on the periphery of the debate’s dramatic fireworks — with Ted Cruz and Rand Paul trying to blow up Marco Rubio on foreign policy and immigration while Jeb Bush tried to elevate himself by going directly at Donald Trump as the “chaos candidate.”

So Christie played to his own strengths, talking tough on ISIS and terror while making the key point that the signal responsibility of the president is to keep the citizenry safe.

Christie’s future in the Republican race rests entirely on his ability either to win or place a very strong second in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary (after the Iowa caucus) Feb. 9.

He’s in the mix there, and his confident bearing and fluent presentation might well have the effect of solidifying his soft support in the state and causing others to take a renewed interest in him.