Reagan's genius was being able to create a position of strength from what more conventional kinds of people would perceive as weakness. Baby Boomers remember how Reagan positioned and packaged his age as an asset during the presidential debates. His hardscrabble childhood he framed as teaching him to assume there is a pony in a barn full of s___t.
We all know how Christie transformed the catastrophe of Sandy into a pivot to befriend the Obama Administration and provide the media with great photo-ops. Currently he is telling us that Bridgegate is teaching him important lessons. Even if he comes to reflect on those lessons out of the office or in a prison cell he will, like Reagan, have a pull force with many of us.
What we saw in Reagan and what we see in Christie is a human being whose optimism about everything, including adversity, makes us believe more in ourselves and our own chances in life and work.