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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can name a successor for Frank Lautenberg, who died at the age of 89 on Monday, becoming the 299th Senator to pass away in office. But it’s yet another moment when what’s good for Christie in 2013 might not be good for him in 2016. Christie, after all, is a Republican running a state that voted for President Obama by almost 18 points. “Replacing a Democrat with a Democrat and then saying the voters should decide what happens next in November would no doubt be very well-received by Democrats and moderates,” The Washington Post‘s Sean Sullivan writes. But that would mean Republicans who are already annoyed with Christie and his Obama-hugging antics would disown him.

To understand the difficult position Christie’s in, look at these two tweets: “What lucky Democrat will Democrat Chris Christie appoint to Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat?” conservative thriller author Brad Thor asks. Salon’s Joan Walsh adds: “Hey Dem donors giving to Chris Christie: will you rethink if he picks a Republican to replace Lautenberg?”

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