One of the great misfortunes of my otherwise awesome life has been a keen interest in politics. While I’ve admired many politicians and abhorred many others, there have been some along the way who’ve caused me to simply shake my head, and wonder: “Huh?” Chris Christie remains one of those puzzlements.
The former New Jersey governor, 2016 presidential candidate, adversary-turned-lackey of Donald Trump — and back to adversary — is reportedly set to announce his 2024 presidential candidacy “in coming days,” according to several sources with direct knowledge of the Republican’s intentions.
Scoop: Multiple sources with direct knowledge are telling me that @ChrisChristie will be announcing a run for President in the coming days. The campaign will be focused on New Hampshire and will have the financial backing of Mets owner Steve Cohen, among others. #NHPolitics #FITN
— Chris Ryan (@ChrisRyan603) May 18, 2023
First question? WHY? We’ll get to the answer in a bit, but damn.
CNN reported in April that Christie went through the usual drill — met with potential donors, talked with staffers and others to gauge interest in a potential presidential campaign, yada, yada, yada.
The outlet — The Most Trusted Name in News™ [rolling-eyes emoji] — said at the time:
The New Jersey Republican sees himself as the only serious GOP candidate willing to take on former President Donald. He also sees himself as a candidate who could appeal to enough independents to beat President Joe Biden in the general election, should Biden announce a reelection bid.
Would it be less than tactful to suggest CNN’s Jake Tapper and Kit Maher were smoking some serious weed when they wrote the article, perhaps along with Christie, himself? “Serious” candidate? Christie was repeatedly humiliated by Trump during the 2016 GOP primaries, yet embarrassingly crawled back to Trump when he won the nomination, and promptly prostrated himself at Trump’s feet.
Look, if nothing else, Christie’s got cojones. During a Washington, DC, event last month, he called a presidential run a “huge risk,” but said he would be prepared to debate Trump again. (If Einstein’s definition of insanity is running through your head, right now, you’re not alone.)
If it turns out that I’m on a debate stage in August of this year and Donald Trump decides to be on it, you can be sure that we’ll have some exchanges that I hope will be illuminating to the public about both him and me.
Christie believes “a line was crossed” when Trump refused to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, specifically, the way he did (and continues to do) so.
There’s a difference between spinning politically to try to put yourself in a better position before the vote happens and after the vote happens to say it was ‘rigged.’ No one in this country asked him to be their retribution. I think a president should be our inspiration, not our retribution.
Agreed. Still, Chris Christie has zero chance in hell of winning the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
In a late-April interview with Politico, Christie really took it to Trump, while suggesting that “No one else has the balls to” take on the former president.
[Trump] can’t be a credible figure on the world stage; he can’t be a credible figure interacting with Congress; he will get nothing done.
Christie told Politico that Trump’s vulnerability “needs to be called out and it needs to be called out by somebody who knows him,” adding: “Nobody knows Donald Trump better than I do.”
Still, Christie says he’s not a political assassin:
I’m not a paid assassin. When you’re waking up for your 45th morning at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester, you better think you can win, because that walk from the bed to the shower, if you don’t think you can win, it’s hard.
Finally, via Politico:
Christie said Trump offers a “bountiful buffet” of vulnerabilities that candidates can and should exploit. Republicans, for example, should be reminding voters of Trump’s “disqualifying” call in December for the “termination” of the Constitution over his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
They should also be skewering Trump’s character, he said, particularly over the allegations at the center of his recent criminal indictment in Manhattan: A scheme to buy the silence of a porn star who claimed to have had an affair with Trump.
Asked about Trump taunting him over his low poll numbers at an RNC donor retreat in Nashville this weekend, he chuckled: “Being taunted by Donald Trump, it bothers some people. To me, it’s a compliment.”
So here’s the thing: While I don’t disagree with much of what Chris Christie says with respect to Donald Trump, the former New Jersey governor himself is nowhere near my radar screen as a viable challenger to the former president, and I’m sure I speak for tens of millions of likeminded GOP voters in that respect.
The Bottom Line
As part of my political “problem,” to which I alluded at the top, I’ve often amused myself through the years with the non-serious notion of setting up shop as a consultant to politicians considering a run for the White House — in either party.
My, oh my, how much money, time, effort, and heartbreak I could save a helluva lot of people if they’d just listen to me before taking the plunge. [sarc — barely.]
Are you paying attention, Chris?