Make available a sizeable chunk of square footage on this summer’s debate stage as former New Jersey governor and longtime Republican bad boy Chris Christie is sending rumblings
that he’s contemplating a run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination against Donald Trump and company.
Christie’s been spotted quite a lot around establishment media circles lately, and many political observers suggest his pervasiveness isn’t just because the man enjoys the glare, which clearly, he does. But rather than present a loyal Republican’s hard-hitting assessment of the wickedly corrupt senile Joe Biden administration, Chris has chosen to snipe at former president Donald Trump’s sometimes uneven behavior instead.
Everyone knows Trump loves the spotlight. But so does Christie. It’s not clear why Chris has made such a public spectacle of himself of late, but if truly not intending to run for president – again – what is his scheme? Is Christie planning to switch sides? Or has there been a real conversion on his part to Democrat anti-Trump leftism?
In a piece titled “Christie ups profile with acerbic attacks on Trump”, Julia Manchester and Brett Samuels recently wrote at The Hill: “…Christie made news describing the endless ‘circus’ surrounding Trump as the former president predicted his own arrest, showing off an ability to cut down the former president.
“’The circus continues. I mean, look, he only profits and does well in chaos and turmoil. And so he wants to create the chaos and turmoil on his terms. He doesn’t want anybody else’s terms … he wants it on his terms,’ Christie said on ABC’s ‘This Week.’
“Christie appears to be seeking out a lane in a potential primary race as a candidate willing to go toe-to-toe with Trump where others are not, with many of the would-be challengers dancing around criticizing Trump directly. The former governor has wide name recognition, and his perch as an ABC News commentator gives him a way to remain in the news by weighing in on each new Trump controversy.”
Not sure if it was intentional on the Hill writers’ part, but if the portly Chris Christie is looking for a lane and is “weighing in” on something, it’d better be a strong and wide lane, shouldn’t it?
Okay, as someone with a few spare pounds myself, no more fat jokes.
But nevertheless, it’s hard to decipher exactly what Christie hopes to gain by so brazenly blasting the de facto leader of his party. Christie’s always been regarded as a critic but isn’t thought of as a NeverTrumper like John Kasich or John McCain’s surviving family members. Or Paul Ryan. So what’s Chris’s rationale for skipping to the establishment media to fan more “chaos” flames against Trump and Trump alone?
In military terminology (at least in the old days), Christie is creating a diversion, meaning one side mounts an attack on a portion of the enemy’s line to fool commanders into believing it’s a full-scale attack and hopefully force the foes to pull men and guns away from the actual place where the main thrust would occur.
At the fateful Civil War battle of Gettysburg (July, 1863), for example, on the second day of fighting, Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered a lightly supported diversion to focus on Culp’s Hill at the farthest north point on the federal line (the famous “fish hook” shape). Meanwhile, Lee sent General Longstreet to attack the southernmost part of the Yankee line shortly afterward with sufficient strength to flank the Union army.
The diversion didn’t succeed because the two attacks transpired simultaneously, preventing the Union side from weakening either end of its line. Thus, miscommunication between the Confederate commanders saved the Union from what might have been a very disastrous (for them) split in their defenses.
Here’s thinking what Chris Christie is engaging in these days is serving as a “diversion” from the main 2024 GOP primary scuffle, perhaps trying to buy himself or another candidate (Ron DeSantis? Nikki Haley?) time to gather strength for a major campaign against Trump. Christie couldn’t possibly be hacking at Trump just to promote his own chances for another presidential run alone.
Christie ran in the 2016 GOP primaries when he conceivably had a much better chance to actually win the nomination. He was the hard-charging, straight-talking verbal puncher from The Garden State, the one who never shied away from a heated argument and could look anyone in the eye and toss pointed barbs. Besides, his girth was distinctive and everyone, not just political enthusiasts, knew who Chris Christie was.
But for a multitude of reasons, Christie never caught on. Certainly, the more socially-observant conservatives in Iowa wouldn’t take to his culturally liberal and anti-gun views. Chris put almost all of his emphasis on laying a foundation in New Hampshire, where the sizable contingent of libertarian anti-big government voters would theoretically take to his union-busting style.
It didn’t work, and Christie backed Trump. So why the Christie anti-Trump crusade now?
It shouldn’t be forgotten how Christie likely harbors a healthy resentment against Trump for being all but exed-out of the 2016 winner’s transition team after the election. Christie had been hired to run the transition the previous summer after apparently having had a face-to-face run-in with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner over who should be put in charge if Trump won. Trump did indeed prevail over Crooked Hillary and Christie was quickly replaced a mere two days after the Democrat conceded.
I don’t recall the specifics of Christie’s ouster, but I do remember conservatives were boisterous in saying the former New Jersey governor should not be leading such an important mission for the new populist president who’d been elected largely because conservatives opted to join his effort rather than sit out the vote like so many establishment Republicans did.
Also recall Christie exited the 2016 GOP primary race early after poor showings in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and endorsed Trump in the boiling hot war for supremacy between the New Yorker and Ted Cruz. Conservatives still remember how Christie played a vital role in taking down the candidacy of establishmentarian Marco Rubio (Marco Robot-o?) at the presidential debate a few days before the New Hampshire primary.
I still enjoy re-watching the back-and-forth between Christie and Rubio. It’s one of the few moments every cycle that makes the “debates” worth watching, right?
No one disputes Christie’s penchant for political fisticuffs, and not even Trump would rate superior for throwing jabs at an opponent. As a federal prosecutor, Christie garnered a reputation for fearless pursuit of dirty public officials and the way he speaks… well, you wouldn’t want to be on the opposing side because he’s fearless. Chris further earned that standing by directly confronting some of the public employee unions in New Jersey as governor. It’s what made him a national figure after his election in 2009.
Christie’s luster as a conservative champion wore off after it was revealed he wasn’t exactly the plucky budget buster he made himself out to be. Then he opted out of challenging for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, which, in hindsight, was probably his biggest Republican mistake because he could’ve given spineless Mitt Romney a run for his money at the time.
Then, in one of the most notorious public relations snafus of all-time, Christie “hugged” Barack Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Why not just giftwrap an election, Chris? This was the bipartisan “presidential” moment Obama was looking for. The undecided voters went for the Democrat en masse and poor Mitt never got close to winning.
America, of course, was the biggest loser. Christie didn’t score the deciding goal, but definitely credit him with an assist.
In all of this, Christie apparently thinks the only reason Trump continues to be successful is the former president hasn’t been sufficiently pressed, like Chris did to Rubio seven years ago. I can’t speak for Trump, but it seems he would welcome Christie standing opposite him and venting his beefs in a very public way. It would only give Trump more than his share of attention, and that’s precisely what the lifelong celebrity craves.
In case you were wondering, Christie doesn’t mince words with Ron DeSantis, either.
Wouldn’t Christie be better off saving his talent for political assault to use on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? There’s more than enough there for a smash-mouth former Republican governor to go after. Or couldn’t Christie delve into the details of Hunter Biden’s laptop, or senile Joe’s family businesses? Or the lawbreaking possession of classified material Joe and ilk likely used to generate business with Ukraine and China?
Republican presidential candidates won’t get far by simply concentrating on Trump himself. Fair criticism of policy issues (COVID, anyone?) is one thing, but solely homing in on the establishment media’s circus environment around the former president?
Does Christie want to forever be known as the Republican who ruined Donald Trump?
There’s still a long way to go in the 2024 GOP presidential primary race, but already the contest has taken on the aura of everyone-versus-Donald Trump. Chris Christie is an interesting guy and always puts on a good show for the TV cameras, but are conservatives really seeking a candidate who doesn’t seem interested in anything other than savaging Donald Trump?
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