I was running on a treadmill yesterday when I got a push notification that not only distracted me from the documentary on ancient Rome and almost made me fall on my face. Governor Chris Christie had endorsed Donald Trump for President!
After I thought about it for a little, I realized that it unfortunately isn’t too surprising. I personally have three theories as to why Christie was willing to do this, and then I have a few other comments about what this says about the trajectory of the race as a whole. This whole incident should serve as a reminder that it can sometimes be awkward for former opponents to endorse one another. Greta van Susteren confronted him about how he told her just last year that Trump lacks the temperament to be President, and his response could have been…a lot better.
Without further adieu, here are the reasons!
Christie wants to be Attorney General. This seems to be the second most widely accepted view. Back when Christie was in the race, Twitter would have countless posts about how he would be a great Attorney General. Well, maybe he was reading them during his bathroom break because this seems to me to be the most plausible reason he decided to endorse Trump.
Christie wants Scalia’s Supreme Court seat. I haven’t seen a lot of people mention this, but since a lot of people talk about the next point on my list and I don’t see that as being likely, I see no reason why not to mention this. At this point there’s at least a 40% chance that Scalia’s seat will remain unfilled for the rest of Obama’s term, so I could imagine Christie believing that his previous work as a federal prosecutor would be enough of a qualification.
Christie wants to be Vice President. I’ve been seeing this a lot, but I actually think that Trump is already leaning toward former Senator Scott Brown for Vice President. Candidates tend to remember others who helped them out when they needed it the most, and although Scott Brown had been a Senator for Massachusetts, he ran for Senate in New Hampshire in 2014, and his endorsement of Trump before their primary probably didn’t hurt. Besides, I don’t see the logic in having a ticket have New York and New Jersey as the states that its members hail from.
With the reasons out of the way, there are a couple of other thoughts I’ve been having about this endorsement. The first is that Christie’s endorsement of Trump has put some amount of pressure on the three sitting Governors who had endorsed Christie. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has said that his endorsement of Christie “doesn’t translate” into an endorsement of Trump, which is beyond smart on his part. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker was “surprised” by Christie’s announcement. One of the reasons that Baker had endorsed Christie in the first place was in part over alarm about Trump’s rise. Baker is far from the only one surprised by Christie’s announcement. The New Hampshire Union Leader’s publisher has said that not only did Christie tell him that he would not endorse Trump, but that in fact Christie told Joe McQuaid (the publisher) that the source who had indicated that Christie was going to endorse Trump should “take his head out of his ass.”
The other Governor who had endorsed Christie is Maine’s Governor Paul LePage. It’s hard to read a boring story about him and he, not surprisingly, followed Christie’s lead and endorsed Trump, saying that “I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular. So I think I should support him because we’re one of the same cloth.”
Another interesting outcome of Christie’s endorsement is that many of the figures who had opposed him now support him and vice versa. In the past five years, Ann Coulter has gone from saying that America “needs” Christie to tweeting that Christie is “dead” to her now tweeting the following:
On the other side, some of Christie’s staunchest defenders have written about how he broke their hearts with this endorsement:
Christie’s betrayal is not merely of the conservative movement, of which he appears so contemptuous, but of the Republican Party to which he has devoted his life. More, it is a betrayal of the Constitution he once upheld. Minutes after his joint appearance with Trump, the celebrity candidate took to a stage where he was cheered by his throngs of idolaters for promising to impose dubious restrictions on speech and print so that he could punish those who say mean things about him. Everything for which Trump stands is a betrayal of conservative values, and now Christie has become the chief prosecutor in the case against conservatism.
One of Jeb’s former top advisers also had this to add to the mix:
I also have to hope that there is some context to this tweet that makes this acceptable. If this had been from an official New Jersey government channel telling reporters to speak to a campaign’s press secretary to find out information about New Jersey’s sitting governor, that would be unbelievable. Then again, weirder things have happened this cycle.
— Katie Jennings (@katiedjennings) February 26, 2016
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsFinally, I would be remiss if I didn’t include footage of Rubio’s continued destruction of Trump. Although it’s nine minutes long it’s worth every second. This video can only be described as “on fleek.”