Oh, how the mighty have fallen. To think that only a few years ago, the Beltway media and the conservarazzi were universally celebrating Christie's bullying of teachers that made their eyes well up with tears. What a man, what a conservative hero. Earlier this month he continued his assault on our educators and said that the national teachers union deserved a punch in the face.
He thought he was the straight-talk-express guy, but what he didn't understand is that the Republican base of the party is made up of angry xenophobes, and Donald Trump has captured their hearts. Since Trump took away his thunder and with his drop in the polls, it now appears he's headed for the kiddie table at the CNN debate. Rumors are flying that he's going to pull the plug on his candidacy.
I’m not quite sure what to make of the rumors that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will pull the plug on his star-crossed presidential campaign by the end of the month. Heck, I almost feel bad for the guy…almost.
You may recall that four years ago, Christie gave a bizarre fourteen-minute speech in which he acknowledged that human-caused climate change was real before announcing that he would pull his state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a Northeastern-based cap-and-trade program, on the specious grounds that the program was ineffective. Several months later, investigative journalist Brad Friedman revealed that Christie made this decision shortly after meeting privately with Charles and David Koch. (Just a coincidence, I’m sure.)
It appears that Christie now knows what it’s like to go out with a wealthy man who says he loves you, only to leave you a few years later for a younger, slimmer model (in this case, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker). Now that Christie has apparently been dumped, what should he do next?
Did the Kochs dump the angry one for Chauncey Gardiner? Conservatives hated him for the Obama hug and the Bridgegate scandal really took its toll on his persona, so he is in deep trouble. All I can say is, good riddance if these rumors are true.
Wednesday night’s scene in New Hampshire showed the daunting challenge ahead of Christie. As CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC covered Trump’s first town hall live — breaking only to run clips of Jeb Bush attacking the real estate tycoon — Christie was gasping for air on C-SPAN. Because the governor’s dimly lit event — a town hall at a restaurant outside of Manchester — was outdoors, the few viewers watching saw the candidate gradually disappear into darkness. The next day’s headlines duly focused on the Jeb-Donald contretemps, ignoring Christie’s play for a state he has made central to his fading White House hopes.
“He’s just not getting the traction that I think he was expecting,” said Andy Seale, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.
Christie has become such an also-ran that the Associated Press and the New York Times recently reassigned reporters dedicated to covering Christie — Jill Colvin and Kate Zernike — to other beats.
Then there are the polls.
If current trends hold, the New Jersey governor will likely lose his spot in the primetime CNN/Reagan Library debate on Sept. 16, displaced by a surging Carly Fiorina. As of mid-day Thursday, Christie was in 11th place among GOP presidential contenders in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls — behind Trump, Bush, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Fiorina, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. John Kasich, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
But even if Christie does qualify for another primetime debate, another Republican operative whose firm is working for a candidate polling near the front of the primary field was skeptical that he could gain much traction.
“To me, it just delays the inevitable. I don’t know how he leapfrogs the top four or five people right now. I can see how he stays in for a couple months. But I don’t know how he really jostles and all of a sudden is taking Jeb voters away or Kasich voters,” the operative said.