Christie exits ungracefully
I might say that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took my advice to drop out of the presidential race, but if that were literally true, he would have dropped out back in November and endorsed Nikki Haley. Instead, he stayed in too long.
By his own admission, Christie’s primary motivation – other than candidate-itis – was to make sure that President Trump did not win a second term. There can be no argument against the fact that Christie was the most anti-Trump of the leading GOP presidential wannabes. He often made that point, himself.
However, it was obvious several months ago that Christie’s presence in the race was significantly helping Trump by dividing up the primary vote – even though he had no chance of winning the GOP nomination for President. Despite his constant attacks on Trump, Christie was a spoiler.
Because of his attacks on Trump, Christie had very little support from conservative Republicans – very little indeed. That is ironic, because the Christie that won the New Jersey governorship was the darling of the Republican right. He was an outspoken, tell-it-like-it-is candidate. By most accounts he was a popular Republican governor in a Democrat state. Based on that reputation, he made a CREDIBLE bid for the presidency in the past.
That has all changed. Christie no longer resides in the pantheon of right-wing political gods. He has been reduced to a demigod, at best. (Not to be confused with demagogue.) That loss was not compensated for by any significant gain among moderates. Ergo, he never could gain more percentage points in the polls than he has fingers.
Unfortunately, Christie would not even bow out gracefully. As of this writing, he has not endorsed any other candidate. He was caught on open mic being derisive of Nikki Halley – the woman he praised in the last debate in which Christie was able to qualify. He later referred to her as the new Romney – and that was not a compliment.
In a bizarre analysis, Christie claimed that because Halley and DeSantis had both outraised him in campaign funds, and rhetorically asked, “So, who is punching above their weight?” (Whoa! Perhaps he should have chosen a better choice of words. If Christie was punching above his weight, HE would have the 30-point lead.)
Finally, Christie has faced reality and dropped from the race. At this juncture, however, it is not likely to have as much impact on the race as it would have in November. Christie now joins the other dropouts in political oblivion. It is hard to imagine any comebacks in his future.
So, there ‘tis.