Tags: 2016 | Elections | Barack Obama | Chris Christie

Chris Christie Bid Is Over

Friday, 15 May 2015 02:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It’s not often that the presidential campaign of a nationally-known heavyweight implodes before it officially begins.

But that’s exactly what happened to the candidacy of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and it is a disaster of his own making.

Using his bull-in-a-china-shop approach, Christie is used to having the ground shake where he walks. During his first term, that produced against-the-odds results, as the GOP governor achieved significant victories despite Jersey’s union-dominated Democratic legislatures. But Christie’s fortunes have been driven off the bridge to nowhere.

Here’s a look at why the Garden State’s once-untouchable oak has wilted to a noxious weed:

First and foremost is Bridge-gate, where high-ranking members of Christie’s staff deliberately snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge as payback against the Fort Lee Mayor for not endorsing the governor.

This is a killer issue, because Christie is damned in every way. First, if he  discovered the truth but covered it up, his presidential aspirations end immediately. Far worse, if he ordered, or agreed to, the closures, he would face impeachment and indictment. If we assume Christie knew nothing, then he was asleep at the switch, showing incompetence by not knowing what his own people were doing.

Many are legitimately questioning his judgment and ability to select the best and brightest staff — the cornerstone of any successful president. Most damaging is the perception that Christie was involved.

Maybe he won’t get hammered by his former aides, and, yes, the investigations have thus far exonerated him. But when seeking the presidency, the only verdict that matters is the court of public opinion. And on Bridge-gate, he loses on all counts.

Jeb Bush deflated whatever air was left in Christie’s sails. Now, the governor has no go-to constituency. The GOP establishment has lined up behind Bush, the Romney camp holds Christie responsible for President Obama’s re-election (yes, of course that’s insane, as Obama walloped Romney from coast to coast), and the conservatives have never trusted Christie. With those three big strikes, Christie is out.

His New York/New Jersey in-your-face attitude has gotten out-of-hand. Voters loved Christie telling people to “get the hell off the beach” during a hurricane, and him standing his ground while being heckled. And he scores major points because he speaks from the heart. People will take that any day over boring, cliché-ridden nonanswers.

But Christie seems to have read too many headlines, and it’s gone to his head. Americans crave a leader who will stand tough (like a Teddy Roosevelt) but they don’t want someone who demeans people for simply disagreeing with him. Americans are wary of electing a short-tempered president whose impulsiveness could harm the country.

In lieu of recent achievements, the vacuum has been filled with criticisms of Christie for what many see as his hypocrisy. He espouses ethics and accountability, but saw no problem taking a state police helicopter to his son’s baseball game. He advocates reigning in government overreach, yet refused to allow a level playing field for new car companies, such as Tesla Motors.

Interfering in the free market, Christie ruled in favor of deep-pocketed corporate interests (and campaign contributors) who wanted special treatment. He hammers the public sector unions for concessions, citing the need to save taxpayer money, yet in a move that many construed as political grandstanding, sent New Jersey state troopers to help quell the unrest in Baltimore — a move that so infuriated Garden State residents that petitions were circulated to recall them.

Since Maryland has over 16,000 police officers and the National Guard, it was quite capable of handling the situation itself. Many see Christie’s move as a stunt to appear more presidential.

None of these inconsistencies, taken individually, are a death knell. But collectively, they, along with Bridge-gate, have prompted many to ask, “Will the real Christie Christie — bold reformer or political hack — please stand up?”

Given that questions about his trustworthiness continue to dog him, and seeing his support eroded, it’s fair to say the fat lady has sung on Christie’s 2016 hopes.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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It’s not often that the presidential campaign of a nationally-known heavyweight implodes before it officially begins. But that’s exactly what happened to the candidacy of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and it is a disaster of his own making.
2016, Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Christie
Friday, 15 May 2015 02:27 PM
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