Friday, January 10, 2014

What struck me about this whole...

...Chris Christie business yesterday was how few people came to the governor's rescue.

Did I say "few"? I can't recall anyone stepping forward to defend him. Apparently, not only does Christie have no friends; he may have no constituency. And it made me wonder, is this guy nothing more than the creation of a few big-money donors in New York and some sympathetic journalists who are just dying to win back the White House? Maybe.

Imagine if something like this happened to Hillary Clinton or someone on the Republican side, like George W. Bush, Rand Paul or Ted Cruz. Next to the feeding frenzy of the press you'd have supporters coming out of the woodwork complaining about a witch hunt. (Heck, even a dope like Gov. Rick Perry still has fans in Texas.) But not yesterday. (As far as I could tell.) All I saw was the media circus and a few on the right taking schadenfreude in the spectacle. Where were Chris Christie's people? As George Carlin would say, "Nowhere, mon frere."

So what does all this mean? I'm not sure, but the New Jersey governor's support may be just an illusion. (Kind of like Rudy Giuliani's back in 2008.) I remember someone once saying about a similar candidate, "His support is a mile wide but only an inch deep." Maybe some of the movers and shakers in the GOP have been talking up Chris Christie only because they thought he could win. (Until yesterday Christie could have been considered the front runner for the nomination. I know it's early, but he was beating Hillary in some polls.) Now that the guy has some warts his "supporters" all seem to be heading for the hills.

I don't know if Chris Christie is toast or not. It's way too early and anything can happen between now and 2016. But do I buy his story? Not really. There are still too many questions and the whole thing just doesn't pass the smell test. (I expect a lot -- a lot -- to come out in the next few days, weeks and months.)

Another problem for Christie is that there will be a number of candidates in 2016 with a plausible path to the nomination: Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush all come immediately to mind. So this won't be like last time, when Mitt Romney ran essentially unopposed. The GOP may arrive at its next nominee through the process of elimination and Christie now has a big blemish on his record.

Worst of all, he may have no friends.

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