Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Do mainstream campaign journalists have any idea how ridiculous they look to the rest of us?

Oh, please. There won't be any "Chris Christie rebrand" in New Hampshire or anywhere else. If he joins the presidential race -- which he seems eager to do -- he'll be the same second-rate thug he's always been, a cowardly bully who was willing to use the power of his office (when he had an office) to trash-talk anyone who disagreed with him, but who wouldn't challenge Donald Trump when somebody needed to in the 2016 primaries, instead becoming a pathetic Trump sycophant as soon as he dropped out of the race.

Now Christie implies that he's really gonna get that Trump guy this time, according to Politico:
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wondered if the Republican field has what it takes to stop former President Donald Trump.

Christie challenged Republicans to find someone who can do to Trump “what I did to Marco” Rubio — a callback to his 2016 debate-stage evisceration of the Republican senator from Florida — “because that’s the only thing that’s going to defeat” Trump.

“You have to be fearless, because he will come back — and right at you,” Christie said. “And that means you need to think about who’s got the skill to do that, and who’s got the guts to do that, because it’s not going to end nicely.”

Christie’s former supporters in New Hampshire hope it’ll be him.
About that "evisceration": If you watch it now, you realize that the biggest mistake was Rubio's decision to repeat the canned Barack Obama mini-speech he'd already recited. He'd just delivered a scripted but reasonably effective attack on Christie, and then he inexplicably followed it up with a repeat of the Obama attack. He didn't do it because Christie had rattled him. He did it because he thought the Obama attack was awesome. Only then did Christie really go in for the kill.

Does anything think Donald Trump will respond to Christie trash talk the way Rubio did -- with canned material recited as if he doesn't want to get his hair mussed? Does anyone doubt that Trump will respond with something crude, vicious, and effective? Especially when Christie is telegraphing his punch now, months ahead of the debates, and when Trump (unlike Rubio) has a large contingent of voters who don't just support him but genuinely love him?

Christie thinks he'll totally win this fight.
Christie was cagey about whether he is actually running for president again. But if he is — he’s said a decision could come in 45 to 60 days — he spelled out a clear lane for himself as Trump’s critic in chief.

Christie doesn’t see one in what is shaping up to be the 2024 Republican field.

“They’re going to wriggle right up next to him and say ‘I’m almost like him, but I’m not quite as bad,’” Christie said of his would-be rivals. “Let me tell you something, everybody. That’s going to lose as certain as he lost in ‘20, as we lost the House in ‘18, as we lost the Senate in ‘21, as we underperformed in ‘22.”
The Semafor story suggests that Christie might have the chops to bruise the other front-runner, at least lightly:
Christie also took swipes at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, mocking his description of the Ukraine war as a “territorial dispute” ...

“Let me tell you, everybody, what a territorial dispute is. It's when you get your property survey, and you find out that your neighbor's fence is six inches on your property. That's a territorial dispute. When you roll tanks and artillery into a free country in an attempt to take their land and their lives by force: That is authoritarian aggression,” Christie said. “Someone please place a wake up call to Tallahassee.”
That's not a terrible line. But remember, even after Christie's alleged "evisceration" of Rubio, the Florida senator finished second in South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Virginia, and Vermont, and finished first in Minnesota. (A couple of days after that debate performance, Christie finished sixth in New Hampshire, four points behind Rubio, and then dropped out of the race.) There's a case to be made that Rubio did about as well in the primaries as he would have done if the Christie attack had never happened. If there was a millstone around Rubio's neck, it was Trump's ridiculous nickname "Lil' Marco," not the Christie attack.

Even if you think Christie did Rubio in, he won't do the same to Trump. But he and the media can keep dreaming.

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