It hasn’t been Chris Christie’s year. Thought at one time to be a strong contender for the presidency, the New Jersey governor’s star fell when the Bridgegate scandal broke wide open. He made a game attempt at the White House anyway, but he never made much of an impact on the polls. His biggest moment in the primaries came at the expense of Marco Rubio, whom he destroyed on a debate stage by drawing attention to his “30 second prepared speech.” Christie was soon out…and Rubio wasn’t far behind him.
Unlike Rubio, however, Christie immediately threw his support behind the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. When Trump won the nomination, Christie was tapped to lead his White House transition team. After Trump was elected, it was practically a foregone conclusion that Christie would have a place in his Cabinet.
But then the winds changed. Christie was removed from the transition team after the conclusion of the Bridgegate trial. Some said he was cast aside due to his historical differences with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Some said it was because Trump thought Christie was guilty in the Bridgegate scandal and found his claims of innocence unbelievable. Either way, it was clear that a rift had developed.
The rumor, though, was that Christie would be named to replace Reince Priebus as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. A little consolation prize for the good governor. Now, though, it looks like that’s off the table as well. According to The New York Times, Christie was informed this week that he will not be heading up the RNC after all. The decision may or may not be related to a recent New Jersey poll that has Christie at an astonishingly poor 19% approval rating. Not exactly the kind of “winner” Trump likes to associate himself with.
Christie earned himself plenty of conservative scorn with his infamous Obama Hug back in 2012, and it’s still difficult to imagine how Bridgegate unfolded without his knowledge or consent, but he deserves respect for being one of the first big Republicans to endorse Trump. That took some guts, and there were a lot of pundits who said he was throwing his career away. Since his reward may not be coming from Trump, hopefully it will at least come from Trump’s supporters.