Those of us in New Jersey knew that this day would come, and it’s really best for the country that Chris Christie has ended his presidential bid. The governor does not have the personality to be a thoughtful, caring, empathetic leader and there’s some poetic justice in the fact that he lost mainly because Donald Trump won. Christie always thought that he was going to be the wise-cracking loudmouth in the race, but Donald upset that cart with his first campaign utterances last spring. Add in the terrible job Christie has done with the economy, his utterly disgraceful YouTube rants and his poisonous attitude towards public workers and anyone who disagrees with him, and you have the recipe for…well, for what just happened.
What struck me about Christie is that he didn’t seem to have a moral compass when it came to running for office. He would say anything, even contradict himself if it served his goals. His charge to the right on many issues left New Jersey in seriously bad shape. He vetoed a train tunnel that the state and region desperately needed, refused to raise the gas tax to pay for our potted roads, and slashed budgets for social services that many state residents needed to survive after the financial crisis hit. He did make his name during the aftermath of Sandy, but even that is overshadowed by the number of people who still don’t have their homes back.
Christie will now come back and be the governor, for at least a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if he left at some point because what’s he really got to work for now? His legacy? Another run in 2020? He can be a FOX News host or lobby for a radio program, but I can see him getting very bored and frustrated by an emboldened Democratic majority that will savage him during the 2017 election, and the state GOP that is furious with him for abandoning them during the Assembly elections in 2015. The man has no coattails. He doesn’t even appear to have much of a coat.
I’m thinking that the biggest beneficiary of Christie’s supporters will be John Kasich as he tries to navigate the rather unfriendly South Carolina political landscape. Perhaps Carly Fiorina’s backers will go with Kasich too. Or maybe I’m just a dreamer and they’ll all go to Trump because he’s such a peachy guy.
The campaign moves on.
Chris Christie goes home.