The wounded beast heads home

Christie: You gotta problem with wasting taxpayers' money?
Christie: Living and dying by the smirk

Chris Christie’s political persona lived by the smirk–and, this past week in New Hampshire, it died by the smirk. His relentless attack on Marco Rubio on what was, after all, a meaningless point, more than just damaged the Florida senator’s standing, it put an inglorious end to Christie’s hopeless crusade.

Clearly, the New Jersey governor hoped tearing apart Rubio would help his own campaign but all it did was show New Hampshire what New Jersey has known for years–Christie is a shallow wise-ass who can charm some of the boys in the press and sycophantic and traitorous Democrats like Joe DiVincenzo, the Essex County executive,  and Brian Stack,  the mayor of Union City, but he can’t fool an entire nation.

Few New Jersey politicians had less there there–and, eventually, the state’s people found out. In a way, watching Christie perform from a distance–in Iowa and New Hampshire and debate venues–made him clearer in New Jersey’s eyes.

The people of the state knew, for example, he was no hero to the victims of Superstorm Sandy. They knew he was no terrorist-chasing federal prosecutor.  They knew his claims for reaching consensus “across the aisle” were euphemistic for cutting deals with unsavory Democrat bosses like South Jersey’s George Norcross III and Newark’s Steve Adubato.

They also knew–boy, did they ever–that he didn’t “tell it like it is.” He lied and lied and lied. Whether it was about eliminating Common Core–he didn’t–or being cleared by three Bridgegate investigations–he wasn’t.

Christie had a long run, mostly because of mainstream media’s fascination with the playground bully and their contempt for Christie’s bitterest foes, public employee unions. For newspaper’s like The Star-Ledger, if the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) opposed Christie on an issue, the governor had to be right because the publication swallowed whole the belief, encouraged by Christie, that working stiffs who want more out of life–unlike the rich who own most of everything–were selfish.

While the people of New Jersey–who gave Christie extraordinarily high disapproval ratings–could see their governor more clearly from a distance, a few media outlets held on as long as they could to the fantasy that Christie might be president some day, something a blind mole buried in the dirt could see wasn’t going to happen.

It helped “clicks,” the digital future’s poor substitute for circulation. Christie’s silly crusade for the White House undoubtedly had many people clicking on their computers to catch the latest buffoonery, but it couldn’t last. Just a day before the New Hampshire primary, The Star-Ledger’s splash headline was quoting Christie about how he would do “very, very well.”  I know I am old and I grew up in a different era of journalism–but you don’t squander precious front-page space on such unalloyed boosterism.

In the end, Chris Christie proved to be exactly what he was–a nobody. A nobody who lost a local Morris County election  but who had a brother who could buy him a job he didn’t deserve and had no right to fill, the federal prosecutor’s position in New Jersey.

With his media friends, he built a false image of himself as a corruption fighter–even when he exploited his authority for his own corrupt political ends: Going after Democrats and Republicans who stood in his way, concocting entrapment schemes, leaking toxic information to hurt potential rivals.

The last and worst was his manipulation of the sicko Solomon Dwek to put the final nail in former Gov. Jon Corzine’s political coffin. Yes, that occurred after he resigned–but we all know Christie left behind loyalists who timed the “Bid Rig” investigation to come out just before the 2009 gubernatorial election.

Corruption fighter? What a joke. Believe that one and there is a bridge over the Hudson I could sell you–complete with red traffic cones ready for a new traffic study.

Now he will come home to New Jersey, a wounded beast thirsting for retribution, undoubtedly hoping a Republican will capture the White House and he can obtain yet another unmerited political job.

With Christie out of the race, the people of America can breathe a little easier that, while there are still wackos running for president, citizens won’t have to worry about a man who used the awesome powers of the federal criminal justice system to silence political opponents.

Unless, of course, President Donald Trump makes him attorney general.

10 comments

  1. Nicholas Marchese

    What a wonderful article. All I wanted to say about the Christie’s Rubio show was, nice job big man. You took him down along with yourself. Maybe Christie just took the bullet or jumped on the grenade for the rest of the team, I don’t think so, he just showed his true colors. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Unfortunately we’re stuck with him now.

  2. Kathy Kelly

    Such a pleasure to read an article by someone who tells it like it is!!! I am so glad he has left the race-too bad he has to return to NJ! Sure hope he doesn’t take his frustration out on the NJEA!!!!

  3. mike

    I kept wandering when Christie talked about getting up every morning trying to find out what problems needed to be solved for the people of New Jersey why Rubio didn’t hit with Bridgegate as in “On which of the four days that the GWB was shut down did you get out of bed ready solve that crisis?” especially when it was deliberately caused by your own people.

    Bob Braun: Good one. I wish he had stayed in the race long enough for someone to hit him with that one.

  4. JerseyGuy

    Heller captured Christie perfectly in 4 sentences: “It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”
    ― Joseph Heller, Catch 22

  5. FFG

    Bob,
    Your article reminded me of the following:
    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
    I believe you have shown us that you are the cold, timid soul. I give the Governor credit for trying even if he fell short.

    Bob Braun: You’ve got to be kidding. Roosevelt was not talking about campaigning, but achievement. Besides dividing the people of New Jersey, what achievements would you like to list? What “worthy causes”? I’ll find the context of TR’s comment and report back.

    Bob Braun: I suggest you read TR’s entire speech, delivered at the Sorbonne in 1910. He was NOT talking about political campaigns but rather of effete persons of leisure who mock hard work. My favorite lines, particularly relevant to Christie, are these:

    “The phrase-maker, the phrase-monger, the ready talker, however great his power, whose speech does not make for courage, sobriety and right understanding, is simply a noxious element in the body politic.”

    And–it’s as if Roosevelt knew Christie:

    “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.” For so long as I’ve known Chris Christie, he has faced life–and his critics and just plain people–with a sneer.

    Do read the speech. You will be enlightened.

  6. booklady

    Kathy Kelly,
    It could be harder for Christie to hassle NJEA now that we know Debra Wong Yang bills $350 per hour to defend 1 governor while teachers address the needs of 25 to 30 students at a time for much less. Maybe NJEA will sponsor a new billboard?

  7. Michael

    It’s amazing that Rubio didn’t go back at the fat man for his 25 second spiel he always throws out about being a former federal prosecutor. was getting sick of hearing it. Hopefully the next prosecutor he deals with is indicting him and sending him to jail. One can only hope.

  8. booklady

    Re Christie’s attorney @ $350 per Hour: A few years ago I read that NJ teacher median salary was $62,000. Ha, divided by 180 school days, that’s $344.444444 per Day. For 185-day contract, $335.135135 per Day.

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