Chris Christie 2024 Is a Joke: In 2010, Chris Christie was a Right-wing media darling.
A tough-talking, no-nonsense former New York prosecutor-turned-New-Jersey governor, Christie was the embodiment of corporate gluttony and law-and-order that made Republican voters flock to him.
That he won as a Republican in notoriously Liberal New Jersey was highly enticing to national Republican Party strategists who were eying their party’s chances in 2012.
In fact, had Christie made it clear that he was going to run in 2012 then it is unlikely that the GOP Republican Primary of that year would have been as divisive.
What’s more, Republicans would’ve gotten a candidate that, until 2012, they were proud of.
After all, Christie’s negative turn in the eyes of Republican voters did not happen until his infamous, pleading hug with then-President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Sandy in late 2012.
When Destiny Comes Knocking, Put Down the Twinkie and Answer the Call
Had Christie embraced his destiny from the outset and ran for president in 2012 rather than navel-gaze and ultimately decided not to run at that moment, likely, the career-ending hug with POTUS-44 would not have ever occurred.
Actually, it’s likely that Christie would have defeated Obama.
People forget how popular Christie was back in those days. The mistress of the American Right, Ann Coulter, swooned over him as the next president. The Tea Party viewed Christie as an example of the kind of hold-their-feet-to-the-ground reform politics that embodied the populist Right.
Chris Christie was respected for having managed an unlikely victory in Liberal New Jersey—and actually governing as a competent administrator. This made him a threat to Obama going into 2012.
Chris Christie, however, had some deep, unknown personal weakness that prevented him from simply stepping out of his way and chasing the crown boldly in 2012. The closer the country got to the 2012 Presidential Election, the fickler and more introspective Christie became.
The more fearful of defeat he became, too. And those feelings overcame him at a critical hour.
Rather than throw caution into the wind and unapologetically run for the highest office in the land as so many expected him to do, Chris Christie tied himself down in New Jersey, focusing entirely too much on running a state that was, let’s face it, unsalvageable (especially because whoever would succeed him as governor was likely to be another Liberal Democrat who’d undo everything Christie had done).
By the time Christie had gotten around to running for the presidency—2016—it was too late. His moment as a presidential contender had passed. It was 2012 or bust (Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis must keep this in mind when deciding whether to run in 2024 or wait until 2028).
In just a few short years, thanks to his own fickleness, Chris Christie went from being the next likely Republican president to the butt of all jokes.
Chris Christie’s Second Wind
Christie was crushed early during the contentious 2016 GOP Presidential Primary. Just when it seemed, though, his days as a public figure and a real power player were over, he gave himself a new lease on life.
Chris Christie had a long-running friendship with Donald J. Trump and his wife, Melania.
He also had a tumultuous relationship with Trump’s consigliere and son-in-law, Jared Kushner (Christie put Kushner’s father behind bars while serving as a prosecutor).
Because of his proximity to the Trump Family, and because Christie had a strong political sense about him, he quickly endorsed Trump.
That early endorsement made Christie an essential adviser to the Trump Campaign. Had it not been for the presence of Jared Kushner (and had Christie not shot himself in the foot by telling Trump to drop out of the race after the “grab ‘em by the pussy[cat]” Access Hollywood tape dropped, Christie would’ve been a much more serious player in the Trump Administration.
More to the point, Christie should have been a much more serious player in the Trump presidency.
Whatever else he was, Christie was a skilled technocrat with a deep reservoir of personal contacts in the power structure that would have been beneficial to President Trump. The forty-fifth president was much in the way of boldness and little in the way of throughput because Trump lacked the experience and contacts to execute his bold vision for America’s future effectively.
What’s more, Trump had notorious and frequent clashes with his team that often resulted in painful exits of that staff and critical time for the execution of policies to have been wasted. Further, with each public spat and firing that Trump had with his advisers, the more political capital he lost, as others in Washington, D.C. believed the forty-fifth president was nuts.
Had Chris Christie been made Trump’s White House chief of staff—the so-called gatekeeper—that would have been changed. This is especially so because of the long personal history that Christie had with both Donald and Melania Trump. Christie was likely the only one who could’ve tempered Trump over the years he spent in the White House.
Just remember that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, then-President Trump had brought Chris Christie on as an unofficial advisor. At the urging of Melania Trump, President Trump had offered the job of White House chief of staff repeatedly. Chris Christie, seeing the chaos that Trump fostered in his own administration, refused to join the insane clown car.
In this, Christie’s play-it-safe instincts that cost him the White House in 2012 likely saved him in 2020. By President Trump’s reelection bid, it was obvious to anyone but the most desperately sycophantic that Trump’s days as president were numbered.
And, so they were.
Chirs Christie Should’ve Been Trump’s Chief of Staff
Yet, had Christie made a more passionate play to be made Trump’s chief of staff at the start of the campaign, it is likely that things in the Trump White House would have been more disciplined and maybe even more successful.
For Trump, the greatest hindrance to his agenda was his own personnel choices (most of whom were a bizarre combination of anti-Trump Bush retreads and lunatic CPAC rejects who just wanted to use their access to Trump to springboard into successful media gigs).
Had Christie been properly rewarded for his early loyalty to Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election cycle by being made into Trump’s first White House chief of staff, he’d have likely been able to do proper staffing of the administration. This would have had a cumulative effect of making the Trump Administration more effective and successful over its time in office.
Beyond that, Christie would have brought his years of experience connections in government—as well as his close relationship with the Trumps—to help deliver one of the most successful presidencies in modern history. He could have been what James Baker was to George H.W. Bush.
Chris Christie Has No Future
Of course, all this could have been avoided had Christie simply answered destiny’s call going into 2012. He could’ve been the great man who saved the republic and who saved the GOP. Instead, he is a vestigial remnant of a bygone era in Republican Party politics. A sad reminder of what wasted talent and missed opportunities looks like. And yet, the man still believes he might have a future as a presidential contender.
Chris Christie has no future now in politics. His days are over as a candidate or a behind-the-scenes gatekeeper. It’s pathetic to see him still cogitating about his political future. Christie should just retire and enjoy a quiet life because anything else is embarrassing.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.