Everything You Need to Know About Chris Christie
He is what he is.
1. Chris Christie
Chris Christie is running for president. Charlie talked about this at length this morning, but I have some thoughts, too.
First: Cards on the table, I do not love Chris Christie.
In part, this is because you can only be truly disappointed by people who know better.
I first profiled Christie in 2009. He was running against the incumbent governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine, who represented the worst of the Democratic party’s plutocratic wing.
Corzine was a Goldman Sachs Master or the Universe who (1) bought himself a Senate seat in a self-funding orgy of onanism, (2) refused to release his tax returns during the campaign, and then (3) positioned himself as a progressive crusader.
Corzine then jumped up to run for the governorship before his Senate term was over, because he was the kind of guy who always had both eyes on the next gig.
Now Corzine wasn’t the worst governor in New Jersey history (that’s a high bar), but he wasn’t good. And after he was ousted, he went on to disgrace himself with MF Global.
All of which is to say: Christie’s campaign against Corzine was righteous and Christie’s whole schtick in 2009 was that he was the quiet, competent guy who knew policy and could reform the state.
You would not believe how low-key Christie was during that campaign. The whole Godzilla Jersey Boy thing only came afterwards.
As governor, Christie was also not the worst in state history.
But Christie’s failings as a governor didn’t bother me. I mean, they weren’t great, Bob. But they were within the normal distribution curve for American politicians. We all know that guy and he’s not a danger to the republic.
Then came Trump. And Donald Trump revealed something in Christie that had never been apparent, even to close observers.