CHRIS CHRISTIE: TOUGH GUY TURNED LAP-DOG AND LIAR TO BOOT

Boy, the way Chris Christie talked for all those days, months and years you never would have thought that he’d become the hang-dog floppy-eared, hooded bloodshot-eyed, slobbering-then crying-then whining-then dutiful lap-dog that he is.

Oh yeah, and he’s a liar too.

What a shame.

Seriously.

Former United States Attorneys usually are not thought of this way.

Or behave like this.

Before, during or after their selection or appointment.

Open-minded folks — of whom there are many — would be willing to acknowledge Christie’s intelligence and tenacity of purpose, and trumpet the good he’s done in an effort to turn the other cheek if you’ll pardon me.

I’m not so sure that I belong in this cheek-turning camp.

Chris Christie is smart. Very smart and much smarter than you may think. He has to be.

He’s been the 55th Governor of New Jersey since January of 2010. He was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey by George W. Bush in 2002 and resigned the position in December 2008 to run for the Governorship.

[A U.S. Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the federal district in which he or she resides. Cases are prosecuted in the U.S. District Court. U.S. Attorneys supervise district offices which may include as many as 350 Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) and a like number of support personnel. U.S. Attorneys and their offices fall under the aegis of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).]

As we are painfully aware, he ran for the Republican nomination in the 2016 Presidential race and hung in there for a short while.

After falling by the wayside — Christie officially suspended his campaign and candidacy on February 10, 2016 — he threw most of his ideals out the window and allied himself with The Donald in an effort to curry favor.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be Trump’s running mate???

For the life of me I do not understand big-time politics.

I recognize the strategies employed inherent and vital to competing for and ultimately winning political office and the accepted foul play which accompanies them.

The nastiness, the slander, the libel, the bald-faced lying (particularly in Trump’s case).

In order to be viable, one must play by these rules.

Nearly impossible to win otherwise no matter how much dough you may have.

(Ask Kasich. No chance. Will not happen).

It is galling, tasteless and repugnant. It is disingenuous. In fact, it reeks of duplicity, double- dealing and shadiness.

And the voting public is a prisoner to all of this, forever thrust into the unenviable position of being forced to choose the lesser of the evils.

Well Christopher James “Chris” Christie personified the lesser of the evils until over time, he did not.

Less was never really more for him anyway.

In May 2016 when Trump named Christie to head the transition team to prepare for a possible Donald (Duck) administration, the Big Man was clearly in his element.

Thought to be on Trump’s short list for running mate in the general election, he performed the ritual to a “t.”

He followed, he stood behind and off to the side, he clapped, he smiled, he raised his right fist when Trump’s nonsense invariably spewed forth like lava from an active volcano.

He thumbed-up ad nauseum.

He nodded in affirmation and smiled some more.

And then he was passed over for V.P. in favor of Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

That must have hurt.

To many, he was made to look like a fool…again.

Playing the fool oftentimes comes with the political territory.

The longer you’re in the game, the more likely it is that the albatross of disgrace or short-sighted ignorance at the very least has encircled your neck.

Or will.

For Christie, this came about most dramatically in the form of the Fort Lee lane closure scandal in early September (9–13) of 2013, predictably dubbed “Bridgegate.”

The weeklong traffic debacle deliberately thrust upon the town of Fort Lee, NJ — on the first day of school, no less — was a white-hot political story at the time.

Bottom line:

If Christie didn’t order this as some measure of political payback for past political transgressions levied against him and/or his campaign and sign off on it, then he certainly knew about it.

Naturally, he vehemently denied any association or knowledge.

Eventually Christie was exonerated but not before Bridget Anne Kelly, his Deputy Chief of Staff, and Bill Baroni & David Wildstein, Christie-appointed officials at the Port Authority, were indicted.

“The indictment charged that the three conspired to commit fraud by illegally exploiting Port Authority resources for political ends.”

Baroni and Wildstein resigned and Kelly who had emailed Wildstein and advised him that it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” was fired by Christie for her involvement and for lying about it.

Christie hardly came out smelling like a rose; more like rotten fruit.

His political standing and reputation took a hit from which he would never recover.

The scandalous cyclone and his alleged position in the eye of it reared its ugly head for Christie two years later during the December 2015 Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas courtesy of Rand Paul and it will undoubtedly follow him for the rest of his natural days.

Suffice to say, that although he may not face legal jeopardy in this case, the powerful evidence pointing to his direct involvement and a small dose of common sense have combined to create a political death knell for Christie.

Still, why not try to salvage what little may be left of a once-promising political career, herculean odds-against be damned?

I mean, when we are knocked down we’re taught to get up, brush ourselves off and hop right back into the fray, are we not?

Or if politics has run its course then maybe a legal practice encore would work.

Regardless, The Donald ended up doing Chris Christie a giant favor.

Instead of living in Trump’s orange-hued shadow and drowning in a sea of lies and half-truths that actually make Christie’s Fort Lee lane closure brouhaha pale by comparison, perhaps the Big Man can prosper in another line of work altogether.

Got any bridges you want to sell?

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in November 2016.]

ADDENDUM:

In March 2017 Trump selected Christie to chair the Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission, an advisory committee on the opioid epidemic in the United States.

In January 2018, Christie joined ABC News as a regular network contributor.

It was reported in November 2018 that Christie was being considered for the role of Attorney General in the Trump Administration. After meeting with Trump into December 2018, Christie said that he did not want to be considered for the position of Chief-of-Staff.

Christie registered as a lobbyist in June 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic he was paid $240,000 for his lobbying efforts on behalf of a Tennessee-based chain of addiction treatment centers and three New Jersey hospital systems seeking federal funding.

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