Monday, February 9, 2015

Clown Car Rundown, Person the Second: Chris Christie Is a Dead Candidate Walking

Bridgegate: If only that were his only problem...

Note. My complaint about Chris Christie's candidacy is that it's built on nothing but bluster. If he can't balance a budget except by stealing from public employee funds, and can't bring Atlantic City back from the grave, or run the Port Authority through his cronies without getting investigated from every angle, or, for god's sake, keep his own state's residents from turning on him, what's the rationale for his becoming president? I'll be damned if I know. So, read on...

The biggest problem Chris Christie has is that he's quasi-viable, for now. So he'll run on and on, while the dogs of his past nip at his ankles. What's his biggest problem? The people of New Jersey don't like -- or trust -- him anymore. Here's what an NJ rag thinks of him:
Yes, our governor is melting into a puddle of goo as his glorious power seeps away. His friends and enemies alike are watching, astonished at the speed of the decline.
"It's about the worst 30 days I've seen of any candidate," says Ed Rollins, a former aide to Ronald Reagan and a GOP campaign strategist. "In his first couple of years, he had a lot of promise. But people who a year ago thought he was viable now say he's not.
"He'll be the Tim Pawlenty of this election cycle."
For those who don't remember, Pawlenty was the former Minnesota governor who became the first major Republican to ditch the 2012 race.
Ouch. Hope Christie doesn't hear that talk. He might lash out with another "Sit down and shut up, stupid!" But wait, there's more:
That view of Christie is gaining momentum after a disastrous run that began with his goofy, jumpy hug of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on national TV, and ended with him snarling at reporters in London after his amazingly dumb suggestion that parents should have more "choice" over whether to vaccinate their children for measles.
In between, the New York Times published a devastating report on his gluttonous taste for personal luxuries, all paid for by other people. The highlight was a $30,000 hotel bill in Jordan paid by King Abdullah II. It's illegal for governors to take gifts from anyone but personal friends, but Christie is trying to squeeze through that loophole. After all, he met the king once at a dinner thrown by Michael Bloomberg.
Suddenly, the governor who presents himself as a common man -- even after famously helicoptering to his son's baseball game -- is looking a little like Mitt Romney in 2012 when it was revealed he planned to build an elevator to move his four luxury cars around a garage bigger than most homes.
"The Christie campaign is suffering death from 1,000 cuts," says Ross Baker of Rutgers University. "I have always thought this was hopeless."
Because he's the biggest bully in the car, he'll have a hard time finding people who feel sorry for him. I know I won't. After all, he's the guy who -- like Christie Todd Whitman before him -- gutted the crap out of public employee pension funds, by bilking them for $2.4 billion. The fund is suing him right now.

Instead, Christie used the money to balance the budget after his handling of the state finances -- tax cuts for the rich, anyone? -- went south. Even Fox News is now criticizing him.

You won't be the first out of the clown car, but you will take a hike sooner or later. Remind me: Why was he a star in the first place?

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