Left, Right & Center: Little Orphan Jersey


Matt Kass
Matt Kass

New Jersey has been struck with a case of the disappearing governor. This has become very evident since Governor Chris Christie dropped out of the presidential race. Almost immediately after he did, he endorsed Donald Trump. He is now on the road, campaigning with Trump. If you had taken a good, long look at his political career before he became governor, his elusiveness should not come as a shock.

Christie started his career in New Jersey as a county freeholder and almost immediately ran for state legislature. Although he lost and perhaps would not have had a future in politics, President George W. Bush nominated him to be the attorney general in 2001. From there, he spent years building his profile within New Jersey, preparing for a later race for governor.

Christie is the politician’s politician. He is the archetype of the man who merely runs for political office simply so that he may hold it, only to cast it off regardless of any dereliction of duties. He is Gollum, reaching for his precious seat in the White House, unwilling and unable to admit to the damage he has caused to those around him. And in the end, his ambition has salted his political earth, so that nothing can grow for him in the state of New Jersey.

In his defense, there have been other politicians in New Jersey who have been more concerned with winning elections than governing. For example, former Newark Mayor Cory Booker was such an example. However, none have continued to pretend that they still have the support of their home state quite like he has, for he continues to “tells it like it is” if you believe his campaign signage.

At least that’s what he wanted voters all over the country to believe. This supposed ‘straight-talker’ was surprisingly wishy-washy when it came to explaining why key members of his staff had slowed the George Washington Bridge to a standstill. This scandal taunted Christie, as this event was seemingly a retribution against New Jersey Mayor Mark Sokolich, who would not endorse Christie.

Christie also failed to fulfill a campaign promise to fund teacher’s pensions, instead allowing that to be resolved in the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Who could forget his town hall antics where he told people to “shut up” for expressing their concerns. Seems like he’s more of a bully than a governor.

All of these reasons put together are why his latest abandonment of New Jersey should really be his last. We need to turn our backs to him, like he repeatedly did to us while on the campaign trail, stroking his ego with what essentially became a vanity project as his poll numbers started to drop.

I could go on and on, talking about his abandonment of his constituency until I am blue in the face. Don’t just take it from me. Why not hear it from Meg Whitman, Christie’s former national fundraising co-chair?  She called Christie’s endorsement of Trump, “an astonishing display of political opportunism.” She later added, sending a second shot Christie’s way, “For some of us, principle and country still matter.”

These remarks are even more biting when you realize they were delivered by a woman who not only managed Christie’s campaign financial intake, but also donated $2,700 to his presidential campaign and $200,000 to his Super PAC, America Leads. It seems like you would have to trust a person a great deal to donate that amount of money.

This begs the question: If she no longer stands by him, why should we?

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