Since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump, he has been:
- Humiliated by video showing Trump ordering him onto the plane and telling him to “go home.”
- Condemned by his former finance co-chair Meg Whitman. (“The Governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie’s donors and supporters to reject the Governor and Donald Trump outright. I believe they will. For some of us, principle and country still matter.”)
- Excoriated for his disastrous TV interview on Sunday. Phrases like “train wreck,” “off the rails” and “disaster” were used to describe his appearance.
In other words, if it had not been obvious to him before this weekend, his political career is essentially over. He has gone from someone admired for his political talent to the object of derision as an errand boy for someone who espouses fascistic ideas (e.g., punishing the press) and openly displays his bigotry (e.g., retweeting a Mussolini quote). Christie is now signed up with the man who the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday was compelled to call out for pretending initially not to know who David Duke is:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is providing information on extremists and hate groups to all of the presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, who earlier today in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper indicated he did not know anything about notorious former Klansman and racist hatemonger David Duke. Last week, Duke endorsed Trump’s candidacy for president.
“David Duke is a notorious anti-Semite and racist and his name is synonymous with bigotry,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “Duke is a perennial candidate for elected office and perhaps America’s best known racist and anti-Semite. He is a former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His message is racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American to its very core, and he’s clearly exploiting Mr. Trump’s candidacy to get publicity for himself and his hateful ideas.” . . .
“The last thing we want is for white supremacists to use this campaign to mainstream their bigotry,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “It is imperative for elected leaders and political candidates like Mr. Trump and others in the public eye to disavow haters such as Duke and the other white supremacists who have endorsed his candidacy. By not disavowing their racism and hatred, Trump gives them and their views a degree of legitimacy. Even if it is unintentional on his part, he allows them to feel that they are reaching mainstream America with their message of intolerance.”
Christie perhaps fancied himself as Trump’s VP or attorney general. If he did, he was not thinking clearly. To begin with, it is less and less likely with each passing day that Trump will ever become president. Moreover, Christie himself has so soiled his reputation that it is doubtful he would ever be confirmed for a Cabinet post. And with his awful Sunday interview, Trump will undoubtedly look for a different running mate if it gets to that.
Trump has rendered Christie an isolated, pathetic object of scorn. Other Republicans should take note.