Update Monday: Christie now appears to have taken a shot at another finalist for VP. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Christie – who was passed over for the role as Trump’s vice president – also praised the presumptive nominee’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to join the ticket. “I am really relieved that Donald Trump picked a governor to be his running mate,” said Christie, who didn’t mention his being in contention for the role.
He also didn’t name another reported contender for the position, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, as he said: “We don’t need another big mouth from Congress, quite frankly.”
This post initially featured a tweet that was read as Christie criticizing Pence, not Gingrich.
Update Sunday: Just when you thought it was over, it happens again. Top Trump adviser Paul Manafort was reportedly overheard in Cleveland confirming to another man that Christie was "livid" that he wasn't picked for VP.
The Weekly Standard's John McCormack reported:
"Christie was livid, right?" the man said at one point. "Yeah," Manafort replied.
Below is our original post from Friday, recapping the previous moments in which Christie might have wished he hadn't signed up for all this by backing Trump.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not be Donald Trump's running mate. After 24 hours of uncertainty, Trump just announced the VP pick will be Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
You can't say the New Jersey governor didn't give it a shot. Nobody went through more to try to land the job than Christie. And he even admitted in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday that not getting the nod would be hard to take.
"I'm not going to say it won't bother me if I'm not selected," he told NBC News Thursday in a clip released after news of Pence's likely selection broke. "Of course it bothers you a little bit. 'Cause if you're a competitive person, like I am, and you're used to winning, like I am -- again, you don't like coming in second, ever."
It's always tough to lose. But not necessarily this tough.
Christie was the first big-name, establishment-friendly Republican to jump on board with Trump's campaign, catching the political world by surprise with his pre-Super Tuesday endorsement.
The endorsement burned bridges with a GOP establishment that had once embraced Christie because it came at a time when it appeared Trump could still be stopped. Christie's endorsement lent Trump the kind of insider credibility he hadn't obtained to that point.
During the endorsement, Christie said, "I've gotten to know all the people on that stage, and there is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs, both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump."
That was a far cry from things he had said about Trump previously, dismissing Trump as an "entertainer" and calling his proposals unserious. “We are not electing an entertainer in chief," Christie had said. "Showmanship is fun, but it’s not the type of leadership that will truly change America." There are many, many other examples, too.
For Christie -- a guy known for blunt political talk -- it reeked of opportunism and political expediency.
The press conference
On Super Tuesday, Trump held a press conference. Christie opted to stand behind him as Trump said ... well, Trump things. Christie kept standing there, looking pensive.
It was the appearance that spawned a thousand jokes (and one very persistent meme.)
Christie, it bears noting, has struggled with his weight. He even had surgery to help trim down. But you already knew that. I knew that. Everyone knew that.
Including Donald Trump, who drafted him into his standard trail riff on an outsourcing-inspired Nabisco boycott.
"You're not eating Oreos anymore, are you?" Trump asked Christie as the audience laughed awkwardly. "No more Oreos for either of us. Chris, don't feel bad."
We don't know exactly what Christie was feeling at that moment. But we can guess.
The McDonald's run
Speaking of food: Trump needed some. And he got Christie to get it for him -- from McDonald's -- according to the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza:
Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, another of Trump’s opponents early in the campaign, has transformed himself into a sort of manservant, who is constantly with Trump at events. (One Republican told me that a friend of his on the Trump campaign used Snapchat to send him a video of Christie fetching Trump’s McDonald’s order*.)
Christie's camp disputed the account, but given the rest of the stuff on this list, is it really that far-fetched?
The New Jersey dig
Nowhere may Christie may be less popular than in his home state -- and ever since he started running for president, he's been accused of skipping out on his day job. Absence -- which continued after his own campaign ended, when he began making regular appearances with Trump across the country -- did nothing to change that.
So Christie may not want to spotlight his travel schedule. But Trump is happy to do that for him. Here's what happened at a March rally, per NJ.com:
"Your governor, Kasich," Trump told a crowd at an Ohio rally. "If you look at him, and I'm being totally impartial, he goes to New Hampshire (and) he's living in New Hampshire."
Trump then started looking around the lectern.
"Where's Chris? Is Chris around?" Trump asked. "(Kasich was there) even more than Chris Christie."
Trump smiled after finding Christie over his shoulder.
"Right?" Trump continued.
He added: "I hated to do that but I had to make my point."
He may have hated it. But not enough to stop doing it....
'Get in the plane, and go home. You go home.'
This one is more in-the-eye-of-the-beholder, but it looked and sounded a whole lot like Trump telling Christie to get lost.
It's from February, shortly after the endorsement. Again, it probably wasn't intended to be mean, but...
The strange ending
We'll let NBC's Kelly O'Donnell take it from here -- from her Friday report:
Trump spoke to Gov. Christie after 4:00pm [Thursday] in what was described as a "tense" conversation where a Pence pick was discussed but a final decision was not communicated.
By about 5:00pm, sources said Trump had not personally made the offer to Pence to join the ticket. But by that time, other signals, movements and the Indiana governor's arrival in the New York City area on a private plane appeared to signal that the choice had been made.
After that, sources close to Christie say the New Jersey governor, stung by the lack of clarity, indicated they did not expect to see Trump move away from Pence despite the unresolved conversation.
So know Christie knows firsthand what it feels like when Trump's a rival, and a friend -- but not a boss. There's still a chance to get that experience. I'm sure an attorney general slot sounds pretty appealing right now.