The Chris Christie purge

There was more to the purge of Chris Christie and his allies from the Trump transition team than was apparent on the surface.  And it wasn’t just because Christie put the father of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in jail.  There were actually sound, presidential reasons for removing Christie, despite his early support for Trump.

From Alex Isenstadt, Inside Chris Christie’s fall from grace – POLITICO:

In the days following the election, Trump expressed deep frustration about how Christie was handling the transition. In particular, he vented about how the governor had loaded up the team with lobbyists, the very class of people Trump had campaigned against, with his calls to “drain the swamp” in Washington. The president-elect also noticed that Christie had stocked his team with old New Jersey friends and allies.

There were other issues. Once the dust settled from their surprise win, the Trump team noticed that Christie had done little to vet potential administration picks or to dig into potential conflicts of interests. With Democrats eager to pounce on any early mistake, it was an oversight they simply couldn’t afford.

By Thursday of last week, Trump was telling aides that he was ready to make a change. . . .
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Political developments

(1) Former presidential hopeful New Jersey governor Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump for president.  This, after Christie repeatedly said during his campaign that Trump was not qualified to be president.  Now Christie is appearing with Trump, mocking Marco Rubio like he did in the recent debate.  Think he is jockeying to be Vice President?  This may be the beginning of former “establishment” Republicans jumping on the Trump bandwagon, hoping to hitch their ambitions to a winner.  (UPDATE:  It’s happening:  Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has just endorsed Trump.)

(2)  Trump chalked up another endorsement from Klansman David Duke.  Trump refused to disavow his support, saying he doesn’t know enough about him and other white supremacists to turn down their endorsements.

(3) Trump tweeted a quotation from Mussolini–“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep”– but claims he didn’t realize who said it, while still defending the quote.

(4) Hillary Clinton won the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday in a landslide.  She took 73.5% of the vote (43 delegates), to Bernie Sanders’ 26% (14 delegates).

(5) Black voters in South Carolina overwhelmingly supported Clinton over Sanders, 86% to 14%, a pattern that, if it holds, may doom his chances.  In fact, Super Tuesday could finish him off.

Christie, Fiorina quit the race

Showing that hurting your opponent doesn’t necessarily help you, Chris Christie–who took apart Marco Rubio during the last debate–dropped out of the presidential race.  So did Carly Fiorino.

The question now is, who will be the beneficiary?

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Chris Christie is running for president

New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination.  He makes #14.

Are any of you for him?  If so, state the case for why he would be a good nominee and a good president. [Read more…]

The Chris Christie path vs. the Rand Paul path

Washington Post political columnist Chris Cillizza has written an interesting column saying that the Republican Party must choose between two different paths, as represented by two likely presidential candidates:  the moderate pragmatism of New Jersey governor Chris Christie; or the purist small-government principles of  Kentucky senator Rand Paul.

Mr. Cillizza casts the Rand option in terms of being more conservative.  In doing so, I think he completely misses what Rand Paul represents.  He is a libertarian, appealing strongly to young people and the politically-disaffected.  But he is also pro-life.  He is also the peace candidate, stealing that issue from the left.

Someone who can attract the internet crowd and pro-lifers and free market business types and evangelicals and peaceniks and the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Streeters has the makings of a paradigm-breaking and very formidable candidate. [Read more…]

Christie as the next knight on the white horse

Now Republicans who realize that they still don’t have a candidate who can beat President Obama are fantasizing about New Jersey governor Chris Christie entering the race.  What would you think of him as a presidential candidate?

After Speech, Chris Christie Revels in Pleas to Run –