It’s no coincidence that Chris Christie has lost popularity since he started taking unpopular stances.
When Roger Stone and I scored tickets to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August 2012 -- a process that involved a broken down jeep, the sheriff’s department and Rick Scott’s chief of staff -- then-popular New Jersey governor Chris Christie was the keynote speaker. Political parties usually reserve these speaking slots for the politicians they think are the potential future of the party -- Obama’s 2004 convention speech comes to mind -- and at the time it seemed Christie embodied everything the Republican party wanted to be.
However, since 2012 Chris Christie hasn’t lost weight -- only popularity, and it seems to get worse every day. If he’s not making profanity-laden speeches about the press, he’s blowing $300,000 in taxpayer money on food and booze (something Jesse Ventura would never do!) While New Jersey’s credit rating gets downgraded, Christie’s telling a heckler who wants answers on misused Hurricane Sandy funds to “sit down and shut up.” There was also that ill-fated trip to England where he showcased his inconsistent stance on vaccines. Now Christie’s poll numbers have been slipping and not just on the national level -- a majority of New Jersey voters don’t even think he would make a good president. And when Christie tries to defend himself, he just sounds like a big dum-dum who lives in his own humongous (fat joke!) bubble.
But the problem with Chris Christie is much deeper than PR mistakes. I remember a time when my fellow millennial friends -- independents and conservatives alike -- loved Chris Christie. He could’ve been the future of the GOP, but then he started taking all these big government stances. He even went so far as to call libertarianism “dangerous” -- something that did not sit well with the people who once wanted to support him. In theory, Republicans say they’re for small, unintrusive government. But Christie has made it clear he’s a hawkish statist who supports the NSA and wants to fight even more wars because “you can’t enjoy your civil liberties when you’re in a coffin.” Yes, apparently Christie thinks it’s the government’s job to keep people out of coffins, even though he also wants to keep our troops in the Middle East, and maybe in Russia and China and North Korea, too.
And it doesn’t stop there. As support for the decriminalization and medical use of marijuana increases across the country, Christie still has the gallbladder to say he would crack down on those states if he were president. This comes after a father publicly plead with Christie on behalf of his sick daughter to change stances on the issue, because New Jersey famously has the most arcane, ludicrous and least helpful medical marijuana laws in the country.
Lastly, who can forget the hilarious scandal that was and still is Bridgegate. I’ll let the media hound Christie all day on this, because as the details still come out, the scandal only gets worse. At the end of the day, Christie’s people tried to spite a mayor who merely withheld an endorsement, and it ended up causing traffic problems that led to school delays and the death of a 91-year-old woman. It was a complete failure of leadership, power and self-control.
To see someone like Christie sink so low in an ill-fated effort to get so high is quite a disappointment, but to see it in politics is even worse, especially when that politician first emerged with such unique and practical potential. Given what the American people clearly want going forward, I guess you can’t really feel bad for Chris Christie. A politician can’t be for small government when he's spending $300K on food and booze. That’s just basic hypocrisy, or as I like to call it, hypoChristie -- especially since hypo sounds like hippo, and well… You get it.
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