Monday, February 15, 2016

The Fat Man Says Goodbye

Numerous candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have dropped out as a result of their poor, pathetic performances (let's hear it for alliterations!) in Iowa and New Hampshire - Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and, finally, Jim Gilmore.  But the highest-profile withdrawal of the past week is undoubtedly that of the Fat Man In the State House, who pulled out late last week after only getting 8 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary.  His defeat pretty much ends his role as a rising star in the Republican Party and has deflated an ego that has long matched his girth.
Chris Christie, as governor of New Jersey, has been quite a bastard (not a literal bastard, like Benjamin Franklin's son, who served as governor in the colonial period) during his term of office.  He's pretty much vetoed every bill meant to help people and signed bills meant to help big business, including one bill privatizing water, and he's let the state's pension system and transportation fund totter on the edge of insolvency.  His claim of being an effective leader rests on statements comprised of only three things - a noun, a verb, and Hurricane Sandy.  There's nothing else!  And when Sandy hit in the fall of 2012, he didn't even handle that right!  I, as a New Jersey resident, am disgusted with how Christie ignored the state's needs just so he could start his presidential campaign.       
Ironically, Marylanders could make - and have made - the same complaints about my guy in the presidential election on the Democratic side, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley.  He pretty much let Maryland run itself in his last year in office to prepare for his own presidential run - though he'd already accomplished more than enough in his first seven years, so he at least earned some lame-duck down time.  O'Malley's move may have given his heir apparent Anthony Brown a bit of on-the-job training, but it may have also cost Brown the 2014 gubernatorial election to the now-popular Republican governor Larry Hogan, whose victory was the result of attention from the chairman of the Republican Governors' Association . . . Chris Christie.
Oh yeah, Brown, now running for the U.S. House of Representatives, is endorsing Hillary Clinton for President.  The unkindest cut of all . . .   
Christie is a pretty good at eliminating rivals in both parties, having discombobulated O'Malley and prevented him from becoming a threat to Hillary Clinton, whom Republicans believe would be easier to beat in a general election (though they're probably praying for Sanders to get the nod), and having knocked Marco Roboto - oops, Marco Rubio - off stride by pointing out his knack for repeating himself verbatim in debates.  Ultimately, though, Christie ended up eliminating himself. 
Don't expect him to take the job of governing New Jersey seriously in his last two years in office, though.  He's probably hoping that the Republicans win back the White House so he can become someone's Attorney General.  Yeah, right.  

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