(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) The idea of portly ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie trying to cram into a life preserver may strike some as comically grotesque.
Yet, metaphorically, the Justice Department has done precisely that for one of its own.
Christie, who served as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey from 2002 to 2008 before his two terms as governor, has been given the opportunity to resuscitate his own foundering political prospects courtesy of the DOJ’s decision finally to take seriously the longstanding corruption allegations against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.
Of course, this slow-walked investigation isn’t the first time Menendez has been prosecuted for his flagrant disregard of any legal or ethical bounds. And Democrats—despite their righteous indignation when it is politically convenient to grandstand sanctimoniously about such things—appear to be as unscrupulous as ever when the stakes get real.
They stopped short of calling on Menendez to resign, just as they have continued to outright deny the obvious evidence of bribery and corruption coming from the White House. Because once the dominoes start falling, they could be next in line.
The two-tiered justice system has proven to be a particularly powerful force in inoculating former President Donald Trump against the whiff of impropriety, starting with his 2016 scandal surrounding the leaked Access Hollywood tape and a certain feline-nomenclatured anatomical part.
How could Hillary Clinton, the woman who forgave her husband for shoving a cigar in the intern’s hoo-hah presume to be the messenger about somebody else’s relationship with women—and why wait until it afforded a potential strategic advantage to leak and repudiate such a thing?
Now, of course, the Left’s modus operandi when it comes to Trump has been crystal clear—all of 91 counts worth, and all just as cynically transparent in expressing their ends-justifies-the-means motives of inflicting political damage, while failing to do so.
As conservative pundit Joey Mannarino told his dog recently, Trump supporters are ready to call the Left’s bluff that they actually intend to convict the former president given the potential consequences—political and otherwise—that they may face for doing so.
When I woke up this morning, my dog Alex was hiding under the covers and looking worried.
I asked him what’s wrong.
He said, “I’m afraid you won’t be able to vote for Donald Trump next year.”
He had stepped on the remote and accidentally turned on CNN.
I picked him up and… pic.twitter.com/6aE68FLIyY
— Joey Mannarino (@JoeyMannarinoUS) September 24, 2023
Bizarrely, Chris Christie has been one of the few erstwhile conservatives who have gone along with the whole charade as if what Democrats are doing is entirely normal and rational.
The obvious instinct is to assume that Christie is either stupid (doubtful considering some of his commanding past debate performances) or so motivated by his own vanity/greed/wrath that he is being lured into a false position under the delusion that it is somehow benefiting him with a segment of the population that harbors the same delusions.
Certainly, Christie likes the validation of getting Obama hugs and MSNBC segments, and maybe even clings to the hope that Asbury Park native Bruce Springsteen might be out there watching his dancing monkey routine.
Who knows, also, what sort of under-the-table kickbacks the Bridge-gate architect could be getting from unknown billionaire oligarchs to be a foil for Trump?
And it is clear that his pride was hurt by Trump’s decision to snub him for a Cabinet post, which Christie felt he deserved after having been the first major GOP challenger to come out in support of the 2016 frontrunner.
Never mind the fact that as leader of Trump’s White House transition team, Christie was likely responsible for stacking the deck with an array of disloyal plants like Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, James Mattis and John Kelly, who did more to undermine than to support the chief executive.
There is, however, the remote possibility that Christie is either holding fast to what he sees as an exceptional code of ethics or at least cleverly trying to stay above reproach so that he can hammer Democrats for their duplicitous conduct.
And he now has the shining opportunity to do so in a way that would actually serve the interests of Republicans, while also making whatever moral point he hopes to make about Trump.
If Christie were to drop his quixotic bid for the GOP presidential nomination and, instead, enter into the race to challenge Menendez next year, he could use his existing war chest and name recognition for a good cause—and likely stand a strong shot at winning.
He also would be in an excellent position to deflect any line of potential attacks that Menendez backers could throw his way suggesting that Republicans are just as bad. Whether that is a spurious claim based on false equivalence or not, there is no denying that Christie has attacked both sides equally.
And, of course, Menendez’s own alleged crimes are damning enough that he is likely to lose support among some Democrats against a former D.A. running a pro-“law and order” campaign just by virtue of the contrast.
Christie does have the unfortunate distinction of having been New Jersey’s least popular governor ever when he left office.
But you could chalk that up to the ascendant blue wave in 2018 that was punishing all Republicans. Since then, in New Jersey especially, the tides have turned. He is prime for a sort of “Miss me yet” rehabilitation after current Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, blew his political capital on COVID restrictions and other core components of the far-left agenda that have ravaged blue states disproportionately.
Finally, Christie could have a special place in the Senate becoming future President Donald Trump’s biggest intra-party nemesis following the retirement of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
Although it is easy to hate on both RINO defectors, they beat having a Bob Menendez, or a John Fetterman, or a Chuck Schumer presiding over the Senate any day.
In due time, by regaining Republicans’ trust as a staunch and reliable conservative lawmaker, Christie might even once again become a serious presidential contender instead of a walking punchline.
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.