I’m sure his friend Barack will put a stop to this right quick.
There’s not much they can do to force him out as governor. A smoking gun putting him at the heart of Bridgegate would do it, but even the lead Democrat probing the scandal in Jersey says he’s seen no evidence of that. (Yet?) Plan B, then: Make Christie so radioactive to the rest of the GOP that he ends up stepping down as head of the Republican Governors Association.
That strategy will be on display Thursday in Texas, where Mr. Christie is scheduled to meet with Republican donors as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
In the kind of scene that Democrats said would play out wherever Mr. Christie traveled this year, Texas party activists will hold a news conference denouncing him and linking his woes to the state’s leading Republican candidate for governor, Greg Abbott…
There is a growing recognition among governors association donors and state Republican officials that the investigations surrounding Mr. Christie and his inner circle were making it harder for him to operate as the organization’s public face…
Democratic National Committee members have emailed party officials in New Jersey recommending language to use, should Mr. Christie step down from the post, according to a person who has seen the correspondence. They suggested that the Democrats make clear that resigning as chairman of the organization was a good first step but did not go far enough.
It’s already reached the point where his own aides won’t tell reporters where his RGA fundraisers are being held for fear that the media scrum will cause a headache for the governor he’s trying to “help.” If he were anyone else (except John McCain or Lindsey Graham), news of Democrats conspiring to kneecap him before he runs for president would be a rallying point for conservatives to ride to his defense. I’ve seen “They’ll tell you who they fear” comments in every thread we’ve ever posted about lefties mobbing up on a would-be Republican nominee in the past, but not Christie. There is evidence that this is helping him win support within the party — the WSJ ran a poll just yesterday showing him up 10 points among “core Republicans” since October — but, for what little it’s worth, I’m not seeing it at all online and only a tiny bit on talk radio. But then, Christie doesn’t need conservatives to like him; all he needs them to do is circle the wagons enough to let him keep his RGA job. If he’s forced to quit that, I think he’s done for 2016. Like I said once before, how can you carry your party’s banner into battle in 2016 if you’re too tainted to carry it to fundraisers for other candidates now?
Christie’s other problem is that he has plenty of powerful enemies within the party itself. The Times notes that GOP chieftains are watching Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry in particular, both of whom have feuded with Christie privately over RGA positions, to see if they take the baton from Democrats and call for him to step down. Jindal’s refused so far; in fact, the most prominent Republican to do so is defeated Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who also has bad blood with Christie. Note, though, that Perry won’t be appearing at Christie’s fundraisers in Texas this week, and Jindal’s mind is apt to change if/when he decides he’s running for president. Which, of course, is the real point of the Democrats’ strategy: There are plenty of big-name GOPers who, for selfish reasons or because they’re holding grudges, have reason to take down Christie as well. The longer Democrats can make noise, the more justification Jindal et al. will have to point to it at some point down the line, after the mini-backlash in Christie’s favor among GOP voters has cooled, and say “he’s become too much of a liability.” Democrats are really just setting up his primary opponents for the spike here.