Does Christie still have a shot at the nomination?

posted at 3:21 pm on April 25, 2014 by Allahpundit

Hell yes, says RCP elections analyst Sean Trende, dunking in the CW’s face. As much of a shot as anyone else, in fact. I’m skeptical, but this is a smart point about that “internal review” that cleared Christie of any involvement in Bridgegate:

What this scandal has done is remove the more or less bipartisan support for Christie that emerged in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. But that’s mostly inevitable. We saw this happen to John McCain in 2008 once he became the face of the GOP, and we’re seeing it happen to Hillary Clinton today.

The one danger to Christie is that some smoking gun will emerge implicating him in the scandal. This is where the much-disparaged review of the case by the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher actually has some relevance. I think many analysts missed the point. This wasn’t a review to convince the public of Christie’s innocence — they are far too tuned out and distrustful of lawyers to buy into it.

What this was about was the “invisible primary” going on among donors, politicians and party apparatchiks. This primary exists to line up sufficient endorsements and fundraising to compete in the real primary. What the report is saying to these donors — all of whom know the firm — is “We’re a top-tier law firm without a strong dog in this fight, and a lot to lose in terms of our reputation. Guys, there isn’t a smoking gun.”

Yeah, Christie’s in survival mode right now with the donor class murmuring about Jeb. If they swing behind Bush, his candidacy is DOA; he’s not going to win the GOP nomination with only tri-state area financiers behind him. The Bridgegate internal review might have convinced the establishment to hold off on Jeb for awhile in hopes that Christie might fully recover from the scandal. Or, it might not have: The obvious counterpoint here is that the review was released a month ago and yet the Bush boomlet has been in full swing ever since. It sure feels lately like Republic millionaires are ready to abandon Christie for Bush 3.0 and are simply waiting for Bush to say the word. The only question is whether Jeb will run.

So no, I don’t think Christie has as good a shot as anyone. What Bridgegate did to him, I think, is moved him from presumptive establishment favorite to their second or maybe even third (behind Rubio) choice. He’s gone from being a first-place team on the verge of clinching home field throughout the playoffs to a team on the wild-card bubble that needs help to make the playoffs at all. But — yeah, there’s a still path for him potentially, if everything breaks right. First, Jeb has to pass on running. It’s hard for me to believe at this point that Christie could beat him in an establishment cage match, even though, rationally, Bridgegate would be much less of a liability in the general election than the Bush legacy would be. Christie’s best/only hope against Jeb would be to run hard in Iowa and New Hampshire and hope that centrist Republican voters revolt against the Bush brand and vote for him instead. Even that might be a Pyrrhic victory, though, since if the centrist vote splits between Bush and Christie, it probably means a more right-wing candidate like Rand Paul wins. Maybe Christie’s willing to tolerate that in the first few primaries just to get Bush out of the race. Once he’s gone, then Christie can consolidate centrists in South Carolina, Michigan, and Florida behind a “stop Paul/Cruz/whoever” message.

If Jeb doesn’t run, then Christie’s back more or less to where he was last year, as the man to beat in the RINO mini-primary. The difference, per Trende, is that he’ll have lost his biggest credential, his alleged electability advantage in attracting hordes of independents and Democrats (especially Latino independents and Democrats) to the party. Christie’s lost support across the aisle over Bridgegate; that was inevitable, notes Trende, just as it was inevitable for centrist-y candidates like McCain and Hillary to lose their crossover appeal too. Right, but for Christie, I think electability was supposed to be his magic bullet against all other criticisms, his get-out-of-jail-free card against all ideological heresies. He’s a Republican who won reelection by a landslide in a deep blue state. That was his big selling point as a potential nominee but now it’s gone, since no one thinks he would have won big last November had Bridgegate been an issue at the time. And yet, given all the arrows fired at Rand Paul lately, it’s easy to imagine Christie winning the nomination anyway if he ends up head to head with Rand and shifts to an “anyone but Paul” pitch. The donor class will spend big bucks making sure casual Republican voters are terrified of Paul as nominee. Christie could, certainly, prevail in that match-up. But the point, again, is that he’d have to run an essentially negative campaign to do it. A year ago, he was all set to run as “Chris Christie, breath of fresh air.” Now, if he runs, it’ll be first as an “anyone but Bush” alternative and then as an “anyone but Paul” one. It could work. But it’s going to get nasty.


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Christie has a better shot at winning the nomination than he does of winning my vote in the primary or the general.

DRayRaven on April 25, 2014 at 3:24 PM

NO!!!!

dentarthurdent on April 25, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Guy Benson hss his fingers and toes crossed hoping Christie does.

Bitter Clinger on April 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

*hss=has

Bitter Clinger on April 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Of course he has a shot. Any Republican who has a pulse and can manage to crawl his sorry arse into this pathetic field has a chance.

Pincher Martin on April 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Does he have a shot? Who cares? We really need a fat arse RINO like Christie, right? RIIIIGHT….

Bob Davis on April 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Christie was done after he was caught fellating Obama after the hurricane. I’m convinced this helped put Obama back in office and for that, I’ll never support Christie for anything.

Obamalies on April 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM

He probably has. Money buys a lot of primary votes. Just not mine.

Rix on April 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Yes, Christie does, in another media-ordained reality.

DevilishSoda on April 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Hope to see him and Jeb destroying each other.

the_nile on April 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Pre-scandal, Christie’s biggest asset as a candidate was that the MSM basically liked him and the public narrative around him was more or less stain-free.

Now, his narrative contains the stain of executive power abuse, he’s lost his “different kind of republican” appeal to the MSM, and everyone thinks his candidacy is weakened.

He might run, but he’s very diminished.

Robert_Paulson on April 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Christie’s nomination is in doubt after Bridgegate, a scandal that has not been tied to him, yet HRC is on her way after Benghazi. Go Figure!

rjoco1 on April 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

He never did have a shot. Next topic.

oldroy on April 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I’m calling it- if Bush doesn’t run, the donors will turn back to Romney.

Jon0815 on April 25, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Does Christie still have a shot at the nomination?

…I sure as he11 hope not!…but some of the ‘dry hump his leg writers’ here… will be he11 bent on trying to roll that doughnut toward us!

KOOLAID2 on April 25, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Does Christie still have a shot at the nomination?


YES!!!!!!!

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
… but first Hillary has to decide NOT to run.

He’d wipe the floor with Warren et al under those circumstances!

PolAgnostic on April 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

did a double take expecting the author to be Christie cheerleader Guy Benson

commodore on April 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Christie’s nomination is in doubt after Bridgegate, a scandal that has not been tied to him, yet HRC is on her way after Benghazi. Go Figure!

rjoco1 on April 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Christie’s sin was waiting too long to become a Democrat.

Bitter Clinger on April 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Does Christie still have a shot at the nomination?
..yep, he’s still a favorite of the d-cRATs. Maybe shrillary will let him be her VP.

MicahStone on April 25, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Better shot than Bush

ConservativePartyNow on April 25, 2014 at 3:38 PM

If neither Bush nor anybody who ran before run, Christie is the GOP’s El Partido Republicano Legado’s 2016 nominee. If Christie runs in 2016, he’s the 2020 nominee.

I’m calling it- if Bush doesn’t run, the donors will turn back to Romney.

Jon0815 on April 25, 2014 at 3:33 PM

No – they’ll set up Santorum for failure and drive the few remaining social conservatives out of the party in response to said failure, just like they have already driven out the fiscal and governmental conservatives (and most of the social conservatives).

Steve Eggleston on April 25, 2014 at 3:39 PM

OT – American detained in N. Korea (not obama)

Schadenfreude on April 25, 2014 at 3:40 PM

He has no shot. He is vehemently anti-gun and has a proven track record in New Jersey to back that up. Vetoing a couple of gun bills he had gotten introduced into the Legislature just to prove his pro 2nd amendment credentials not withstanding.

Johnnyreb on April 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Not if the 3rd Bush runs.

It sucks to live in a monarchy.

Schadenfreude on April 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Good grief, just when I was happy to have a week at Hot Air without a Christie post.

mobydutch on April 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

It sucks to live in a Non-Constitutional monarchy.

Schadenfreude on April 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM


FIFY

The REAL power is the Political Donor Class which now tells the politicians what to THINK.

PolAgnostic on April 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Uh, No.

bazil9 on April 25, 2014 at 3:53 PM

This is my guess as to the focus here by Hotair administrators the last year for President……..

Christie
Christie
Christie
Christie
Paul
Christie
Christie
Christie
Paul
Cruz
Christie
Paul
Christie
Walker
Christie
Bush
Christie
Paul
Paul
Christie
Paul
Christie
Bush
Paul
Bush
Bush
Bush
Perry
Bush
Paul
Paul
Bush
Bush
Christie
Paul
Christie
Paul
Bush
Paul
Bush
Christie

Maybe its just me but I would like to see more posts about actual conservatives and what they are up too and what they are saying and whether they are going to run for President.

KMav on April 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Any of the Liberal In Action Republicans (L.I.A.R.s) have a chance at the nomination. The rnc/gop will do everything they can to trash any challenger not owned by the lobbyist.

They just cant win the General election if nominated, millions of us will not vote for them. No More Lesser of Two Evils, No More Sanctioning Our Destroyers, doing this in the past is why we are now on the brink of collapse.

Three issues for me in 2016.

1.No Amnesty of any sort, the only acceptable position to get my vote is illegal foreign invaders must leave my country and our sovereignty must be restored. This is the most important issue, we lose on amnesty a permanent demonkkkrat voting majority will be created, if that happens we are finished, we lose on EVERY issue. This is also the most difficult issue to find a candidate who is on the side of American citizens over the illegal foreign invaders. All of the presumed candidates are for mass legalization, from green cards to citizenship. we know any legalization WILL lead to citizenship.
So, as of now I have no potential candidate that I would vote for.

2.No “fixing” obamacare. complete repeal only.

3.No common core.

I doubt a candidate will emerge who says No to amnesty, too much bribe money involved. Lots of profit to be had in taking job from American citizens and giving them to wage slave foreign invader’s while destroying the republican party, the middle class and creating a permanent demonkkkrat majority.

And once republicans force amnesty on us, I will NEVER vote republican again, no matter what the office or the candidates.
with amnesty, “what difference does it make” who is elected, we are finished, and the really sad part is republicans are fully aware of this and don’t care.

Garyinaz66 on April 25, 2014 at 3:55 PM

When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.
Friedrich Nietzsche
German philosopher (1844 – 1900)

The gaping maw of ravening ambition must stand as the gateway to that abyss.

thatsafactjack on April 25, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Of course he still has a shot. We’re how far away from the Iowa caucuses and the NH primary? Things change dramatically in these races again, and again, and again.

I realize most HA commenters don’t like Chris Christie, but that’s a different discussion.

But does he still have a shot? At this point, he does as much as anyone else who might be running.

asc85 on April 25, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Three issues for me in 2016.

1.No Amnesty of any sort, the only acceptable position to get my vote is illegal foreign invaders must leave my country and our sovereignty must be restored. This is the most important issue, we lose on amnesty a permanent demonkkkrat voting majority will be created, if that happens we are finished, we lose on EVERY issue. This is also the most difficult issue to find a candidate who is on the side of American citizens over the illegal foreign invaders. All of the presumed candidates are for mass legalization, from green cards to citizenship. we know any legalization WILL lead to citizenship.
So, as of now I have no potential candidate that I would vote for.

2.No “fixing” obamacare. complete repeal only.

3.No common core.

Garyinaz66 on April 25, 2014 at 3:55 PM

With all due respect Gary, then I guess you’ll be sitting out the Presidential Election of 2016.

asc85 on April 25, 2014 at 4:01 PM

I realize most HA commenters don’t like Chris Christie, but that’s a different discussion.

But does he still have a shot? At this point, he does as much as anyone else who might be running.

Exactly.

I can’t stand Christie. But he has a real chance of winning the nomination. The GOP field is full of weak nominees, and Christie has a lot of establishment clout and access to big donor money.

Conservatives here have a hard time separating what they want from what might happen. They would have a much better chance in these political fights if they tried to evaluate the risks objectively instead of as an exercise in wish fulfillment.

Pincher Martin on April 25, 2014 at 4:02 PM

CORRECTION:

The GOP field is full of weak nominees potential candidates….

Pincher Martin on April 25, 2014 at 4:04 PM

OT – American detained in N. Korea (not obama)

Schadenfreude on April 25, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Are you sure it’s not bams? Maybe we should send Biden over to make sure, then Pelosi, then Reid…..

31giddyup on April 25, 2014 at 4:06 PM

31giddyup on April 25, 2014 at 4:06 PM

he he he…

bazil9 on April 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I doubt bams needs to be “detained” in an authoritarian Marxist regime. I imagine he’s asked to spend a little more time as their guest; taking notes. bowing. ya know. stuff.

t8stlikchkn on April 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

*Blech*

workingclass artist on April 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Allahpundit is back with another posting on Chris Christie
for president! Not surprising.

Amjean on April 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM

“We’re a top-tier law firm without a strong dog in this fight, and a lot to lose in terms of our reputation. Guys, there isn’t a smoking gun.”

Some of us understood from the outset that this was a faux scandal and the possibility that someone with Christie’s background would involve himself in a vindictive scheme with no real upside and plenty of downside was extremely remote.

Basilsbest on April 25, 2014 at 4:35 PM

In this screwed up, crooked political environment, even Gumby has a shot at it.

rplat on April 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

It’s like you are new to politics.

Let’s be clear about one thing: if Jeb Bush gets in, he won’t be getting out early. Certainly NEVER before South Carolina, where his father and brother set their “firewalls” in contested primary fights and where his mother is second only to the Virgin Mary as Most Admired Woman.

Christie isn’t going to run if Bush does. It’s that simple. They would be playing to the same voter base and donor base, and Jeb is only a hundred miles ahead with both in name recognition and reliability. He may not run even if Bush does not.

►■◄

Sean Trende’s trendy name notwithstanding, Christie hasn’t much of a chance to win. Iowa is useless in predicting the winner, and he would face a tough fight in New Hampshire. But then he hits the wall. South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Michigan. He’s not a strong contender in any of those. And it gets hard to keep the money coming in if you go four losses in a row over a month.

As to the competition, Rand Paul will attract Daddy’s nutbar supporters and not much else. He’s never run anything bigger than a frat party. Cruz and Rubio also lack executive experience and seasoning in general. It takes more than making a speech to run the government.

Walker is probably the real frontrunner now, but he’s not a dynamic type of candidate. He’s a “well, here’s what I actually accomplished” type of guy. And he did it in a blue state faced with national Democratic opposition, fleeing legislators to stymie a quorum, union money and time from all over, even to the point of shutting down the state capitol. And he never backed down, and he won.

Paul, Cruz, and Rubio have made pretty speeches and accomplished NOTHING AT ALL.

Adjoran on April 25, 2014 at 4:43 PM

He’d wipe the floor with Warren et al under those circumstances!

PolAgnostic on April 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

You really don’t think Christie could do the same with Hillary? After seeing her rhetorical skills on the evening news for the last few years?

I also wonder how many people screaming “RINO” when it comes to Christie are prepared to get behind the least offensive candidate in the next two years. Yeah, that’s what we need, another Bush. Another middle-of-the-road guy who will bring in the same old men that his daddy loaned his brother (and introduced the Patriot Act, which makes it easier for a guy who couldn’t’ get a job doing security at a shopping mall to cop a feel in my drawers, yeah, thanks a lot). Maybe we can just crown him King, so that it can be passed along by heredity.

Say what you want about Christie, but when he met Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, his only concern was the plight of the people of New Jersey, whose cries for help brought the man to tears. When that happened to him, he didn’t give a rat’s @$$ how the photo-op was going to play in two or four years. Christie didn’t care about political theater, only about saving his people by any means necessary, and that’s the kind of guy you want having your back, as opposed to the last two empty suits that the GOP ran for President.

Anybody wanna remember how that turned out?

manwithblackhat on April 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM

I’d like to see Chris and Jeb take a road trip.

And not come back.

trigon on April 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM

john candy as Christie in the movie. and steve martin as shrub.

t8stlikchkn on April 25, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Yeah, if we have elections in 2016 it is possible that Christie will be the Republican nominee.

And that will be worth less than the “bucket of warm spit” that John Nance Garner [Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President from 1933-1941] said that the Vice Presidency was worth.

As we write here, ersatz-Republican Speaker of the House Boehner has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to force Amnesty and Permanent Open Borders through before the end of the year. It will probably happen between the primary elections and the general election, although it could conceivably be done during the lame duck session. The Heritage Foundation, National Review, and the Center for Immigration Studies have blown the whistle.

The mechanism is that Boehner will allow either HR-435,sponsored by Republican Mike Coffman of Colorado, or HR-2377, sponsored by a Republican Congressman named Denham of California, to be added as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill; which is an absolute must pass bill. Either resolution allows illegal aliens to become citizens by enlisting in the armed forces. Not that it matters right now that we are cutting already trained American citizens from the military as part of Obama’s defense cuts.

However, we need not worry about the effects of that. Because the plan is for the Obamacare bait and switch to be done again when it reaches the Senate. The Democrat Senate is going to strip out all the language of whichever enlistment resolution is added, and insert the entire text of the full Amnesty and Open Borders Bill that the Senate passed earlier.

It will be sent back to the House. If the House stops the bill, our troops run out of money. So, with much public weeping, Boehner will claim that his arm is being unfairly twisted, because no one could have foreseen that the Democrats would do such a thing [when he himself suggested it] and pass Amnesty.

After that happens, it won’t matter who the Institutional Republicans nominate in any putative election in 2016, assuming that they still exist as a party. So sure, it might be Christie, if he hasn’t officially become a Democrat by then; along with the rest of the Institutional Republicans.

Subotai Bahadur on April 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

PolAgnostic on April 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

His upside running against Hillary, either in the general or the Democratic primary, is that they couldn’t use his obesity against him.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

It depends, how hard are HotAir & ‘Conservatives’ going to push for him?

reddevil on April 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM

I’d take Christie a thousand times over Bush.

Not that I want Christie, but at least Christie is a squish who would give us a shot at winning. It amazes me that so many of the “smart” guys in the party are so stupid as to think that the public would even give Jeb a chance. Right or wrong, they would judge him on based on his brother and he would go down in flames. They’ll do the same with Clinton if she runs, but at this point the 90′s look like a golden era of American history in the minds of voters so she’ll benefit from it. At least Christie, or anyone not named Bush, might get a chance to make their case.

Lawdawg86 on April 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

the definition of insanity…

dmacleo on April 25, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Does Christie still have a shot at the nomination?

If not, the GOPe can always run the New York liberal Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo in Christie’s place:

“I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.”
– Chris Christie, Feb 2013

RJL on April 25, 2014 at 6:46 PM

centrist-y candidates like McCain and Hillary

Hillary is a centrist? Who knew?

cat_owner on April 25, 2014 at 6:56 PM

As much as I hate to admit it, the only way Hillary loses is if talk of recession is back in the news. If that happens, the last name of the GOP nominee probably wouldn’t matter.

Setarcos O. Eltotsira on April 25, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Yah right. That’ll cause a third party.

KirknBurker on April 25, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Lawdawg86 on April 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Yes..and Aragorn could have joined Sauron and been a winner too.

Stop the nonsense.

If Christie gets the nomination due to a split in the conservative/libertarian vote, he’ll lose the general to Hillary.

Hillary 2016
Let it BURN!

KirknBurker on April 25, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Not in my book he doesn’t.

If conservatives want a conservative, or at least a MORE conservative candidate than what’s presently out there, they need to let these moderate progressive republican freaks know in no uncertain terms that moderate progressive freaks will not win.

I certainly will not support them (in case you had to guess).

Diluculo on April 25, 2014 at 8:50 PM

- Christie still seems like his staff damaged him irreparably. He has a long shot if the establishment is providing money bags.

- Jeb Bush seems DOA in the general unless the Dems utterly flame out with their pick (which is possible). Jeb running may also destroy Rubios donor base and Rubio has already alienated many conservatives.

- If Jeb doesn’t run, does Rubio cancel out Christie in fighting for establishment dollars? I still think Rubio has a shot at being the establishment’s fair-haired boy, but he may have lost his chance at rallying the base. Then again, Romney and McCain managed to win despite the base… But if Jeb doesn’t run, do Rubio and Christie cancel each other out?

Main thing I don’t get is whether Rick Perry was fatally damaged last time around, or can play the “back injury” card successfully and come up as a conservative who also has strong executive experience. Do people still support Perry, or is he DOA?

amalric on April 25, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Christie lost the Sheldon Adelson / Republican Jewish Coalition primary. It wasn’t an “invisible” primary at all. (Or it was “invisible” only if you refused to see the king-making going on in public.)

Christie said “occupied” territories, and that was that.

David Blue on April 26, 2014 at 5:50 AM

A Hilary Presidency would be better for conservatism than having Jeb or Christie in the Oval office.

Skipity on April 26, 2014 at 7:22 AM

Some of us understood from the outset that this was a faux scandal and the possibility that someone with Christie’s background would involve himself in a vindictive scheme with no real upside and plenty of downside was extremely remote.

Basilsbest on April 25, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Some of us understood from the outset that this was a hit ordered by the Bush Mafia to take Christie out.

Christie was just supposed to be running interference for Jeb. He was told to wait his turn.

Christie got carried away thinking that because he had Wall Street financing he could actually run for POTUS himself.

Jeb had to order the hit. No one could be a threat to Jeb’s Wall Street money, no one. Especially since Romney performed so well as the Bush Patsy in 2012.

Jeb to Christie :”It’s not personal Chris, it’s strictly business.”

Jayrae on April 26, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Christie has a better shot at winning the nomination than he does of winning my vote in the primary or the general.

DRayRaven on April 25, 2014 at 3:24 PM

As an ex-Republican, I have to echo these sentiments. Charistie has not chance in hell of getting my vote.

georgeofthedesert on April 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM