Christie is widely seen as a threat to whomever the Democratic nominee will be. Unlike some recent GOP nominees, who struggled to be merely lifelike, Christie has an authenticity and charisma most national Republicans lack. As ABC’s Jonathan Karl put it on This Week, Christie is “the most intriguing and colorful person” in American politics.

That probably explains the overkill as much as anything. Christie is new, exciting, and interesting in ways Obama once was. The difference is that when Obama was new and exciting, the media were biased in every regard and heroically skeptical of any Obama wrongdoing. “We thought he was going to be . . . the next messiah,” Barbara Walters recently said. The cult of personality has diminished but the partisan skepticism remains.

Christie, like most Republicans, never benefited from such skepticism, and never will.