But amid the bustle, there was an absorption of a new reality for the governor of New Jersey and those closest to him: that his bid for the White House, never a sure bet, seems increasingly and agonizingly far-fetched. A political team long characterized by its self-assuredness now sounds strikingly subdued, sobered and, at times, openly insecure.
In two dozen interviews over the past 24 hours, many of the closest allies and advisers to Mr. Christie acknowledged that winning the Republican nomination required a domino-like series of stumbles from his rivals and an unlikely breakthrough for him.
They used gentle descriptions like “in a different place” to describe how Mr. Christie had fallen from his high of his re-election in 2013: unpopular at home, barely registering in national Republican polls, lacking in money and momentum of his competitors…
Influential party figures have started to publicly write him off. After Friday’s indictments, Alex Castellanos, who advised Mitt Romney in 2008, summed up the views of Mr. Christie’s detractors: “Now we’ve learned that his political style is contagious. He infected his own government with it. I’m not sure how he could prove that it would be otherwise if he were elected president.”