For anyone who doesn’t yet think that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’ selfishness is ruining America, here are another two stories to add to the evidence room.
No, we’re not talking about Christie’s throwing Mitt Romney under the bus for a photo op with President Barack Obama and a Bruce Springsteen shoutout. We’re not even talking about Christie’s getting a stomach staple and pretending he did it for his family. We’re talking about Christie’s smashing Republican hopes for the Senate — twice — so he could improve his brand for a presidential run. That he isn’t going to win anyway. Because he’s a selfish jerk. (BEDFORD: Why Chris Christie won’t win the presidency in 2016)
First, what’s going on: New Jersey is a deep blue state that is very hard to win for the GOP. But two things are in play here: 1) Decades of single-party rule have left the Garden State a dump, and the Democrats’ brand is hurting so badly that they have a Republican governor; and 2) Christie, that very Republican governor, is so popular that the Obama doesn’t even want to hang out with his opponent.
This is important because with Christie on the ballot in November — and Obama not on the ballot — a Republican actually has a chance of winning the election. And heads up for anyone who missed the Obamacare debate a few years ago: A single senator can make a big difference.
So did Christie schedule the special election on the day that he is on the ticket? No. He scheduled the special election so it’s three weeks ahead of his own. Oh, and damn the costs of holding two different elections, because Christie doesn’t “think you can put a [$24 million] price tag on what it’s worth to have an elected person [Democrat] in the United States Senate [for those three weeks].”
Now, Christie did this because he’s counting on a huge win to beef up his 2016 presidential bona fides, and the Democrat front-runner for Senate, Cory Booker, could get enough Democrats excited to put a dent in that win.
So here’s the bottom line: The poll numbers put Christie so far ahead that Booker declined to run against him for governor, but Christie wants to win re-election by such a wide margin (to beef up those 2016 bona fides) that he won’t even run on the same day Mr. Booker is on the ballot. Republican senator be damned.
But that’s not all. Because so long as Christie picked a strong Republican to fill the empty Senate seat until the October election, the GOP still had a chance. This is because even while Booker is a clear front-runner, he was hoping to have a whole extra year to campaign and raise funds for the 2014 election. Instead, he has to dash to the finish line, all while being primaried by fellow Democrats who need to hit him hard to have a chance, leaving Booker tired and poorer by the time of the election. On the other hand, a Republican already holding the seat with Christie’s direct endorsement would not face a primary and could raise more funds — increasing his chances of winning election to the Senate.
But Christie didn’t do that, either. (Whoops, what a butter-fingers!) Instead, he nominated New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa, who has said he will not run in the special election — a decision Christie says he is “comfortable” with.
So thanks again, Mr. Christie, for always being on Team Christie. Also, wise the hell up: Bruce Springsteen sucks.