Friday, February 26, 2016

Chris Christie first establishment Republican to break ranks and back Trump

The think tank here at Falling Downs once pegged Christie as the guy to beat for the Republican nomination. That was before Bridgegate though, and we correctly called that as the deal breaker in Christie's run for the White House more than two years ago.

So what's going to be the quid pro quo for today's endorsement? There's the obvious innuendo floating about that Christie is desperately angling for the VP slot, and perhaps that's the case. On the other hand, there's more than a little truth in Christie's claim that Trump is the only guy who can beat Hillary.

How do we know it's going to be Hillary? As they say, the fix has been quite obviously "in" from the beginning. Machine politics is being micro-managed much more efficiently on the Dem side. Bernie's popular appeal isn't going to upend the Democratic establishment like Trump's is in the process of doing on the Republican side.

What Bernie and Trump have in common is that they are both, for lack of a better word, "protest" candidates. They both appeal to voters who have lost faith in the political establishment. Assuming that Hillary becomes the candidate, Bernie's disillusioned followers will be more likely to vote for the other anti-establishment candidate than for Hillary.

Trump has no official political baggage, but even a casual perusal of his public positions on any number of issues suggests that he's got more in common in terms of principles with Bernie than with the GOP establishment. Sure, he dismays the purveyors of political correctitude with his bellicose populism, but at heart the man is a dyed in the wool East Coast Liberal.

That's why, from the point of view of the Trump camp, taking on an establishment running mate like Christie would be risky. It would suggest that Trump is on the way to being co-opted.

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