Sunday, July 17, 2016
Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the Humiliation of Chris Christie
I didn't get to watch Donald Trump introduce his running mate Mike Pence yesterday.
For it is summer, and both it and life are too short.
But now I'm sorry I didn't.
Because it was Trump at his worst or most bizarre.
And as Ezra Klein writes, it was yet another reason why he should never be President.
Back in May, EJ Dionne wrote that the hardest thing about covering Donald Trump would be "staying shocked." Watching him, day after day, week after week, month after month, the temptation would be to normalize his behavior, "to move Trump into the political mainstream."
But today helped. Donald Trump’s introduction of Mike Pence was shocking. Forget the political mainstream. What happened today sat outside the mainstream for normal human behaviour.
What started as farce continued as farce. Trump emerged without Pence. He spoke, alone, at a podium adorned with Trump’s name, but not Pence’s. And then Trump proceeded to talk about himself for 28 minutes. There is no other way to say this than to say it: it was the single most bizarre, impulsive, narcissistic performance I have ever seen from a major politician.
But then there might have been a reason for Trump's bizarre behaviour, and the song "You Can't Always Get What You Want," was probably the right song to play.
For as CNN reported, the choice of Pence was forced on Trump by his new campaign managers and his family. Trump apparently tried to change his mind at the last minute, after the decision had been made.
And the Democrats were quick to pounce on his frantic wavering, or mock it...
No doubt to suggest what might happen if Trump did become President and was faced with a major crisis.
And the even better news?
It seems that the candidate Trump favoured was no less than Chris Christie...
Who as I wrote about recently, has been reduced to fetching burgers for his boss.
Only to see his faithful service as Trump's manservant go for nothing, and end up totally humiliated on what had to be as the New York Times' Kate Zernike writes, his "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."
On Thursday morning, one of his closest confidants pleaded guilty to a felony charge of abusing power at the agency that Mr. Christie tapped him to lead. By that afternoon, federal prosecutors had charged a former cabinet official in connection with the same case, which spun out of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal that has dogged Mr. Christie for nearly three years.
Then he did not get the job he had been publicly pining for, and on which he had pinned his hopes of political resuscitation.
And that was before a storm knocked down a tree and power line outside Mr. Christie’s house, starting a fire beside it. When a local television station asked the governor if he still had electricity, he gave a thumbs down, which might have been answering the question, or summing up the previous several hours, or months.
And yes, it really doesn't get worse than that. And it couldn't have happened to a more ghastly Con artist.
But what it also shows is that given half a chance Trump will always choose a flunky, or somebody he thinks he can totally dominate.
He is that insecure.
His reluctant choice of a religious fanatic, a homophobe, and an enemy of women's rights is still appalling.
And it is yet another reason, he should never be President...
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