March 2, 2016

Why did Chris Christie have to stand behind Donald Trump like that?

I'm seeing items like "The many pained expressions of Chris Christie standing behind Donald Trump."

Lots of commentary, including lots of mockery. Of course, there's always mockery whenever anything Donald-Trump-related happens, so there's no way to avoid mockery. But, still, why stand there like that?

To me, Christie looked like some sort of body-guard or enforcer, so I'm going to suggest that was the intended message. That is Christie's role in the Trump campaign. Look for more of it. Haters may react: But Christie looked ridiculous! And my response to that would be: Trump has kept you off guard all this time by provoking your ridicule. It's how you are disarmed.

64 comments:

Original Mike said...

It was weird. I found myself watching Christie instead of Trump.

Someone on Fox said he was standing there like a political wife.

Original Mike said...

I've always found the political wife on the podium thing weird, too.

tim maguire said...

Reminded me of entourages--a bunch of people hanging around a rapper on camera for no apparent reason.

Michael K said...

Christie was thinking "Why am I not there?"

Chuck said...

He stood there, because Trump hadn't told him to "Go home" at that point.

http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/02/28/donald-trump-tells-chris-christie-go-home

tim maguire said...

Agree with Original Mike. I find myself watching the human prop, looking for signs that he's aware how awkward he looks.

Anthony said...

He looked like Luca Brasi

David Begley said...

Lower level Don standing behind the Leader on the NY crime families.

David Begley said...

Yeah. Luca Brasi.

Lem said...

A nod to people afraid that Trump is not presidential? Chris lends him some gravitas?

Wait... I don't mean cast aspersions on the governor.

Tank said...

It did look weird. Meanwhile, here in NJ six newspapers (ie. Democrat organs) have called on Christie to resign LOL. Right. How would we know he was gone?

And the legislature is refusing to have hearings on his eminently qualified Justice appointment.

traditionalguy said...

Christie has been a favorite establishment RINO for 6 years. No wonder he feels out of place. But his presence in Palm Beach sends the message of his New England branch of the party re-unifying behind a New President.

So give that man a shot of Trump Vodka. The Donald can't drink any of it because, like most trial lawyers, he cannot risk using an alcohol crutch trying to shut his mind down after a long trial.

traditionalguy said...

Come to think of it that blank facial expression was the one on Martin Sheen's Captain Willard for three hours of trying to understand why he was being sent upriver to terminate Col Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

Kurtz was the realist being stopped by the Establishment minions he was embarrasing by using winning tactics.

Brando said...

Ok, Prof, you're really trying to spin for Christie here? There's no way he comes out of any of this looking like anything but a tool. That's par for the course when you sidle up to an insecure wannabe alpha male like Trump--he needs you to look like a supplicant. He also likes to rub his "allies" face in it--the "hot mike" incident showed exactly who was on the leash. Serves Christie right--his cheap suicide attack in the debate, his Obama ass-kissing--all of this shows him as the soulless opportunist he is, and now jockeying for Trump's favor. It'd be poetic if he got nothing out of it but much deserved ridicule.

Curtiss said...

Blogger Anthony said...
He looked like Luca Brasi


Nah. Too many cannoli's. He's Clemenza.

Skeptical Voter said...

Time for the Jersey fat boy to go home.

gspencer said...

When I saw Christie standing there, I couldn't help but put a thought bubble over his head, "Man, I should be the guy standing there behind the podium. No body understands. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Donald."

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

Why did Chris Christie have to stand behind Donald Trump like that?

Because if he stood in front of him, Trump would have disappeared like a solar eclipse.

Lem said...

There was also the very real threat from his David Duke "strategic ambiguity" backfiring.

The image of Christie behind him is meant to reassure people. No way Christie would get behind a KKK loving candidate... or something.

Amanda said...

He looked hypnotized. Hmmm, Trump is reaaaallly powerful.

Steve Uhr said...

He looks like he was reconsidering the endorsement. His intro was devoid of emotion. If I were Trump I would be pissed.

Presumably Trump made an offer too good to resist. Christie has to keep his side of the bargain.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

New Jersey's state flag is kind of yellow with some sort of blue so I'm not at all sure what's going on with the governor's lapel pin.

Birkel said...

For the same reason Jim McGreevy's wife stood behind him.

Limited blogger said...

I commented on it 30 seconds into Trump's press conference. I didn't say it was bad, thought it needed some work, but Christie is not an appealing looking guy. When he did smile it was not appealing. I like the 'enforcer' role. As stated, it's everything Trump all the time, so just keep the ball rolling.

Limited blogger said...

Donald's son Eric was briefly seen to the right of Trump. He is an appealing looking man, he should have joined Christie in the camera angle. Would have softened Chris' grim look.

Watch the next press conference, the optics will be better.

YoungHegelian said...

Have any of you heartless bastards stop to think that maybe Christie suffers from that terrible affliction, Resting Bitchy Face?

RBF afflicts many good, otherwise cheerful people. Part environmental, but mostly genetic, it can't be cured but can be managed by forced smiles. Many sufferers have even taken to the extreme measure of sticking a wire coat-hanger in their mouth each morning to make sure they keep smiling during the day.

I know, for I, too suffer from RBF (Thanks a lot, Mom!).

Fabi said...

Begley slurs Trump as the "...Leader on[sic] the NY crime families."

David Begley is an attorney, an officer of the court.

Amexpat said...

Trump has kept you off guard all this time by provoking your ridicule. It's how you are disarmed.

Disagree. Trump was giving a great, hypnotic performance. Christie's presence was a distraction that broke the spell that Trump was trying to weave.

David said...

The Donald started out his press conference statesmanlike and then returned to candidate mode with some fairly personal zingers directed at Rubio. (Turnabout is fair play in this game.) I thought I saw a flicker of worry in Christie's face when The Donald did that. But maybe not. Mostly Christie was trying to look hard and serious. Nice try but I doubt they are going to repeat this.

Article in WSJ today about the tone of the presidential election of 1828. References to the opposing candidates wives as whores and prostitutes were not the worst.

"Politics ain't beanbag."--Mr. Dooley

robother said...

"And may your first child be a masculine child..."

Fabi said...

@David: When Jefferson was running for president he was attacked as being a (literal) bastard. I have to laugh at the pearl clutching in reference to our modern day mud-slinging -- if TJ can be the subject of slings and arrows, then anyone can.

traditionalguy said...

Remembering Apocalypse Now, the wonder came for Capt Willard's when he was told Col. Kurtz was guilty of Murder in the Central Highlands of North Viet Nam/Cambodia in 1969.

He said that a Murder charge there was like giving out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500. Standing at Mar a Lago watching a staged Presidential press Conference must have filled Christy with wonder too.

Saint Croix said...

It's quite obvious.

Trump has promised Christie that he will be his vice-president. So Christie is now taking orders from Trump, and doing what he asks.

Later, Trump will betray Christie. There will be much gnashing of teeth. "You betrayed me!" Trump will smile. More media attention.

Christie is a fucking idiot.

Saint Croix said...

He made Christie stand behind him to emasculate and embarrass Christie, and make Trump seem more powerful.

This man is fucking evil. Stop him now. Not kidding.

Saint Croix said...

Chris Christie, why did you endorse Donald Trump for President?

Because you think he's the most qualified man?

Or because he promised you something?

Tell the truth, Chris Christie.

Brando said...

"He made Christie stand behind him to emasculate and embarrass Christie, and make Trump seem more powerful."

There's something rotten about a man who feels the need to debase his supplicants. It's not "alpha male" behavior and it's a serious character flaw. Contrast that with Lincoln, who once said "have I not destroyed my enemy by making him my friend?" and was notorious for building bridges with former foes. Trump though seems to revel in holding others down, even when such behavior only makes him seem pettier and smaller than before.

Christie may be learning that lesson.

Saint Croix said...

He made the deal with Christie before New Hampshire. The attack on Rubio came from Christie, a total surprise to Rubio. Christie at that point had already aligned himself with Trump.

Christie has almost outlived his usefulness. Once he's used up, he will be discarded.

The next target is Cruz. He is bribing Cruz with everything he has.

He already has tried this with Rubio. Rubio forcefully rebuked him.

What will Ted say?

Saint Croix said...

Why are John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson still in the race?

Who is funding them?

What have they been promised?

He is a master of manipulation.

But he is not honest.

Brando said...

"The next target is Cruz. He is bribing Cruz with everything he has.

He already has tried this with Rubio. Rubio forcefully rebuked him.

What will Ted say?"

Ted could be the kingmaker here--if somehow Trump ended up with fewer delegates than the majority, I could easily see Cruz offering his own (I assume you can do that?) in exchange for something. He'd be a harder sell than sad sack Christie.

It'd make for one hell of a convention to have the nominee decided there.

Brando said...

"Why are John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson still in the race?"

For Carson, quite simply his entire campaign has been a fundraising scheme. Like previous also-rans, it's about getting books sold, speaking fees, maybe a cable news gig. Plus, they love the attention--some reporter somewhere will want to hear what they say, and even a small room in a civic center is good for their egos.

I'm not sure them staying in the race helps Trump. Their voters wouldn't necessarily go to one of Trump's competitors.

robother said...

"Contrast that with Lincoln, who once said 'have I not destroyed my enemy by making him my friend?'"

The Recent Unpleasantness aside, of course.

Saint Croix said...

My new theory is that Donald Trump called Ted Cruz "the biggest liar I know" because Trump offered the veep spot to multiple people, and found out that Ted Cruz had already done that.

Both Kasich and Carson think they are somebody's veep.

And we know that somebody is not Marco Rubio, since those guys are taking his votes. He wants them out of the race. They are propped up by Cruz and/or Trump.

Stay in, Marco! You rock.

Saint Croix said...

And Christie, obviously, thinks he is a veep.

Christie and Kasich and Carson?

Somebody is a big, big liar.

Wilbur said...

He's still thinking back to his bro-hug of Obama, which scuttled any chance he had for the nomination.
"Damn, why'd I do that? And how unfair it all is!"

James Pawlak said...

Considering his approval of Islamists, I would have searched him for a back-stabbing dagger before letting him stand behind me.

Bob said...

I'm reminded of A Man For All Seasons. (slight paraphrase here:

"Why, Chris, it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the entire world - - but for Attorney General?"

nubchai said...

Christie did look like a body guard. But the other thing that struck me was how unhappy they both looked. For a guy who had done well on Super Tuesday, Trump looked glum. And Christie looked almost hostile. I wondered if they were thinking about the threats of a 3rd party Republican bid by someone else or maybe a brokered convention.

R. Chatt said...

I've just read an extensive fictional interpretation of Christie's response over at Washington Post. If someone is being paid to shamelessly make up nonsense, (Alexandra Petri) why shouldn't I offer my take? My impression was that Christie was considering, or being considered, as the VP. (Theoretically he'd be a great asset to Trump, considering Christie's ability to work across the legislative aisle in NJ.) So they hung out together for a couple of events. But standing there behind Trump, Christie had a massive reality check in public: Christie has to be the boss, he can't be VP, second fiddle. Trump is savvy about humans and already suggested that Christie would be great as Attorney General, no problem. Christie could still run for President some time in the future.

Paul said...

Christie is a little lap dog that is trying hard to look like he is part of something.

Christy said...

Honestly, I thought he was a cardboard cut-out propped up behind Trump. Even bored I cannot hold an expression that long.

pm317 said...

lol.. great comments. I agree with a few of them but @David said what I was thinking.. Christie was trying very hard to look serious and interested. He looked a little unsure of himself.

@Saint Croix, I am worried for you because Trump might very well get the nomination and he will shlong Hillary on first day and may even win the presidency. {Disclaimer: I am not a Trump supporter}.

pm317 said...

If we got Bush for 8 years and then Obama for another 8 years (ugh).. why not Trump? Incidentally, Trump has been watching Obama's speeches. In the press conference, he repeated verbatim what Obama was saying in his 2008 (primary) campaign and with much more disdain and mocking; it went something like, 'all these people have had their chance for years/decades to make the changes they talk about, but they have not or did not do it, why do they need more chance?' A clear dig at Hillary. When I first heard it when Obama said it, I thought that was a very good line and it will work and it did. Lo and behold, I heard Trump repeat the same lines in the press conference.

Kansas City said...

It was a mistake for Christie to stand there. Bill Clinton made the same mistake on Iowa caucus night. There is no way a guy standing behind the speaker looks good.

Ann thinks it was planned. She gives too much credit.

Interestingly, Christie signaled for Trump's son to come next to him at the start and he was smart enough to stay away. Christie should have been smart enough to move out of the picture. Hard for politician to take himself out of the TV picture.

I'm very happy Christie is being humiliated. Either pure political opportunism or a very defective person.

pm317 said...

@Kansas City, Yeah I also saw the video in the last hour where Christie motioned to Trump's son to stand next to him but he declined. So it was Christie's choice to stand there in view of the camera. And then he didn't know what to do with his face. What a freak.

Saint Croix said...

@Saint Croix, I am worried for you

Thanks! Vote Marco.

pm317 said...

Marco is not ready!

Saint Croix said...

Marco is the man. Now he's fighting Trump at CPAC.

I also expect the Rubio speech to be awesome, and Trump's speech to be meh. He is not good at giving a speech. He is good at debate (childish debate!), and good at press conferences. He's good at give-and-take and spontaneous reactions. But an actual speech? I think he sucks it up. And I think Marco blows the roof off. And we all know that Trump is not a libertarian. Marco will kill him on free speech alone.

Trump is not expecting this pushback. He might bail on CPAC, out of fear. He knows he's not in Marco's league. He's pressuring Cruz now to commit to his veep, trying to keep Marco from smashing him all to hell. But the Cuban will not be stopped!

I cannot wait to get that sticker on my car! And if he fails, I'll keep it on for four years. Marco 2020. Keep rocking, brother.

Saint Croix said...

Wrong link, sorry. This is the link.

Biff said...

I suspect that the person who mentioned "Resting Bitchy Face" meant it as a joke, but I actually had been thinking about that regarding Christie. I can't be bothered to go hunting for suitable clips right now, but I had long ago noticed Christie's seemingly odd facial expressions when standing behind a speaker, or even when listening to questioners at town halls. He has always looked this way. It's just that he seems vulnerable now, so it is safe to ridicule him in a way that people would not have risked before his Trump endorsement. I'm not sure that is the wisest course of action. Will the people who are laughing now keep laughing if Christie becomes US Attorney General in a Trump administration?

Mark said...

An enforcer you laugh at isn't much use in his job. Just sayin'.

Brando said...

"I'm very happy Christie is being humiliated. Either pure political opportunism or a very defective person."

Part of what makes Christie's move so stupid was that he didn't realize that by being so transparently untrustworthy (from his actions in the 2012 campaign, to his switch from saying Trump is unqualified to suddenly saying he totally is, and suicide bombing Rubio) that Trump wouldn't be able to trust him either. It's like falling for the guy who cheated on his wife for you--his character is showing.

Then again, Trump does say his one fault is he trusts people too much. Maybe Christie's banking on Trump not being able to see Christie's character. We'll see if Trump gives him anything.

Writ Small said...

The thousand mile stare was worrying, but Christie's personality was absent - vacated - during his introduction of Trump. His monotone and idea-free delivery was the definition of perfunctory. Say what you will about Palin, but her personality was on full display in her endorsement of Trump. She was a free woman confidently giving her support (although she couldn't deliver Alaska Tuesday night). Christie came across as someone playing it incredibly safe.

Whether Christie was beaten down, playing the role of tough-guy bodyguard, or (sub?)consciously signalling Trump's oppressive nature, the personality change was striking. The confident and freewheeling chief executive was gone.

nubchai said...

Christie's fast about-face on Trump's capabilities to be president is transparently opportunistic. He's angling for a cabinet position. Despite Trump's momentum in the primaries, if he gets the nomination, I'm betting the Republicans try to put up a third-party candidate. Split the vote. That's why Trump is trying to cast himself as the great unifier - which lasted for 2 minutes before he threatened Paul Ryan lol.