A week or so ago, some GOP establishment types crawled out of a cesspit someplace and whispered to ReportersWhoKnowStuff™ that Jeb! was waiting in the wings and just might be a force to be reckoned with in 2024. My colleague Bonchie took a look at this horrifying possibility in It Looks Like the Bush Family Isn’t Done Screwing up the Country:
Do you know what America doesn’t need: Political dynasties, and that’s never been more true than in relation to the Bush family. Well, it’s probably been more true about the Kennedys, but you get the idea. The prior Bush presidencies were hardly a roaring success, with the latter delivering us such gems as a 20-year war in Afghanistan and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Then there was Jeb Bush, a man who spent a war chest the size of a small country’s GDP destroying Marco Rubio, because he was too vapid to understand Donald Trump was the real threat. Please clap, though.
I don’t think Jeb! could win an election in Florida right now. I don’t know what constituency he would hope to appeal to. I really hope that this story is an elaborate troll because otherwise, it is simply a fraud designed to fleece credulous donors…much like in 2015 (joke, joke).
Were the possibility of another few months of listening to a somnolent Jeb! going through the motions of pretending to care whether we live or die not sufficiently daunting, something both worse and better has emerged: a Chris Christie boomlet. It is worse because as hard as it would be to out-horrible another Bush campaign, Christie would easily be up to that task. It is better because it is exponentially less likely that this sh**show will come to pass.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is seriously considering running for president in 2024.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 21, 2021
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is seriously considering running for president in 2024, three people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.
The big picture: Absent another run by former President Trump, the field would be wide open.
- Christie, whose 2016 bid for the nomination was short-lived, has told friends that he’d be the only person in the 2024 field with executive experience who has run a presidential race before.
- That’s a clear shot at one potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s enjoying a surge of popularity from Republican voters for his handling of COVID-19 and his sparring with the media but hasn’t yet endured the scrutiny of a presidential bid.
- Christie could run on a reputation for toughness that appeals to Trump’s base minus the former president’s recklessness, said one source. Another said he has a mix of combativeness and charisma that Republicans are looking for to take on President Biden and Democrats.
- He has potential crossover appeal to blue-collar and suburban right-of-center voters.
- And his experience as a former federal prosecutor could help distinguish him in debates and prepare for a primary contest in which there may be less of a premium on ad-libbing than in 2016.
If you read the article you’ll see that the evidence that this story is real is a) “three people familiar with his thinking,” b) him telling Hugh Hewitt that he won’t “rule out” a presidential run,
and c) him criticizing the Biden bunch as a paid talking head on ABC.
Christie: "If Donald Trump and called a dog a cat… we would be outraged." pic.twitter.com/7Yy4P96Jkh
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 11, 2021
According to Axios, Christie’s big vulnerability is that he isn’t in office and so no one is paying any attention to him.
I think he has much larger problems than that. He threw a couple of his top aids under the bus on the “Bridgegate” debacle. Thankfully, they were saved by the Supreme Court reversing their convictions in Kelly vs. United States, but it made Christie seem petty, craven, and gutless. These are adjectives we began to associate with Christie once he started seeing himself as a national political figure.
There is Chris Christie enjoying a New Jersey beach that was closed to the public.
During a time when our civil liberties are under attack using the Trojan Horse of the Wuhan virus, Christie was out encouraging us all to wear the symbol of obedience and virtue signaling, the totally ineffective face mask.
Both the Christie and the Jeb! stories have some common factors. They are predicated on Donald Trump not being a factor. He may not be a candidate but to think he won’t be a factor is, to my view, wishful thinking. There is an assumption that two guys who had their faces ground into the pavement by Trump, or, more accurately had their faces ground into the asphalt by guys Trump thrashed, are somehow stronger today than they were when they were actually household names. And there is a total refusal to cope with the fact that the GOP of 2024 is not the GOP of Bush or Christie. Their GOP basically died with the Tea Party and Trump shoved the remains into the woodchipper, feet first, in 2016.