Chris Christie’s Costly Indecisiveness
WaPo's "Top Christie ally defects to Bush" buries the lede.
WaPo‘s “Top Christie ally defects to Bush” buries the lede.
As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tries for a political revival with New Hampshire town halls and Iowa diner stops, he won’t have one of his longtime friends and political advisers at his side.
New Jersey state Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos, who chaired Christie’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign and ushered his agenda through a Democratic-controlled legislature, is backing former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s all-but-certain presidential bid.
Tim Miller, a Bush spokesman, confirmed Kyrillos’s support Monday as well as a $10,000 donation Kyrillos made in March to Bush’s political-action committee.
The defection of Kyrillos to Bush’s camp is a blow to Christie, who places a premium on loyalty and had hoped to keep his network of allies in New Jersey with him, should he decide to seek the Republican nomination.
Not only is Christie losing a confidant, but a plugged-in operative and former state party chairman who is close with New Jersey’s biggest donors. In 2008, Kyrillos chaired Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in the state.
Kyrillos is one of several influential Christie associates whose ties to the governor have frayed in recent months. Many power brokers who once cheered his rise are now either hesitant to back Christie as he eyes a campaign for the White House, or shifting allegiances.
Were Christie in the race, the “defection” of a key ally would be the correct emphasis. But the fact is that the race is already underway and Christie has been eliminated. He had next to no chance of winning the nomination, anyway, which he presumably realizes and explains why he’s not more formally running. But it’s too late at this juncture for anybody but a rock star to jump in. And I can’t offhand think of who that rock star might be.