Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Single-Minded Chris Christie

Politico reports

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, rumored as a possible attorney general pick for Donald Trump, said he would “bring the case” against Hillary Clinton if he was in charge of prosecuting her.

In perhaps one of the most well-received speeches of the Republican National Convention so far, Christie prosecuted a broad case against Clinton’s candidacy, inspiring chants of “lock her up” from the convention floor. Wednesday morning, Christie said he thought Clinton should have faced criminal charges, not just political ones, over allegations that she improperly used a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

“She should be convicted, absolutely,” Christie said. “I think Jim Comey is a smart, good guy, but here's the problem: He forgot his job.

In perhaps one of the most well-received speeches?  No "perhaps,"  and no "one of the most."  The New Jersey governor's speech was better than Mrs. Trump's had been even if if were not revealed a portion was plagiarized. It was superior to that of Rudy Giuliani, who screamed to a rabid and enthused convention audience while seemingly unconcerned about how it would come across to viewers.

But though Christie was cognizant of his wider audience, he really was auditioning for an audience of one: Donald Grump.   Politico continued 

Comey, the FBI director and lifelong Republican who recommended against charges for Clinton, said at the time that the presumptive Democratic nominee’s handling of classified government information was “extremely careless” but did not rise to the level of criminal activity. Based on precedents from similar cases, Comey concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

But Christie, a former prosecutor himself, said the decision of whether or not to bring the case should not have been left to Comey. The New Jersey governor said the call should ordinarily have been Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s, but in this particular case, Lynch’s actions left her unable to involve herself.

“Because Loretta Lynch has so absented herself from this and so compromised herself by meeting with the president, Clinton, on the tarmac, Jim Comey felt like he had to be FBI director and prosecutor at the same time,” Christie said. “So he was saying well, as a reasonable prosecutor, I might not bring this case. And my point to Jim, someday when I talk to him about it, will be, it wasn’t your call, man.”

The message of the former U.S. Attorney to the nominee is clear: make me your Attorney General and FBI or no FBI, I'll indict "Crooked Hillary."

It is an extremely effective message from Christie to the guy who would appoint him, after which a GOP-dominated Senate (as it surely would be if their candidate is elected) would approve his nomination, save a particularly scathing report from the U.S. Attorney in the Bridgegate case. But it is, paradoxically, a speech which will make it more likely that the subject of Christie's attack will be elected.

Be honest now: think of all the times you've heard a fan, more likely a broadcaster or talk-show host, speak of the pressure on a professional sports team to win a game or a series while the other team can play "loose."

It happened when the great, or once-great, Peyton Manning, arguably the best regular season quarterback in NFL history but plagued by having only one Super Bowl ring, played the young and improving Carolina Panthers. It was repeated when LeBron James, one of the half dozen greatest (among non-centers) players in NBA history, was widely criticized for not having won nearly as many championships as the legendary Michael Jordan. Down 3-1, James' Cleveland Cavaliers came back to win the series 4-3.

It's need. The team which needs to win usually does. The other guys, like the Panthers, can wait or as with to the Golden State Warriors, had already won one.

Need will play a crucial role in the presidential race. Hillary Clinton has been eyeing the presidency for many years and is eager to become the first female President ever, making history eight years after Barack Obama made history.  Donald Trump doesn't need the presidency and already has far exceeded expectations. Oh, he would capitalize mightily on being Chief Executive of the federal government but he long has demonstrated a knack for turning ego, greed and corruption into a huge business empire without running for office.

And now, if she ever had any doubt, Hillary Clinton knows that if she does not win this election, the likely Attorney General plans to put her in the "stripes" that speakers and attendees at the Republican Convention are longing to see.

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