The Chris Christie-Donald Trump alliance continues to be an object of fascination, so the New York Times dives in today with a history of — and it seems air quotes are needed here — “friendship.”
Here are four things we learned from the piece:
Trump’s sister, a federal judge in New Jersey, brought them together. We told you last month about Maryanne Trump Barry, a senior judge for the Philly-based U.S. Court of Appeals in the Third Circuit. It seems her career has never entirely been separate from politics or Donald’s dealings — she ascended to the bench in the 1980s after her brother made a call to Roy Cohn, who in turn called then-Attorney General Edwin Meese.
The Times story suggests, too, that Christie got a little bit of help from his brother Todd — snagging an appointment as U.S. attorney for New Jersey after Todd made a big donation to the campaign of George W. Bush. After he took the job, Judge Barry told Christie: “My little brother really wants to meet you.”
Christie really likes being around famous people. We knew that, but it’s really striking to read it packed into one paragraph like this one from the Times:
He began referring to Mr. Trump as “a friend of mine,” the way he later would Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, whose private plane and private box he enjoyed; King Abdullah, who hosted him on a lavish weekend in the Jordanian desert; Bono, the singer of U2, who joined them at parties there; and, after a long period of unrequited adulation, Bruce Springsteen. Much like Mr. Trump, Mr. Christie had shown that he liked to be around People Who Matter.
Christie is kind of scared of Trump. Christie has never been known to back down from, say, a public school teacher — so it seemed surprising during the debates that he stayed sidelined even as other candidates start to take on the frontrunning Trump. “He was afraid to do it — he’s never been afraid of anybody,” an anonymous source told the Times. “He thought Trump would do to him what he did to Megyn Kelly.”
And Christie thinks he’d be grabbing the GOP nomination right now if Trump had stayed out of the race. Christie never really broke through to the ranks of the front-runners once the race got going last year. Still: “If he had not been in the race,” Christie said, “I would have been the nominee.”
Plus a bonus thing we learned:
Trump and New Jersey power broker George Norcross were, at one point, frequent golf partners. If you think the presidential election season has been interesting, just consider what it would look like in Philadelphia if Norcross had won the bidding for the Inquirer and Daily News back in 2014. Journalists there certainly have.
As they say: It’s worth reading the whole piece.
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