These words are interesting, even bittersweet to read.
In 2009 and 2010, I saw New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as the Presidential contender this country needed.
He had a lot of guts, a whole bunch of bravado.
He told off teachers' unions and heckling New Jersey residents.
He was a national sensation.
Lot's of conservatives--including myself--wanted him to run.
But little by little, the facade began to fade.
He was simply not all that we had hoped he would be.
His best time to run would have been in 2012.
Competing for the New England vote and the populist vote throughout the state.
What can I say? He was reading the headlines, and believed that he had everything to do with his success.
A number of concerned critics pointed out to me that his actions betrayed a deep, statist strain.
He signed off on banning therapy for confused minors.
He supported gun control, even though such measures do not protect the public.
From 2012 onward, Christie was all about ... Christie.
And that won't cut it.
Even though he was earning net positives from all backgrounds: Latinos, Black voters, Democrats, Republicans etc. the fact is that the media hype was protecting him.
|Chris Christie (Credit: Gage Skidmore)|
The same media that adored him later floored him with the Bridge-gate nonsense.
After he survived those fiascos, the media ignored him.
He never really had a chance after that.
Here is Christie's last email to his campaign supporters, however few that remained after New Hampshire:
I ran for president with the message that the government needs to once again work for the people, not the people work for the government. And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed - that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation. That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough and that's ok. I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I've lost elections I was supposed to win and what that means is you never know what will happen. That is both the magic and the mystery of politics - you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do.
Sorry, Chris, but after year re-election to Governor in 2013, you rarely spoke your mind. You spent more time making excuses, telling talking heads "I am the governor of New Jersey, and that's what I am going to focus on."
He stopped speaking his mind when he became mindful of being popular, rather than principled.
And so today, I leave the race without an ounce of regret. I'm so proud of the campaign we ran, the people that ran it with me and all those who gave us their support and confidence along the way. Mary Pat and I thank you for the extraordinary display of loyalty, friendship, understanding and love.
I watch Christie live with much regret, for what could have been.