Back when Bill Clinton was telling the traditional Democratic base of working class Whites and minorities that he felt their pain, he was also being careful to give the Wall Street crowd what it wanted, like sign legislation that did away with the Glass-Stiegel Act. Corporate America hates what it sees as restrictive legislation, and Glass-Stiegel was depression era law meant to keep big banks from over playing their hand in ways that would be detrimental to the nation’s economic health.
In large part the financial crash of 2008 eight was due to what came to be termed Clinton’s triangulation — playing up to both Wall Street and Main Street. And now it would seem that ex governor of New Jersey, Chris Christy, is engaging in his own version of Clinton’s triangulation gambit as he makes the TV circuit rounds promoting his new book, Let Me Finish, a not too subtle hint that he still has big political ambitions.
So what is Christy’s triangulation game about? Simply put it would seem that he is trying to politically maneuver in ways favorable to the GOP/Wall Street old guard while being careful not to antagonize Trump’s populous base. That it is Christ’s agenda is to be perfectly positioned to pick up the pieces on the Republican side of the national political divide if and when the world of Trump comes crashing down.
For the old guard Christy says that he is not afraid to criticize Trump when he thinks he is wrong as in the Charlottesville fiasco when Trump said, “both sides have good people,” meaning Klan types and those that oppose them. And Christy says he disagrees with Trump’s badmouthing of the FBI and the CIA. In fact you can easily read between the lines that he actually takes pleasure in sticking it to Trump who has also, as is his habit with just about everyone, taken great pleasure in sticking it to Christy.
On the other hand, playing to Trump’s base, Christy says he thinks of Trump as a good friend and claims that Trump actually loves his wife dearly, and mostly agrees with Trump’s policies. But it gets quite mystifying when Christy, as a once tough federal prosecutor, said that dumb criminals are compulsive liars. Did he not expect this supposed good friend of his, who is a notorious liar, could not connect the huge dots to the effect that he called Trump dumb. Moreover, when asked by Colbert if he would make a better president than Trump, Christy unhesitatingly said — yes.
Christy is going though all the classic motions of running for president without a formal declaration to that intention, but the tightrope he is trying to walk of both undercutting and praising Trump is bizarre in the extreme, a crazy form of GOP triangulation. Then again, maybe the ex governor is simply playing this thing as a fun, nothing to lose lark.