On Monday, presumptive Republican Party nominee for president Donald Trump announced that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would head the candidate's White House transition team, should Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in November.
“Governor Christie is an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled Transition Team, one that will be prepared to take over the White House when we win in November,” Trump said in a statement. His campaign added that the New Jersey governor would be “overseeing an extensive team of professionals preparing to take over the White House, and all that entails.”
It's an odd choice for a number of reasons, including the fact that Christie said the following about Trump:
- “Donald’s a great guy and a good person. But I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States... I don’t think his temperament is suited for that and I don’t think his experience is.”
- “You do not need to be banning Muslims from the country. That’s, in my view, that’s a ridiculous position and one that won’t even be productive.”
- “He sits in his jammies in Trump Tower and phones in. You guys don’t let any of the rest of us do that. I’m not picking on him. It’s the truth.”
- "Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America.”
- “While I’m as entertained as anyone by this personal back-and-forth about the history of Donald and Carly’s career, the 55-year-old construction worker out in that audience tonight who doesn’t have a job… they could care less about their careers. They care about theirs.”
Sure, primary candidates attack each other, and then they kiss and make up for the general election. So, these comments don't really carry much weight in terms of indicting Christie's alliance with Trump. The aspect of this choice that's far more problematic is the fact that Trump appears to be appointing a sort of "all star cast" for very important roles within his campaign and would-be administration.
In addition to Christie, we also know that he's appointed Ben Carson to head up Trump's vice presidential search committee. Knowing how somnambulant Carson is, he should have a list of recommendations prepared by, say, Thanksgiving.
Nevertheless, the appointment of Carson and Christie to very important roles on Team Trump shows that he's bringing in Names rather than Qualified Professionals. What the goddamn hell does Ben Carson know about selecting a competent vice president? Why is Christie, a former prosecutor and current governor, running the transition team when there are seasoned transition specialists within the party?
Clearly the reason why Trump has hired Carson and Christie is because Trump is hand-picking a team of GOP celebrities with relatively solid Q-scores rather than assembling a team of experts. He's banking on the idea that voters will simply recognize the names and support the decisions based on name recognition alone. He's emulating the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead of emulating the administration of a serious administrative team.
Worse, the Christie and Carson news has to be coupled with Trump's selection of racist crackpots like Roger Stone and Sam Nunberg, not to mention surrogates like Sarah Palin who seems to be gripped in the worsening throes of meth addiction or similar.
Frankly, I'm eagerly waiting for the announcement: Vice President Meat Loaf.
They say Trump would make a good president because of his executive experience and because he'd surround himself with experts to fill in the gaps on areas where he's deficient. So far, the people he's surrounded himself with are one step removed from a bobblehead doll and a turd floating in a bowl of apple sauce.