LET ME FINISH: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the power of in-your-face politics, former Governor Chris Christie’s memoir and plea for a political future is not likely to change any minds about him. If you’re one of the 15% of New Jersey residents who admire Christie today as much as you did during the early aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, you will love the book and your admiration for Christie will grow.
If you believe that Christie knew about and was involved in the George Washington Bridge scandal known as Bridgegate and that he closed New Jersey’s beaches for all but his family on the July 4th weekend in 2017, his book will tell you why you’re wrong. Christie is the victim of the two events that define his legacy so far; Bridgegate and Beachgate.
In Bridgegate, the villains are David Wildstein, Bridget Ann Kelly, former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman (Christie’s envious successor in that office), Hillary Clinton and the DNCC’s political machine. Christie’s only failure in Bridgegate is his misjudging of Bill Baroni’s character. Christie says that if he had a better read on Baroni’s weakness, he might be president of the United States today.
The funniest and pithiest retort came from Wildstein.
— David Wildstein (@wildstein) February 2, 2019
In Chapter 28, Christie uses four pages explaining that why he wasn’t a colossal jerk and bully for being on the beach with his family during the government shutdown of 2017. The government closed down because former Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto is corrupt. The Star Ledger, the publisher of Christie’s legacy photos, was out to get Christie. Of course Christie regrets getting photographed on the beach that day, he wrote. But the government would not have shutdown over Christie’s insistence that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield contribute $300 million of their surplus to funding treatment for opioid addicts if Prieto had not made a dirty deal with them.
If Christie believes his explanation of his visit to the beach and his complaint about the unfairness of the Star Ledger photos, it reveals a blind spot in his self-awareness. Apparently he really doesn’t get the joke about himself and doesn’t understand why the beach photo memes are hilariously funny in New Jersey and beyond, even for people who like the former governor.
President Trump gets the joke about Christie. That, I suspect as an observer from very far away, is why the President sided with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the legion of amateurs who are now gone from the Trump Administration, in removing Christie from managing the transition.
The important message of Chrisite’s book, the message that he says the world needs to hear, is that the Trump Administration and therefore the country and the world, would have been better off had the transition he planned not been discarded. That part of the book rings true.
If you get the joke about Christie, the tragicomedy that his career has become, you can understand why the President chose the way he did.
LET ME FINISH is worth reading. It will give you new insights into President Trump and the Republican Party, nationally and in New Jersey. Christie’s fans, supporters and opponents/opposition researchers will want to read the book for the insights the former governor gives into himself and his circle. Christie will probably run for president again. That is an unsaid message of the book. If he gets the joke, he might make it and he might be a great president some day.
I am proud to let you know that my new book “Let Me Finish” is number 5 this week on the hardcover and combined hardcover and e-book @nytimes Best Seller List. Thanks to all of you who have bought the book and enjoyed the read.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) February 6, 2019