Gov. Christie has become an embarrassment to many in New Jersey. Any doubt that blind ambition has overtaken his responsibility to govern the state was dispelled when he dropped out of the presidential race only to rejoin it as one of Donald Trump's most ardent admirers.
Just weeks ago Christie was calling Trump a "carnival barker" who wasn't fit to be president. "Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief," said Christie. "Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America."
But that was then; this is now. "I will lend my support between now and November in any way for Donald," Christie said Friday. He insisted that there's no deal for him to become Trump's running mate, but said that as Trump's "highest level endorser," the millionaire candidate will have "to hear my points of view."
Trump hears a lot of points of view before ignoring them. Christie will be treated like any other acolyte who carries Trump's water. Christie all but acknowledged his role by immediately aiming verbal darts at Mario Rubio's quest for the Republican nomination. Ted Cruz no doubt expects Trump to sic Christie on him too.
Christie's metamorphosis from Trump hater to Trump puppy so upset the New Hampshire Union Leader and Boston Herald that the two newspapers published editorials regretting their earlier endorsements of Christie for president. Meanwhile, six Gannett-owned newspapers in New Jersey have asked Christie to resign, saying they were "disgusted" by his Trump endorsement.
There's also a lot of disgust for Trump within the Republican Party establishment, but it has no idea how to stop him from becoming the GOP nominee. Trump easily won primaries Tuesday in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia - and he did it by turning out record numbers of voters.
That's bad news for Democrats, who are having a hard time getting excited about Hillary Clinton. With Tuesday's primary victories, her nomination is within reach. But it's also bad news for the Republican Party. With Trump as its standard-bearer, it will be hard to be more inclusive. It was sickening to watch Trump equivocate when asked about his endorsement by a known Ku Klux Klan leader.
Some pundits say Trump could drag the Republican Party into the same death spiral as the Whigs of long ago. That's a stretch. But if the party is being hijacked, it has only itself to blame. Too often its indiscriminate embrace of tea-party ideologues opened the door for xenophobes and racists who had infiltrated some groups to enter the room. Add the steady drumbeat by GOP critics accusing President Obama of robbing America of its greatness and you give rise to a nabob of negativity like the Donald.