BY JOSHUA HENNE
It seems Gov. Chris Christie's endorsement of Mitt Romney has had the same devastating effect on the presidential candidate's campaign as his endorsements in New Jersey's state legislative races this fall.
In targeted legislative districts, Christie's highly-touted State Senate candidates Vince Polistina and John Driscoll went down in flames. Now we see Christie's reverse Midas Touch in action again - this time sending Mitt Romney to the back of the line behind 1990's relic Newt Gingrich. If nothing else, at least Christie is consistent.
Timing is everything…especially if you don't have it. Is Chris Christie to Mitt Romney what Jim McGreevey was to Howard Dean in 2004? Picking the wrong moment to stick his finger in the wind and delivering Jersey's partisan backing right before a campaign hits the skids.
Chris Christie is more interested in creating self-serving headlines and YouTube moments than creating jobs in New Jersey. Christie should spend less time gallivanting throughout early primary and caucus states playing inside baseball politics and more time focused on making life better for the families who live in his state.
Any Republican candidate - from the Trenton Statehouse where he spends less and less time to the D.C. beltway where he enjoys pontificating to fawning carefully-chosen crowds - would do well to duck Christie's calls. As it seems the governor's backing has become a kiss of death. The impact of a Christie endorsement - whether in the Garden State or on the national stage - is quickly matched by a precipitous decline in public polls.
In a 54-minute long, self-serving speech this October, Christie announced his endorsement for Romney, who was then polling at 24 percent in Iowa. During the governor's visit to the caucus state this week, Christie blew hot air at a rally for a full five minutes before even mentioning Romney's presidential claim. We've learned that Governor Christie prepares his voice for these speeches using the old operatic technique of singing "Me, me, me, me, me, me."
Christie's rock star status in the endorsement game has acted more like a boulder anchoring down momentum for his anointed candidates. Clearly, Christie views himself as a political closer. Unfortunately, he's been more of an albatross driving polls directly downward. Since embracing Christie's full-throated support, Romney has seen his support among likely Republican voters drop to a dismal 16 percent.
Luckily for Giants fans, Chris Christie roots for the Cowboys. With two head-to-head NFL games on the horizon, this bodes well for fans of Big Blue.
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