New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed a fired-up Donald Trump rally yesterday in the midst of highly publicized Super Tuesday victories. According to some observers, Christie might be seeking a vice presidential nod from Trump – even if he is “visibly dying inside” during the Trump rally. In a clip that has been GIF’d and re-GIF’d this morning, Chris Christie watches over Donald Trump’s shoulder as the Republican candidate addresses his supporters after a few decisive victories on Super Tuesday. Chris Christie appears to be pained and barely containing rage, fear, or disappointment, according to the Washington Post and several other media outlets this morning.
“He had the face of a man… who has just discovered that God does exist but She is an enormous snake who hates or is indifferent to mankind,” reads the article in the Post.
Chris Christie, according to Rolling Stone, hasn’t seen the face of a many-headed She-snake, he’s just dying inside as Trump fires up his supporters with his blistering invective. Rolling Stone characterizes Christie’s haunted appearance as “fearful,” like “someone in a hostage video.” And they’re not alone in this characterization, Twitter picked up the GIF and ran with it.
"His were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss." #FreeChrisChristie— bennydiego (@bennydiego) March 2, 2016
Chris Christie addressed the assembled crowd and sang the praises of his one-time rival Donald Trump, calling him a unifier and a transformative figure who will bring the Republican party together – despite Republican commentators claiming that Trump has done the exact opposite and has irreparably fractured the party.
“Tonight is the beginning of Donald Trump bringing the Republican party together for a big victory this November,” Christie said to the crowd, which was chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump” moments earlier.
But as soon as Donald Trump took the podium and Chris Christie stepped back, social media exploded, and the hashtag #FreeChrisChristie skyrocketed in popularity. The tweets cited Chris Christie’s pained expression as Donald Trump publicly lauded his own achievements, reiterating his campaign promises over and over to a crowd frothing with anticipation.
Hyperbole aside, it’s not likely that Chris Christie was, in fact, dying inside or screaming wordlessly, but he was clearly uncomfortable with the arrangement. Despite the fact that Christie has in the past attacked Trump, the men seem to be close or, at the very least, it’s politically expedient for them to appear so.
Christie has executive experience that Trump lacks and he’s popular with independent voters, two factors which have led some to speculate that Christie is getting something out of this arrangement. The Week speculates that Christie could be a strong vice presidential pick for Trump, who lacks any experience in government. And while Christie’s track record is spotty, to say the least (a series of New Jersey newspapers called for his resignation this week), he’s got a record that endears him to some center-right voters.
What other positions might Chris Christie fill on the Trump ticket besides “pained hostage”? The Week speculates further that Christie might be a shoo-in for an Attorney General appointment, which would utilize his experience as a federal prosecutor, a job he held for six years after an appointment by George W. Bush.
“He has shown himself to be tough, and strong and bold. He’s shown himself to be a fighter, a leader who speaks plainly to the American people,” Chris Christie added during his speech to Trump supporters Tuesday.
Whether or not Christie’s praise will secure him a spot in the Trump cabinet remains to be seen. However, Trump has yet to endorse a running mate, nor secure the Republican nomination – though his victories Tuesday seem to suggest he’ll be difficult to stop.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]