Christie’s Shell-Shocked Look Stirs Mockery, Befuddlement

TRENTON (AP) -

Was that really Chris Christie, the brusque, take-a-back-seat-to-no-one governor of New Jersey?

Christie’s seemingly shell-shocked gaze as he stood behind Donald Trump on Super Tuesday is generating befuddlement and mockery. His introductory remarks were so subdued and his appearance was so grave that many people joked that he looked like a hostage. “Gov. Christie, blink twice if you’re in trouble!” one person tweeted.

In a move that shocked nearly everyone, especially in Democratic-leaning New Jersey, Christie endorsed Trump last week and has appeared at the billionaire’s side at campaign appearances over the past few days.

Back home, the reaction has been fierce. Six newspapers said he isn’t fit to be governor and urged him to resign. A poll saw his approval ratings fall from 33 percent before he backed Trump to 27 percent since.

In the past few days, the politician with the outsized personality seemed to be shrinking even if something big — perhaps the No. 2 spot — is his goal.

Trump was heard on a microphone telling Christie to “get on a plane and go home” after Christie was pressed about his disagreement with Trump on his proposed ban on Muslims.

Christie refers to the candidate, who is supposedly his longtime friend, as “Mr. Trump,” while Trump refers to the governor as “Chris.”

To Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison, Christie’s seeming thousand-yard stare seemed to reflect sadness.

“It really looked like heartbreak and kind of a bitter pill that he was swallowing,” she said. “I still think that in his heart of hearts he thinks he was destined to be president of the United States.”