The Corner

Christie’s Conscience

My favorite scene in all of moviedom is from A Man For All Seasons. It’s lots of people’s favorite, and gets quoted a lot. So I apologize if you’ve heard it a million times, but when Richard Rich perjures himself to condemn Thomas More, More asks to see the chain of office Rich is wearing. Rich reluctantly proffers it. More nods and says “Richard: It profiteth a man nothing if he gives his soul for the whole world. But for Wales?”  

Chris Christie, former candidate for president, governor of the state of New Jersey, former federal prosecutor, has now thrown in with a figure who threatens and attempts to intimidate critics, promises to commit war crimes, and lacks, by Christie’s own (earlier) reckoning, the character and integrity to be president of the United States. 

Doubtless Christie hopes to gain something by this. There has been speculation that he might be Trump’s running mate or Attorney General. He will now probably serve as a Trump surrogate in the campaign. But a couple of things are certain. One is that if Christie was hoping to reprise his New Hampshire takedown of Marco Rubio, that doesn’t look likely. The Rubio we’ve seen in the past 24 hours is not taking anything from anyone. Second, Christie claims to be a religious man. If he is, he will, maybe not today, or tomorrow, but someday have to confront the fact that he is Richard Rich.

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