UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: OK, it’s official. Christie’s out.
Everyone is waiting for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to formally announce he’s dropping out of the race. Christie had a dismal performance in New Hampshire, given how much he’d invested in the state; he went back to New Jersey last night to discuss the decision with his advisers. The New York Times says this:
Officials with Mr. Christie’s campaign would not confirm the decision, but his allies confirmed his plans to drop out, with one saying, “He’s done.”
Christie got everyone’s attention in Saturday’s Republican debate by going for the jugular of Marco Rubio, who seemed to be quickly rising as the establishment favorite after his third-place performance in Iowa. By labeling Rubio an overly scripted robot, the New Jersey governor found just the right pressure point; Rubio became flustered and, disastrously, kept repeating the same lines over and over. Now, people are calling Christie’s assault on Rubio at the debate a murder-suicide that primarily benefited Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who took second place in New Hamshire. (Though it’s far too premature to say Rubio’s campaign is anywhere close to dead.)
Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, has announced she’s suspending her campaign for the GOP nomination.
Anyone remember that one moment in the second GOP debate when Fiorina took Donald Trump to task for his comments about her looks —which were typically repugnant — and Trump seemed off-balance and deflated? And she also had a surprisingly strong performance in general, and it seemed like Fiorina just might possess the silver bullet to bring Trump down? Well, that didn’t happen.
Let’s take this one last opportunity to remember Fiorina for the one great, lasting mark she made on American politics: This “demon sheep” ad in her 2010 race for the U.S. Senate.