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Chris Christie has been out of work hard and is struggling to keep his balance.

Donald Trump’s lifelong confidant and supporter has a new high-wire act, maneuvering another White House run criticizing the former president — up to a point — without alienating his voters. If Christie falls over and confronts the plants, her 2024 ambitions are probably toast.

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The former New Jersey governor is part of a second wave of former Trump loyalists who are distancing themselves from their old boss, either to boost their new careers or to dismiss stolen election rhetoric.

Alyssa Farah, a top Mike Pence aide until she became Trump’s director of communications last year, now tells CNN that she worries about what a re-elected Trump will do, ranging from further attacks on the press. To politicize the army. Farah, who stepped down after the election, was recently ridiculed by the former president, who called him a “clown”, a “backbencher” and “nobody again”. We put them there to face the public as little as possible. He also denied Farah’s claim that he admitted that he had lost the election.

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Stephanie Grisham, a longtime Melania aide who served as the White House press secretary, saved them both. a telling book, Call Trump a madman with a terrible temper. Grisham, who resigned the day after January 6, immediately called Trump “angry and bitter” after breaking up with an aide.

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They are among those who left the last train from Trump World, joining such earlier exiles and fleeing as John Bolton, Jim Mattis, Anthony Scaramucci and John Kelly. And it’s certainly fair to say that they have mixed purposes.

Christie is just selling a new book, “Republican Rescue,” and is making the TV rounds under the guise of the main rescuer.

I interviewed Christie several times during the 2016 campaign and even though she has been caught (along with Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and the rest), she is media-savvy and has considerable political acumen. Remember how Rubio was fired by the former prosecutor during an argument? And he was also fond of the Bridgegate mess.

Christie’s begins her new campaign with a common refrain among parts of the GOP: We can’t live in the past, elections are about the future. In other words, whether or not you agree with Trump that 2020 was rigged, it is time for the party to move on.

The high-road approach didn’t stop Trump from retreating. In one of his many releases to reporters, he said that Christie was “utterly narcissistic by his statements that Republicans have to move on from the past, which means the 2020 election fraud. Everyone remembers what Chris said.” Left New Jersey with less than 9 percent approval. Ratings – a record low, and they didn’t want to hear from him!”

Then-president-elect Donald Trump, as New Jersey Gov.  Chris Christie arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster Clubhouse on November 20, 2016 in Bedminster, New Jersey.

ABC News commentator Christie argues that she criticized Trump’s conduct in real time after the election and on January 6. He told CNN’s Dana Bash that he doesn’t think Trump’s speech on the day of the Capitol riot “caused what happened. I think everything he was saying from Election Night Forward gave people that level of anger.” provoked.”

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And therein lies the rub. The more specific Christie is in Trump’s post-election demeanor, the more he risks alienating the former president’s fiercest supporters. But the more he softens his rhetoric, the more he is called out by the media.

When Christie set about supporting Trump in 2024 and said no one knows if he’ll run, Bash shot back: “With all due respect, this sounds like a cop-out.”

During the January 6 riots, Christie was both a player and a critic. “I was desperate to try to contact him,” he told “Axios on HBO,” “because I thought what was happening was terrible and was going to be a stain on his presidency, and I wanted That he should stay. The man stood up and stopped him. But he didn’t pick up the phone, and so I said what I would have told him in private on ABC.” He also called Trump’s dealings with Pence “horrible.”

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wave to a Washington crowd at Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.  (Getty Images)

When the former governor said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he doesn’t regret supporting Trump in 2016, co-host Mika Brzezinski hit hard. Christie said she agrees with most of Trump’s policies and thinks Hillary Clinton would have been a worse president. Brzezinski kept asking whether Trump embraced undemocratic values, and Christie balked.

And Christie certainly didn’t love herself for her old friend when she told “The View” that when she contracted a serious case of Covid after a White House super-spreader event, Trump told her it. Called to ask: “You’re not going to blame me, are you?”

If three years from now the GOP candidate is someone other than Trump, that person has to bridge that gap. A candidate can win the primary by embracing the plagiarism-election logic, but that would be pretty much the same stuff in the general election. Chris Christie is a nimble artist, but I’m not sure he can cross the circle.