When I first heard that Jared Kushner would be working at the White House, I was a bit surprised. I have never met him, but from all accounts, he seem
When I first heard that Jared Kushner would be working at the White House, I was a bit surprised. I have never met him, but from all accounts, he seems brilliant and, perhaps more vitally, quite wise.
Why would a sagacious young man leap into the muck and mire of Washington politics, I pondered. Few pass through the White House doors without being smeared with mud flung from the swamp. Kushner had a young family and what seemed to be a thriving development business. Why put all of that at risk?
Perhaps he wanted to stand by his father-in-law? Admirable. Perhaps he wanted to help save our nation? Very admirable. But still.
His first two years at the White House saw Kushner tasked with missions impossible. Who in American history was assigned to bring peace to the Middle East, renew our alliance with Arab allies, sort out the trade mess in Mexico and China, fix our injustice system, negotiate an end to the longest government shutdown in history and a host of other Sisyphean tasks? Surely someone was trying to set him up for failure?
Somehow Kushner has not only succeeded where Washington’s most seasoned veterans would have flopped, but did so with style and grace. His wife, Ivanka, and he have been the most productive and dynamic duo serving what may turn out to be history’s most important presidency. And they did so in the face of obscene media and Democratic party assaults.
Yet as much as we must marvel what Kushner has achieved since dedicating his life to making America great again, and serving the president making that possible, nothing should make Americans in general and conservatives in particular happier than Kushner’s apparent effort to prevent the further ascension of Chris Christie.
In days of yore, many conservatives cherished former New Jersey governor Christie. He was a tough guy, who let the liberals have it in one of the most reliably Democratic states in the nation – and he got away with it. He pushed for limited government and tax cuts. Many of us talked about him as a future contender. But then came the hug.
In the midst of the 2012 election, with Republicans desperately trying to end the tyrannical reign of Barrack Obama, Christie started to show us what he cared about: himself.
Then came the speech. At the Republican National Convention later that year, tasked with advancing the Romney-Ryan ticket, he used his keynote address to wax poetic – about himself.
Then came the bridge. When Team Christie decided to punish his New Jersey political opponents with snarling traffic, the result was convictions and calumny. Christie’s star was falling fast, especially among conservatives. His solution: staking out policy positions against the very conservatives who once supported him.
The Christie jalopy sputtered into the 2016 presidential race, but he departed quickly, perhaps realizing at last that the chorus of cheers sustaining him years before had finally turned to jeers for his every move.
Chris Christie jumped on the Trump bandwagon, and his sycophants planted stories about his being considered for Vice President and Attorney General. Many on the right shuddered to think of either possibility. Quelle horrible!
Little did we know that saving us from yet another Christie clown show was the very man then being unfairly derided by the media as unfit to serve in the administration because he lacked experience: Jared Kushner.
In his literary valentine to himself, the soon-to-be-released autobiography “Let Me Finish,” Christie howls in anguish at the perfidious “kid” who took him down. Perhaps he thinks we, too, would be outraged that the curtain on his next act was lowered by Jared Kushner? Wrong. I’m sure I’m not the only one giving Jared yet another standing ovation, this time for sparing us more Christie bloviation.
Can one imagine the leaks, the virtue signaling and the disloyalty that would have accompanied a Christie presence in the Trump Administration? If Jared helped stop that, we owe him. Big.
But, there’s another reason I salute Jared Kushner for stopping the return of Christie – and this is one is personal.
Chris Christie sent Jared’s father, Charles Kushner to federal prison and in the process, like too many overzealous prosecutors plaguing our nation, tried to destroy what was left of his reputation. Kushner, a non-violent first-time offender – and someone widely known for his immense charitable generosity – was treated to Christie’s opprobrium and vitriol, compounding the pain far beyond that meted out by the judge. This malevolent lashing has become a regular feature of attacks on white collar offenders – I know, because I was subjected to the same horrifying spectacle.
But unlike virtually all of us who have suffered the extreme humiliation at the hands of our system, Charles Kushner was avenged in small measure – thanks to a faithful and loyal son.
Sure, notwithstanding, Christie blaming Jared in his autohagiography for a political hit job on him, it’s possible that Kushner did not crater Chris Christie’s political revivification at all. And, if he did, it may have been for a myriad of other reasons.
But, I sure hope Jared harpooned Christie because of what he did to his father.
And I sure hope our President – a man who understands family and loyalty better than most – was smiling and nodding.