Lawrence E. Bathgate II, a former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and a major donor in New Jersey, said he dreaded the prospect of having to choose between the two men, calling it “a fraught decision.”Part of the awkwardness, of course, is that we all know how Chris Christie responds to people who don't fall in line for him. But the Bush family also didn't get where they are by rewarding disloyalty and, even if there are concerns about Bush fatigue, Jeb is at least regarded as the smart brother. So, donors, what's it going to be? The corrupt bully or the son of a dynasty that voters may be sick of?
David V. Hedley, a former Wall Street executive and Republican fund-raiser in New Jersey, said he also felt tugged in two directions, conceding that “it’s tough right now for me.”
And Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, put it this way: “It would be awkward. It would be very awkward.”
For Christie, the sight of the donors he needed to propel his presidential candidacy flirting with another candidate—a candidate many of them have longer and deeper relationships with, in fact—has to be terrifying. But will he respond by putting this together with his crashing polls and the obvious and devastating attack ads he'd face and conclude that maybe his presidential dreams are dead, or will Christie be Christie and try to bully his way out of it?