As with all things in Donald Trump's life, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has promised a Republican National Convention that focuses on winning. But with conservatives delegates taking over the Cleveland event space, Trump released his speakers list only a few days before the convention actually began. He hasn't had the easiest time corralling reliable support, either — many GOP officials flat-out refused to attend the RNC once Trump was clearly set for the nomination. But one face we were absolutely guaranteed to see at the RNC was Chris Christie, the Trump surrogate who has spent the better part of 2016 campaign under the former real estate titan's heavy and frequently overshadowing wing.
Though the New Jersey governor repeatedly blasted Trump during his time in the primaries, Christie quickly changed his tune on the presumptive nominee after his exit from the race in February. Since then, Christie has stumped for Trump, sometimes with limited success (though he was nevertheless vetted for the candidate's vice president running mate slot). NBC News reported that Christie had secured a finalist position in the list of potential running mates before Trump ultimately selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
But there was one pretty clear indicator that Christie would be at the convention alongside the presumptive nominee, long before Trump released his list of speakers — he was elected to lead the 51-member New Jersey delegation to the RNC, who are all committed to vote for Trump. NJ.com reports that the decision to have Christie chair the delegation came after Trump won the New Jersey primary last month.
And though Christie will be given a platform to speak at the convention, it may be best for Trump to do the majority of the talking. The New Jersey governor gave the keynote speech at the 2012 RNC to little fanfare, with Politico calling it "a prime-time belly-flop." The speech was seen as a clear division between Christie and the 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with the New Jersey governor primarily using the speech to drum up support for his own political career, as opposed to Romney's.
To do so again under Trump's watch would certainly bring hellfire from the candidate, and could signal the end of Trump's willingness to play nice with the governor.
Nevertheless, Christie's political career will likely see a long-lasting impact based on his allegiance with Trump, and his appearance at the convention could help solidify a declining reputation among his New Jersey constituents.