"Chris Christie," pronounced Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot and a major booster of the New Jersey governor. That drew a quick objection from Vernon Jordan, the Democratic superlawyer and quintessential Friend of Bill from the Clinton years. "He's a bully," Jordan said.
Langone returned the volley: "It's Christie!"
Jordan countered: "He's a bully. He's a bully."
It's worth noting that this good-natured schoolyard squabble came a month before the revelation that Christie aides had engineered those Fort Lee, N.J., traffic snarls around the George Washington Bridge, apparently for political retribution, setting off a national firestorm and prompting career-threatening questions about the New Jersey governor's role. Jordan, it seems, was awfully prescient.
But at the lunch the real question wasn't about Christie's temperament. Rather, it was about how a moderate, even a blustery one, could secure the nod of a rightward-lurching party. For that, Langone had a wordless reply, rubbing his thumb and fingers together to indicate the flood of money that will sweep Christie through.
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