Christie’s Trump Endorsement/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on February 28, 2016


A few days after Gov. Chris Christie quit his run for the Republican Party Presidential nod, he endorses a former opponent, Donald Trump. The move surprised the pundits because Mr. Christie had been quite critical of Mr. Trump doing the early primary season. According to one report, the Governor received the endorsement of a NH newspaper only after he assured the editor that he would never consider endorsing Mr. Trump for President. Among the suggested explanations for the Christie change of heart were these:

-Gov. Christie cannot run again for Governor of NJ and he felt that his best chance for remaining relevant was to endorse the Republican front-runner.

-Gov. Christie did not think a first-term Senator could/should be president and he thus ruled out the closest competition to Mr. Trump. (i.e. Senators Rubio and Cruz)

-He personally liked Mr. Trump from prior contacts.

-He liked Gov. Kasich but did not want to see a rival governor become the Republican nominee.

All of the above theories share something in common. The reasons for the Christie endorsement were meant to satisfy some personal needs, personal or political, of Gov. Christie. In fact, much of any negotiation relates to personal needs of the party who is acting in the particular negotiation.

In a dispute such as a marital negotiation, commercial dispute, etc. it is important to remember that the party advancing a position is trying to meet their own needs. They are not looking to be punitive, necessarily. Usually, they are merely thinking of #1,; i.e. their own needs. A negotiation need not be a confrontation. The other party will be seeking to advance their own needs. You therefore are well-served to try to advance your own needs. A proper mediation will help the parties focus on their needs rather than their wants. The mediation, if successful, will try to direct the parties to Win-Win. It is simply how the negotiation game is played. A successful mediation will net each party some of their needs by keeping focus on the non-confrontational possibilities that exist in successful negotiations. Do not hesitate to seek your need fulfillment. Just recognize that the other party is seeking the same. If you can get to Win-Win you will know that the efforts have been crowned with success.

Mediate don’t litigate.