DURING a revolution, the quandary for stalwarts of the old order is: when to jump? Switch allegiance to the insurgents too early, and you risk being stranded in the wrong camp if they are routed. Leave it too late, and you forfeit any prospect of reward under the new regime (and, in less civilised places, may wind up standing against a wall in a blindfold). Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has evidently decided that the time to defect from mainstream Republicanism—of which, just a couple of weeks ago, he was considered a standard-bearer—has arrived.
At a press conference in Fort Worth, Texas on February 26th, Mr Christie endorsed Donald Trump. He described Mr Trump as the candidate who “would provide the strongest leadership for America.” For his part Mr Trump said that Mr Christie had “been my friend for many years, he’s been a spectacular governor.” On the day after his previous use of immigrant labourers, alleged involvement with a phony university, and other embarrassments, dominated a televised debate, Mr Trump will doubtless be grateful for Mr Christie’s timing, as well as for his support.