Chris, the royal fool to King Donald



Does anyone else feel the awkwardness of this photograph? Source: The National


“Christie as Trump’s Veep?,” by Calvin Trillin of the Nation. Published on March 3, 2016.

Calvin Trillin’s article, “Christie as Trump’s Veep? (2016),” concisely questions the probability of a Trump-Christie campaign. Trillin supports his argument through the use of two questions, actively criticizing them in the process. The use of this and other strategies, such as tone, explicitly reveal Trillin’s purpose: to softly rebuke the political figures and anyone who supports the likelihood of a Trump-Christie presidency. Considering that background knowledge of the 2016 presidential race complements the effect of Trillin’s humorous poem, it is assumed that the audience consists of general news readers, especially those with a moderate to high political interest.

Upon reading the title of the poem, the reader, hopefully “in the loop” for politics, should sense that due to Christie’s recent endorsement (after dropping out of the race) of Trump, it is likely that Trump could pick him as his vice president. It is indeed ironic, as their bickering of each other in the debates showed them as adversaries; the picture can show the irony that I feel is present.

The first line of the poem (“If…team”) informally introduces the political figures by their first names as the two members of a team. The second line (“Would…it?”) puts the reader in the metaphorical position of an athlete, or more actually, a voter, asking him or her if she would vote for this disastrous duo. The use of background knowledge is vital in the last two lines, in which Trillin asks a similar but more condescending question, “Could there be folks who might support / A schoolyard-bullies ticket?” Trillin’s use of critical humor in the last line conveniently provides his view on this plausible pair of men: he disapproves.

Comment on Rosemary’s Blog

Comment on Katie’s Blog

Comment on Bailey’s Blog

Comment on Original Post (I can’t comment because I am not a subscriber):

Mr. Trillin,

It was a delight to read your latest poem regarding the notorious GOP candidate. Personally, I find it ironic that Christie endorsed the notorious candidate because of the scathing comments Trump made about him during the debates. However, at the same time, I am somewhat unsurprised; if endorsing Trump has the possibility of advancing a political career, the offer is hard to turn down. Do you believe that Trump will campaign with Christie as his “vice president” partner in crime?


5 thoughts on “Chris, the royal fool to King Donald

  1. Hi Harrison,
    It is suspicious that Christie would mysteriously begin supporting Trump after dropping out of the race. Due to their bickering during debates, I am skeptical that Christie may not be the right choice for Trump’s campaign. This is the second pundit I read that focused on Trump. I have no doubt that his excessive media coverage is due to his success in the caucuses and primaries.


  2. So, Christie is the only former/current presidential candidate that actually likes Trump’s presence? Interesting that he was once fighting against him, and now he’s with him. It makes me curious to see all of the things Christie has said against Trump in the past Republican debates.


  3. No matter how much people wish to deny Donald Trump excessive media attention, he is still getting it. His presidential campaign has created a snowball effect as he continues to gain more and more support. I find it interesting that many columnists despise Trump, yet still give him the coverage that is allowing him to progress through the presidential race.


  4. Harrison, first off, great job on really analyzing this post. Because Trillin does short little poems, sometimes it can seem difficult to find enough information for an entire pundit (at least, I felt that way), but you did a really great job analyzing all the rhetoric in the poem!


  5. Pingback: Monthly Pundit Project: Calvin Trillin | Harrison's World of Lang

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