Hedge Fund Managers Are Totally Over Chris Christie

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David Tepper’s the only Garden Stater they want to hear from.

Soon after the New Jersey governor downplayed his administration's traffic scandal as "a footnote" in a prospective 2016 campaign, Republican donors at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas this week shared a decidedly pessimistic view of Christie's presidential prospects. Even self-proclaimed Christie fans said his political image probably has suffered permanent damage, acknowledging they've been forced to look elsewhere for a business-friendly presidential contender….

Thomas Norris, chief investment officer at Michigan-based NFI Advisors Inc., compared Christie's repeated denials to those of President Richard Nixon, who resigned after years of claiming no involvement in the Watergate scandal.

"Is it enough to tarnish his chances? It sure is," Norris, a Republican, said during a break at the annual Skybridge Alternatives conference. The event drew hundreds of financial industry executives, many of them prominent Republican donors, to Las Vegas this week….

The bridge controversy is "an overwhelming issue he can't overcome," Rick Rodgers, vice president and director of the Innovest investment firm, said after praising Christie's work to rein in teachers unions. "He had a good opportunity, and boy, here's the thing that's going to derail him."

Lars Soderberg, chief marketing officer at Independence Capital Asset Partners, said he was interested in a prospective Christie presidential bid — before the scandal, at least.

"That bridge thing — it may be fatal," Soderberg said. "No one will forget."

Business execs skeptical of Christie’s chances [AP via Boston Herald]

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