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Will Contrite Christie Save Combative Christie?

January 9th, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Governor Chris Christie’s press conference was impressive. I think he’d be well advised to remember that it was also fairly un-Christie-like. He was not the usual gruff, combative Christie we’ve come to know – the guy who tries to discourage difficult questions by making the questioner feel like a idiot for asking them.

That tactic may have caught up with him in this instance.

Emails confirm that massive September traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge and in Fort Lee were orchestrated by a top Christie aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, and a couple of Christie appointees to the Port Authority – likely in retaliation for the Fort Lee mayor’s refusal to support Christie’s reelection bid. Christie insists these underlings were acting without his knowledge, and that he barely knows Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich. To his credit, the governor moved swiftly to fire Kelly and another aide who was implicated – the Port Authority appointees had already stepped down. Christie certainly is not acting like a boss who is worried that disgruntled scapegoats can compromise him, or that other shoes could drop that implicate him. And he managed in his presser to convey that decisiveness and air of innocence with humility and contrition. This serves him well. If there is nothing more to the story, it will help him ride out the downside he is stuck with: his failure to manage his staff competently and his creation of an office climate in which they plainly thought their political hardball was acceptable behavior.

But that is not the end of the matter, at least for now. On December 23, or a little over two weeks ago, when politely asked in a townhall-style radio forum about “Bridge-gate,” the governor was gratuitously dismissive. The Port Authority appointees complicit in the manufactured traffic jams had tried to cover their tracks by claiming the jams had been caused by a “traffic study.” So the radio host asked the obvious question: Had Christie seen the study? The governor shot back: “No. What do I care?” (This can be seen on a video the radio station has released, at about the 2 minute-mark of the 3.5 minute clip.)

He obviously should have cared about the purported cause of the problem. He should have cared even more because he also explained, during the same townhall forum (again, referring to the traffic tie-ups), “I’ve asked my staff to give me a full briefing. They’ve told me everything that we know. None of this makes sense; it’s all about politics. None of it makes sense.”

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Top Rated Comments   
I couldn't care less if this is Christie's waterloo or not. If he were elected to POTUS in 2016 it would have the same effect on our country's headlong dash into socialism as one brake dragging on a mile long freight train at 60mph on a downhill slope at full throttle.

I cannot repeat this often enough - I will not vote for a RINO - and Christie is a RINO. Ergo - no vote for Christie from me!

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
What amazes me is that this is becoming a national scandal while Obama's national scandals are treated as mere mole hills. The media holds a Governor of a State to higher standards than the President of the United States. Could it possibly be true that the media is bias ?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
A traffic jam on the George Washington bridge. Blet's say Christie runs against Clinton.

Let's examine Benghazi, her disappearance along with Obama, her role in blaming arresting perp walking at midnight and jailing a known innocent man, and the. Pronouncing after the Susan Rice Sunday morning Parade of Lies...that it didn't matter Juxtaposed against a traffic jam.

The MOMENT our incurious media spends the same amount of energy on that...as we as Whitewater, the "vast right wing conspiracy" that was 't and the value of baking cookies...we can talk about a traffic jam.

When that incurious media spends a moment on the siccing of the IRS against private citiZens who happen too like small government, the spying on Reporters, selective prosecution of Fox News employees, running guns to drug cartels, having the EPA sell an entire city, making creditor preferences in federal bankruptcy cases and selling out on nuclear weapons for Iran...we can talk about traffic jams.

But first, let's put them in order of priority to our freedom, liberty and well being as a nation.

Christie's act...while not excusable...would rank dead last in comparison to the above. And if those ALL continue to be covered up by the propagandist media and leftist Totalitarian Party...then I don't want to hear a word about it.

The moment they find their honor, I'll be happy to stand with them...not a moment before.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (48)
All Comments   (48)
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'Just say No' to Christy and Clinton. Doesn't America have better? Much better? GOD please help us if we don't.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't see how ANYONE would elect either of these louts. It won't happen in Texas. Only the political establishments, progressive socialist, from both parties on both the east and west coast would even consider it. The heartland will reject both as what they are...clowns and useful idiots for their masters.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Odd you can get all those emails, but not transcripts, medical records, academic records, legislative history, certificates for others. Maybe depends how deep you want to dig.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every time some Republican is not purer than the driven snow--or it is suggested he might not be--Republicans join the Democrats to tear him to shreds. All it takes is a little blood in the water. We are making it way too easy for the Democrats. Standing up for Christie now doesn't have to mean you support him for President. But he is still better than 99 percent of the Democrats out there.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
We'll see. If Kelly's career is done and she sees no benefit from this a year down the road, then she likely acted alone. If she lands on her feet with a GOP job (or one with an associate of Christie's in the private sector), then she was likely acting on orders from her boss. If she begins working for the Democrats or manages to capture a job in media (or with a private-sector crony of someone high ranking in the DNC), then she was likely paid off by the DNC to sabotage the man they view as their greatest threat in 2016.

I'd give even-odds on any of the above scenarios.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reminds me of "The Junior Anti Sex League" from Orwell's 1984 & also befitting of the GOP today.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem we have with politics in America, whether it be national, state, or local, is that we by default we have to vote for politicians. By nature and weird genetics, they are power seekers. They play by Machiavellian rules. Christian rules and proscriptions don't apply unless they're seeking votes.

Christie is a democrat in republican clothing. He will act no better than Obama, but possibly worse, if the situation demands he do so.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
If only the media gave as much time and scrutiny to real scandals, and demanded the same from B.O. as from Christie we might be better off, but then Christie, isn't an unvetted, affirmative action, unpatirotic, chicago thug, irresponsible failure.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
This will not be a permanent blot on Governor Christie unless there is a lot more to come out in the future. So far he is handling it pretty well, and the comparisons with President Obama's handling of scandals is leaning favorably to the Governor.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know whether Christie was truthful or not; he's a lawyer and most of them can lie very skillfully, so it is hard to tell. That said, people are being incredibly naive about governments. If you're an appointee or a close staffer to an elected or appointed official, you can and will do all sorts of things that the boss doesn't know about. If governors and agency heads could have their hands and minds on everything a large government does, they wouldn't need staff and subordinate appointees. I spent a lot of years as an appointee or as a direct report to an appointee, and many more a level or two below that. My state's government is miniscule compared to NJ's and I usually worked independently and anonymously. I did a lot of things that could become controversial. I did a lot of things that were at best only arguably legal; if you're actually doing anything, you live in the world of "arguably legal" and the only way to find out if the argument is right is to do them. Only rarely did my appointee or cabinet level bosses have any detailed knowledge of what I was doing or how I was doing it. Even more rarely was the Governor even aware that I existed until I was an appointee.

I also knew that if something blew up, it was my job to step in front of the people above me and take one for the team. If this went down the way Christie said yesterday that it did; that he asked the staff and they didn't tell him, something truly rotten was going on with that staff. I can see how some smarta** staffer wonks could do something like this and think it was just funny, but when it blew up, they should have stepped up and took one - even if the boss did know. Hell, going on TV with a tearful riff on heat of the moment and poor judgement along with a heartfelt mea maxima culpa, probably would have saved their jobs and saved Christie a lot of embarrassment.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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