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Ed Driscoll

Chris Christie and ‘Bridgegate’

January 8th, 2014 - 2:26 pm

“Liberals who have been waiting for an opportunity to take down New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seem to have finally fished their wish,” Jonathan Tobin writes at Commentary:

The disclosure of emails linking some of the governor’s top aides to a bizarre mini-scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge provides opponents of the Republican presidential contender with plenty of fodder for attempts to debunk his carefully crafted image as a no-nonsense truth teller who is more interested in getting things done than in partisan bickering. Outlets like the New York Times and Politico are playing it for all it’s worth and some of those hyping the story, like Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, who wrote today about Christie being in “big trouble,” are clearly exaggerating the magnitude of the harm to the governor in the hope that this will hasten the demise of the man who is widely believed to be the most formidable general-election candidate in the GOP stable.

But if the governor and his backers think it will all blow over without him having to seriously address the issue, they’re wrong. Christie doesn’t just need to apologize for this mess and then fire the aides who were stupid enough to openly write about their part in a foolish prank that inconvenienced thousands of New Jersey citizens in an apparent attempt to exact revenge on the mayor of the town of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s reelection. Even if there is no proof that the governor personally endorsed or played a part in this mess, Christie also needs to realize that this story bolsters the attempts of his foes to portray him as a bully with a thin skin. More than the fallout from what is nothing more than a minor political dirty trick, the notion that Christie is a political thug with a style that is well-suited to New Jersey politics but not to the national stage could very well materially damage his presidential hopes.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a scandal, so much as simply throwing mud against a wall and seeing what sticks. Scandals achieve traction when they’re simple for the general public to understand — men affiliated with Nixon burglarizing a Democrat campaign office, Clinton and Monica, Obama siccing the IRS on his opponents, etc.  In contrast, as Tobin goes on to note:

Of course, it’s not likely that too many voters in New Hampshire, Florida, or any other early primary state will remember the details of Bridgegate two years from now when the GOP will be choosing its next presidential nominee. It’s doubtful that many of them will understand the mechanics of bridge lane closings and Northern New Jersey traffic patterns sufficiently (something that was also apparently the case for many of those writing about the issue from near and afar) to make the story stick in their minds in a way that will doom Christie’s chances. As far as we know, nobody died as a result of the traffic jams. Nor did this involve stolen money or any of the other clichés associated with scandals that are generally fatal to politicians such as the proverbial “dead girl or live boy.”

But as we move closer to 2015, 2016, and both party’s presidential nominations, this does prove that the left will be doing their damndest to find anything to take down Christie, and any viable candidate who looks like he has a clear shot at the GOP nomination.

Or to put it another way:

Update: Of course, the media’s obsession with Bridgegate today may not be an attempt to sink Christie, so much as an attempt to protect Hillary from Robert Gates’ allegations, by getting the latter story off the front page; it certainly did the trick at the Drudge Report.

More: “As far as we know, nobody died as a result of the traffic jams,” Tobin wrote at Commentary. A New Jersey news site is insinuating that a 91-year old woman died as a result of an ambulance delay “due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge,” to further ratchet up the anti-Christie backlash.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
OK, I am no fan of Christie but...really?

All this drama over a traffic jam? In New Jersey? On the GW bridge, which is always bad?

Those people up there really do think they are the center of the universe. The fact that this is one of the lead stories on national news is the definition of hubris. They really have an overwrought sense of self-importance.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The media has already shown more interest in this than they have the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, or any of Obama's myriad other scandals.

That said, I couldn't care less if this brings Christie down. He is self-promoting, narcissistic, liberal blowhard, and I do not want him as the GOP nominee in 2016. If he is, I will vote third party.

Will this bring Christie down? Probably not - but the phrase "damaged goods" comes to mind.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (18)
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45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
While not a fan of the French Republican, He took responsibility, he said he was sorry, he fired people. Something we have not seen from DC in 5 years.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's proof positive that with a Hillary Presidency America ,as We The People once knew it, will cease to exist. This is an ideological fight between two opposing forces:1) socialism and 2)capitalism...period. It is We The People who select, elect and instruct Our current Washington DC Elite lawmakers and Executive what is to be done according to tried and true carefully thought out and laid plans by Our Founding Fathers. The last Good Republican Presidents were Eisenhower and Reagan. Nixon, Ford, H.W.Bush, W.Bush and fielded McCain and Romney were RINO disasters. What's that tell We Tea Partiers? "go-along-to-get-along" will fail every time, leading to SOCIALISM. As of late We The People (mostly Republicans) have fielded G.H.W.Bush, G.W.Bush, McCain, and Romney. Four hand-picked GOP "go-along-to-get-along" Presidents or Presidential Candidates. We know what "read-my-lips" gave us. G.W. Bush gave the nod to Alan Greenspan knowing full well Mr. Greenspan sat in on some of Mr. Obama's subprime articulations back when he was Senator for Chicago's 13th District. McCain brought with him the weight of "Keating Five's" debacle and Romney, well MA is enough of a show piece. Now, We The People have Chris Christie (fielded as possible candidate for President), Jeb Bush (in the wings), Marco Rubio, et al selected by Washington DC crony-capitalists, Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, and "Big Business!" With this line up of Progressive type RINO candidates, how is it possible for We The People going to ever get back to Founding Fathers original Principles? Toss out Edward Burke? Article V of our US Constitution? Continue on the course of decimating:1)religion (Judeo-Christian heritage);2) Education (now courses in indoctrination);3) Financial system (keynesian); and 4) governance (a sole President presiding)?
Tea Party is the only possible path to arriving at where Our Founding Fathers original plan for a "Republic, if you can keep it!" Pray. Amen.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christie is responsible for the official actions of his official family, as he characterized them in his presser yesterday.

I very much doubt that the bridge ramp closure was Christie's doing, but he picked 'em, didn't he? Those that he fired sinned not so much in the bridge closure, but in the act of lying to Christie about their involvement.

The real reason that this became a big deal, way overshadowing the blatant abuse of power exercised by his minions in their petty political payback scheme, is because there was at least one death in the traffic gridlock. People can die as a result of bureaucratic whimsy.

Just as in the state of New York, it is difficult to discern any real differences between New Jersey people who call themselves Republicans and those that declare their loyalty to the long running criminal enterprise than is the Democrat machine. Remember that in the run-up to the presidential race which will start this year.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Small wonder Christie seems to have an Obama 'bromance' .... Apparently both believe in using the full power of the State to punish those with the temerity to oppose them. Can't ANY of these people remember that They work for Us?!?!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is not inside ball, and if true, he will have to respond to it forcefully. We expect our politicians to play by the rules, even if the Democrats don't expect the same of theirs.

What I'm more curious is if the story is even true. We've seen how easy it is to fabricate this sort of thing. Has anyone checked the bonafides of this one?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't it curious how the liberal worm turns? Governor Bob McDonnell was seen by liberals as a threat for national office, either as a possible Senate candidate in Virginia in 2014 or as a contender for even higher office. Hence a major newspaper in Washington, D.C. began its almost daily and unrelenting coverage of his "ethical lapses" and "unfitness for office" following "revelations" that he was much too close to a large corporate donor. Imagine: a politician being close to a donor! A stunning revelation! The likely reality is that no laws were broken by McDonnell, but it was nevertheless portrayed as a scandal for the ages. Similarly, and until now, Christie has been seen as a courageous and outspoken Governor. Until, that is, he assumed the mantle of a potentially strong challenger for the White House in 2016. Now it's his turn. Defame and destroy them before they leave the gate! The real scandal is that the same national media, so assiduous in its "investigative reporting" and salivating over the chance to destroy McDonnell and Christie, has been so utterly incurious for more than five years about so many other things involving the current White House, from the disgrace that is Benghazi to the IRS's attempt to trample the First Amendment by targeting conservatives. Driscoll's citation of the Derek Hunter tweet gets it exactly right.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
We'll see how the big guy handles this "pre-lim" before letting
him get in the ring with Hillary. This could be another case of a GOP
"heavyweight" getting knocked out in the first round by the Dems.
Ohhhh Doctor!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK, I am no fan of Christie but...really?

All this drama over a traffic jam? In New Jersey? On the GW bridge, which is always bad?

Those people up there really do think they are the center of the universe. The fact that this is one of the lead stories on national news is the definition of hubris. They really have an overwrought sense of self-importance.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"All this drama over a traffic jam?"

You sound like one of the idiots on Youtube and a thousand forums who complain about somebody being tasered "because he was speeding" when in fact, the taser was used when the subject started fighting the police.

The problem isn't a traffic jam.

The problem is the (possible) unlawful use of government power to punish political enemies. The MEANS is unimportant.

If you can't see the difference, you have a huge problem.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is interesting and even fascinating in a way watching how the Dems combine all their available weapons to demolish anyone they view as a
potential threat. In reality, Christie is not likely to be the national GOP
favorite in '16 even without this "scandal." But those who might have the inner track would do well to study the Dems strategic and tactical strategy if any of them are to have a chance against HRC.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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