Readers with political memories that stretch all the way back to the antediluvian mists of 2008 (when Twitter was only two years old!) will remember Alaska’s infamous “Bridge To Nowhere,” which became a symbol of wasteful pork barrel spending. Well, it seems like New Jersey has decided to have its own bridge-related scandal – this time involving the administration of Republican Governor and 2016 hopeful Chris Christie:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, responding for the first time to newly published emails that indicate a top aide was involved in controversial lane closures last year that snarled traffic, said Wednesday the intervention was “unsanctioned” and “unacceptable” — and claimed he would hold people “responsible.”
The governor released a brief written statement late Wednesday, following a report in The New York Times detailing emails involving his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly. They pertained to a bizarre incident in September, when lanes at the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., were closed for four days. Christie faced accusations that the lanes were blocked in retaliation over Mayor Mark Sokolich’s refusal to endorse him for re-election last November.
But Christie maintained Wednesday that he was “misled” and had no knowledge of his staff’s apparent involvement.
Now as far as political scandals go, this is pretty mild, especially by New York/New Jersey standards. It’s not as if Christie was caught cavorting in a hot tub sucking the toes of a delectable Krispy Kreme doughnut after all!
However, it does once again raise the question as to just how wise of a choice Chris Christie would be as a presidential nominee in 2016.
If there is one thing Democrats love to do with our candidates, it is to caricature them into a one-dimensional image of villainy. Senile Reagan. Dumb Bush. Evil Cheney. Greedy, carcinogenic Romney. And even though we are almost three years removed from Election Day 2016, the left-wing political/media machine is already measuring New Jersey’s famously brash governor for a custom fitting: Christie the Bully.
Ezra Klein, always an accurate bellwether as to what the current Democrat talking points are, minces no words in talking about this erupting scandal:
The reason Chris Christie is so good at this is that Chris Christie is actually a bully. That doesn’t mean he’s not also a nice guy who cares deeply about his family and his constituents and his country. It doesn’t mean he’s not an unusually honest politician who’s refreshingly free of cant and willing to question his party. There’s a lot about Christie that’s deeply appealing. But there’s one big thing that’s not: He’s someone who uses his office to intimidate people and punish or humiliate perceived enemies.
Is it fair? Probably no more so than the accusation that Mitt Romney was a gleeful job-killing plutocrat or that Ken Cuccinelli took time off the campaign trail to burglarize women’s bathrooms of their birth control pills. But to a certain degree, it hardly matters. The Democrats and their MSM allies are going to have years to create, hone, and implant this negative image in the public consciousness, and Christie is the type of politician who will continue to give them ample material.
On top of that, the GOP track record for challenging and repudiating character attacks over the past few years has been utterly abysmal.
After nominating Scrooge McDuck in 2012, would it really be a wise decision to put forward in 2016 a candidate whose future Saturday Night Live skits are already writing themselves?