New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s response Wednesday to the George Washington Bridge mess was telling.
For weeks, Christie denied that he or his senior staff had any knowledge of or played any role in the four-day traffic nightmare on the Fort Lee, N.J., side of the bridge in September. Early Wednesday, Shawn Boburg of the Bergen Record reported on emails that showed otherwise: On the morning of Aug. 13, Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s deputy chief of staff, and David Wildstein, a high school friend of Christie’s who was then director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, set “bridge-gate” into motion.
At 7:34 a.m., Kelly wrote: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
At 7:35 a.m., Wildstein responded: “Got it.”
All apparently because the mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat, wouldn’t endorse Christie in his re-election bid last year.
So petty. So vindictive. So Christie.
The Garden State governor has White House ambitions but also a “bully image” problem. I’ve said before that Christie’s famed in-your-face bluster might work well along the Acela corridor but would prove disastrous on the campaign trail. Voters in early primary states are likely to be turned off at seeing his bluster and vindictiveness affect innocent bystanders, such as children trapped on buses for hours on the first day of school.
Christie had one public event planned for Wednesday, which he canceled after the emails surfaced. …
The governor spent a lot of time in very little space saying that he didn’t know what happened on his watch and that he was misled. His decision to call the behavior both “unacceptable” and “inappropriate and unsanctioned” left me thinking the governor doth protest too much. Most telling is that Christie chose to issue a statement rather than face the press. That’s lame — especially for a man who built a national profile one brusque face-to-face battle at a time. Like all bullies, he’s running away from a real fight. And it shows that he realizes that his political standing is in danger.The Washington Post