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Mon Apr 7, 2014, 12:56 PM

Crossing Christie What the bridge scandal says about the Governor’s political style, and his future

A great article by Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker magazine.

On April 1st, Chris Christie, the beleaguered Republican governor of New Jersey, attended a celebrity roast, in Newark, to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Brendan Byrne, the state’s governor from 1974 to 1982. “He’s an inspiration,” Christie told the audience, referring to Byrne, who won reëlection against long odds, because he has “shown that political comebacks can actually happen.”

Christie sat on a long dais with five former governors and five local comedians, listening to the guitarist John Pizzarelli sing an ode to the state: “I may leave for a week or two, but I’m always coming back.” Christie was seated next to former Governor Thomas Kean, a longtime supporter, but he did not say hello or shake his hand, and he glared at the comedians as they delivered their lines. “You scare the shit out of me,” Stewie Stone said to Christie during his routine.

Just five months earlier, Christie had won a sweeping reëlection, securing nineteen of New Jersey’s twenty-one counties, sixty per cent of the vote, and endorsements from Democratic officeholders. He won fifty-one per cent of the Hispanic vote and twenty-one per cent of the African-American vote. His plan was to shed part of his Jersey persona, and perhaps a few more pounds, and begin in earnest the transition from state politician to Presidential candidate.

But the past was catching up with him. In September, an unusual incident had occurred in Fort Lee, the small town on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. Without warning, the number of access lanes from Fort Lee to the bridge’s toll plaza had been reduced from three to one. The lanes were closed for four days, and the resulting traffic jams caught the attention of several Democratic legislators. They opened an investigation and eventually accused the Christie administration of engineering a plot to punish the town’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, for his failure to endorse Christie’s reëlection. The accusation seemed so ludicrous that Christie belittled a reporter for asking about it. “I moved the cones, actually, unbeknownst to everybody,” he said during a press conference in early December. But on January 8th an e-mail surfaced showing that Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s deputy chief of staff, had instructed David Wildstein, who was the Governor’s second-highest appointee at the Port Authority, the agency that runs the bridge, to engineer the gridlock. Months of scrutiny and withering criticism followed, and Christie’s approval rating fell twenty points.


Its a long article but worth the time to read. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/04/14/140414fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all

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Reply Crossing Christie What the bridge scandal says about the Governor’s political style, and his future (Original post)
Beach Rat Apr 2014 OP
Kelvin Mace Apr 2014 #1
broiles Apr 2014 #2

Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 01:52 PM

1. Excellent read

 

but still leaves Christie wiggle room if his minions don't crack.

Of course, tossing them off a cliff doesn't build loyalty in the minion ranks.

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Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 01:59 PM

2. Thanks for the great post, I read it all.

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