Would someone please call Chris Christie and tell him that if he thinks he could be President of the United States, he doesn’t have a prayer. In the aftermath of the scandal in which his aides deliberately created massive traffic jams on the local roads leading to the George Washington Bridge, Christie could have turned things around. Had he maintained his post-scandal demeanor of bewildered contrition, he might be a plausible candidate. Politicians have survived worse. But, no. Like a horse running back into a burning barn, the New Jersey Governor has been doomed by his own actions. Earth to Chris Christie: Half of the electorate is women, and that’s the main reason you’ll never be President.
With official investigations into the lane closings swirling around him, Christie had a brainstorm: Use $1 million of taxpayer money to hire a politically-connected law firm to do its own investigation into whether he had advance knowledge of the scheme, or was told about it in-progress. This is like hiring a private detective to found out if you’ve been cheating on your wife.
We can only imagine how Christie’s first session with the lawyers went:
Christie: “I want you to find out whether I knew about these lane closings. What did I know and when did I know it. Leave no stone unturned.”
Lawyers: “Uh, ok, Governor. But don’t you know whether you knew?”
Christie: “That’s what we’re paying you for.”
Lawyers: “Well, Governor, did you know?”
Christie: “That’s for you to find out.”
In fact, the lawyers’ mission was simply to absolve Christie of any responsibility. But the high-priced hacks that the governor hired to conduct this “investigation” were faced with a large obstacle, other than the governor himself. The three main figures behind the lane closings—David Wildstein, Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly–refused to be interviewed. So the lawyers were free to write their own script. And the way they tell it, the lane closings–apparently carried out to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, who would not endorse Christie for re-election—were all about the high dudgeon of a scorned woman.
According to the lawyers’ report, Kelly, the Christie aide who wrote the now infamous “time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee” email, had been jilted by Stepien, the governor’s top political strategist. The report noted that at one point Kelly was observed to be “emotional,” and in another reference she “was seated alone and looked as if she had been crying.”
Funny thing about that word “emotional.” In the 360-page report, it appears half a dozen times. It is affixed to Christie several times, describing his demeanor as he pleaded with his staff to come clean about the lane closings. The governor is described as “welling up with tears” as he makes the decision to fire Kelly and Stepien. “Emotional” is used to portray Christie’s apparent passion for unearthing the truth, and his shock and grief at having to fire trusted staff members.
As for Kelly, “emotional” is used to describe her state of mind in the aftermath of a brief affair. The implication is that Kelly’s irrational female constitution led her to order lane closings that affected thousands of ordinary citizens. About the only thing the lawyers didn’t say was that the whole mess could be blamed on Bridget Kelly’s “time of the month.” And that is why Chris Christie will never be President.
A candidate for President has to be many things, but high on the list is that he–or she, and we’ll get to that—has to be likable. Most Americans have had a boss at one time or another, and if there is one thing that Americans hate, it’s a boss who throws his employees under the bus when there is trouble. And in New Jersey getting thrown under the bus can be more than a metaphor. By retaining a team of lawyers to assign blame to everyone but the man in charge, Christie has forfeited any claim to a higher position of leadership.
On top of that, by insinuating that the lane closings were the handiwork of a woman suffering from a romantic setback, Christie’s lawyers have ensured that he will be scorned by every woman who has had to endure the canard that women are ruled by their hormones and their feelings. When a man gets emotional, he is revealing the depth of his righteous indignation; when a woman gets emotional she ruins everyone’s morning commute for a week.
With his lawyers’ whitewash report still warm from the copying machine, Christie wasted no time reverting to his pre-scandal persona, berating and insulting reporters who had the temerity to suggest that the report was, at best, incomplete, and doing his best impersonation of a man wrongly accused. The governor was free to proclaim his innocence and get back to being the bully and blowhard whom many Republicans think is qualified for the Oval Office. But it won’t fly.
Every year, a group called the American Dialectic Society chooses a Word of the Year. We’re only a quarter of the way through 2014, but the leading contender for this year has to be “self-exonerate.” It’s already making its way onto the Internet, and any time it rears its head it will be fastened to images of Chris Christie proclaiming he is innocent because his lawyers say so.
If Hillary Clinton is indeed the Democratic nominee in 2016, and Christie fulfills a Republican death wish by winning his party’s nomination, “self-exoneration” and blaming your troubles on an “emotional” woman will be at the forefront of any debate. And Christie will be the loser.
Steve Robinson moved to Flagler County after a 30-year career in New York and Atlanta in print, TV and the Web. Reach him by email here.
Chris Christie and his crew apparently have a lot in common with the Taliban, where their atttitudes towards women are concerned. One group shoots at women riding buses and the other throws women UNDER the bus when it suits them to do so!
Steve Wolfe says
Hard to argue with your evaluation of the evaluation. But I find it entertaining that Democrats suddenly have a set of parameters to use as a measure for political leadership. Tainted though he may be, why do you only observe such qualities in Republicans?
Liana G says
Republicans only “like” Christie because of his ability to win over democrats, too. The fact that he was elected reveals a lot about the American voter.
Yes, these same voters put Obama in the White House
Hey Steve, would you please put this much investigative effort into the following false scandals? Benghazi, where four Americans were killed, two while the president was missing in action; Fast and Furious, where over 200 people have been killed thus far and Eric Holder seems to have trouble recollecting what he said and when, and actually contradicts himself in his testimony; IRS targeting conservative groups to prevent them from fundraising where the president did a little self-exoneration of his own; and that pesky spying on American citizens because they made a phone call outside the country. So, on this so-called traffic scandal, I’m gonna have to say, “What difference does it make?”
I do not favor any of them, whether Christie aka Washington Bridge Traffic Jam misused hurricane federal funds or Mrs Clinton uncalled for Lybia intervention with its ambassador and 3 more assassinated there.
We need Joe Biden to run for President with a lifetime of Senate and international policies expertise and for Vice a younger energetic Elizabeth Warren PHD in economy to get our country out of this financial misery and high unemployment! That is the platform we need. Needles to say that Hillary had a serious medical bout with a cerebral blood clot that may not be totally resolved and may come back to haunt her under the high pressure required for the POTUS job. C’mon Hillary you been First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State , you had your day in the sun. Let us choose a ticket with solid chance to recover our economy and the jobs that our country badly needs…
As for GOP candidates I don’t have a clue. None will fit the task.
Typical politician. Rule number one when questioned on something controversial, LIE. This guy is an expert at it. He didn’t approve it, he didn’t know about it, how stupid does he think Joe public is???
If either Christie or Clinton run and are elected, we all lose. We can do better than both.
Sounds like the moral equivalent to the investigation into Benghazi Gate except no one died. The exception is that in the Benghazi investigation no one investigated Clinton. Democratic supporters were all too happy to put Benghazi behind them. I could care less about Christie but in this case Flagler Live should be choking on its own hipocracy. I would vote for my dog before voting for Clinton or Christie. Trey Gowdy for President!
NO ONE INVESTGATED BENGHAZI???? Where were you during the farce called a “hearing” that was conducted by Darryl Issa, who did his best to stack the deck against Hilary Clinton, to no avail? He and his buddies huffed and puffed the best they could with all the considerable hot air at their command and they STILL couldn’t blow the house down–principly because the Republicans seem to feel it’s perfectly dandy to build houses out of cards and then howl like scalded cats when their own ill wind scatters them to the winds. Benghazi, Benghazi…Conservatives have NO shame about exploiting the deaths of four of our own to suit their own political agenda…but STILL no word of condemnation from any of them about all the deaths all over the world, that can be attributed to our Republican-led incursion into Iraq. Talk about hypocrisy!
If this was so thoroughly investigated, then why do we still not know where the president physically was or what specifically he did to help the Benghazi personnel between the time he learned of it at 5:30 PM, September 11, 2012, until 10:00 AM September 12? In fact, the same can be said for Hillary. This is not a difficult question, but we can’t get a sime answer. Do you not find it odd that he has been avoiding this question for a year and a half? Did he go to dinner and a movie? Did he go to bed while our personnel were dying in firefights? How come this man couldn’t make it to the situation room, but was able meet the returning dead bodies in the morning and then attend a Las Vegas fundraiser by evening?
@Outsider says–Are you suggesting that President Obama and/or Hilary Clinton’s whereabouts were” unknown” (to you, not to anyone else ) because they were the evil perpetrators of Benghazi? As much as we already how paranoia abounds within the ranks of the Tea Party, that’s a pretty broad leap! Obama and Clinton have been answering the same questions over and over with answers that are consistent and real but it’s like all that bull with Obama’s supposedly fake birth certificates and college transcripts…It’s not what you want to hear or prefer to imagine so you simply won’t hear it, let alone believe it. But, following your own line of reasoning, let’s ask some other questions, not related to any of your preferred conspiracy fantasies…Where were Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld during all the fallout that has ensued since our disastrous incursion into Iraq, a disastrous PURPOSEFUL AND CONSCIOUS DECISION which has cost countless lives on the basis of lies (or, if one wishes to be kind, “misinformation?”) Have they since admitted to making any mistakes, apologized, taken ANY accountability at all? Well, no sir! And Chris Christie’s team throws a lone woman under the bus, on the basis of her “emotionality.” The Republicans show a clear and consistent pattern of misogyny, condoning of torture (which, according to yet another report released today, helped NOT AT ALL in our hunt for Bin Laden) When the facts don’t suit today’s Conservative Republicans, they simply make stuff up. If you want to believe that crap, you will, no matter what reality may reside beyond the short margin of your own nose.
No A.S.F., but nice try at another smokescreen. I’ll ask again, and if you have some inside information, feel free to answer the question: What specific actions did the president and Secretary Clinton take upon learning the attack was in progress in the consulate? The timeline shows the president learned of the attack around 5:15PM on 9/11/12 during a previously schedule meeting with Leon Panetta. When asked this very question, the president stated he directed his staff to do whatever was necessary to help those folks. He then left the room, and according to Panetta was not heard from again until the next morning after 10:00AM. In the meantime, a second attack commenced at the CIA annex a short distance away, where former Navy seals and CIA operatives Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed by mortars as they fired .50 caliber machine guns in defense of the annex. Where was the president during this time, and why did he not remain up to date on the events? I can tell you what Clinton was doing. At 10:58PM eastern time, the AP released a statement from Hillary Clinton blaming the attack on a video. Not so funny thing is, Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed at 11:14PM eastern time, a full 16 minutes after the AP first reported on the State Department’s release. So Hillary was preparing a lengthy statement blaming the attacks on a non-existent protest resulting from a video, while people were still fighting for their lives. Why was she not trying to save these men’s lives? Because she was more concerned with saving Obama’s re-election, and, consequently, her job.
The investigator appointed by Clinton released a “final” report on Benghazi without even questioning her. I seem to recall she conveniently fell and hit her head during the investigation and was therefore not available for questioning. Clarified?
@Anonymous says–No. There was a very public farce of a hearing conducted by Darryl Issa, well-known Republican showboating hack, that was openly televised. I can’t understand how you missed it since excerpts (carefully selected and edited) played on FOX news for weeks. As for your snide suggestion that Ms. Clinton’s very well-documented head injury was conveniently staged…That’s pretty low, even given some of the comments I usually read on this forum.
In 2016 no one will remember this debacle. Does anyone still talk about Hillary’s Bengazi mis-management?
@Freddy says–Oh, Republicans talk about it all the time…while never ONCE talking about the incompetence (or outright lies) that resulted in the Iraq war. Four deaths vs. how many thousands? Hmmmm..Strange how Conservatives never seem to get that point!
Pierre Tristam says
Seems the elephants will not rest until it’s shown that Hillary Clinton not only enabled the Benghazi attack but actually took part, fired the four fatal shots, drank draughts of the dead Americans’ blood in celebration, then went off with Obama to a spa for massages and selfies while delegating to staff the details of the cover-up. Until then the scandals of any and all Republican crooks and liars in office will very conveniently get a pass. The tiresome trick of turning a red herring into a smokescreen continues, and with it the avoidance of addressing what this piece is really about. I’m surprised the elephants have’t yet found a way to excuse Watergate and Iran-Contra over something Hillary was doing, or not doing. Or that her hormonal issues weren’t at the root of her Benghazi murder spree.
Steve Wolfe says
Perhaps we can simply acknowledge that to live in the political world is to participate in an immoral world where the stakes and the exposure are much greater than the things we non-politicians hope nobody ever discovers about our lives. Politicians wield much more power than we do, so their actions deserve more scrutiny than ours do. The media, being the great capitalists that they are, play up anything that will draw attention to themselves because it makes money and keeps them in business. We among the citizenry sit back and take our shots at everyone in the smug comfort of our anonymity. Hypocrisy is a staple of both sides. Find me a person who takes shots only at their favorites. But it must be notable to you, Pierre, that you and I actually are agreed on an agenda here in Flagler and Palm Coast to uncover what a bunch of mainly Republicans are doing with their power over us. I am willing to oppose anyone who abuses their power, regardless of the letter next to their name. On the national level, we will just have to agree to disagree what spells a brighter future for the country. But I will always enjoy reading your colorful take on things. Glad to see you are feeling well enough to take some shots! Bravo to you and Flagler Live.
Steven Nobile says
I would be happy if she admitted there were things done that led to this disaster and these mistakes DO MATTER and are addressed in order to prevent them from occurring again. Then hold those responsible for the mistakes by removing them from positions that are this critical. Your statement ponds the drum of “nothing happening here, move on” and “what does it matter”.
Here’s what was done that led to “this disaster”:
1. Both the GOP and the dems cut embassy security funding consistently over the last several years, leading to a skeleton crew of both local troops and on-embassy marines. And they’re still doing it.
2. The primary mission of marines at embassies is to ensure that secure documents do not get into the hands of the enemy. Everything else is secondary, including protecting our own at the embassy.
3. The defense of embassies and their personnel, in many circumstances, is left to the local military, which is not new to this administration.
Hope this helps, next time maybe you should look into things before playing pin the tail on the donkey.
@Steven Nobile says–And, once again, Hilary Clinton’s responses during the Benghazi Hearings have been taken out of context. Her supposedly infamous “What does it matter” statement did not end at the exact point that was broadcast on FOX news. Hilary Clinton very clearly stated that her participation in the hearings was not only about her own and the State Department’s accountability but even more concerned with learning from the tragedy in a way that would make it less likely to occur in the future. That was NOT Darryl Issa’s goal for those hearings. He and other Republicans wanted to use it as a showboat, a gloating session and an attempt to bring down a possibly viable future Democratic candidate for President. You could almost smell the saliva from their drool as they licked their chops. The fact they were using those four tragic deaths as a tool to achieve their own selfish ends only made their conduct appear even more disgusting.
Pierre, she may as well have, because she did not respond to the 12 major security incidents leading up to the September 11, 2012 attack on the embassy. This included a near fatal attack on the British ambassador two months prior to the consulate attack, followed two days later by a bomb blowing a hole in the consulate wall, the very same wall the insurgents actually penetrated, albeit via the front gate. All these attacks are well documented in other than the “mainstream” media, and were followed by fruitless requests for more security. So who should be held held accountable for these lapses, which can be described as nothing less than willful negligence? All Clinton or Obama had to do was read a few newspapers now and then and they would have been aware of the dangers the ambassador and staff faced. The fact is, more severe penalties have been issued over the traffic jam than the killing of our ambassador and three heroic staffers. No one has been captured and held accountable. No government employees have lost their jobs. In Benghazi, two Navy seals, who I doubt most liberals even have a clue how that title is earned, were murdered while fighting with their last breath, once again, trying to salvage what some incompetent politicians created. So, forgive me, and pardon my French for stating unequivocally that I don’t give a flying fuck about this traffic jam.
There are simple questions that have never been answered, Given the same journalistic leeway Richard Nixon never would have been exposed in Watergate. For a journalist you certainly carry heavy opinions. How much did you write about Benghazi that remotely questioned the competency of Clinton or. Obama and company even when this was big news? All is well in the land of liberals when they are in charge. Have you written one article about the current investigations of Harry Reid and his misuse of political donations? Name one liberal you ever wrote a critical piece of hard core investigative journalism about? I can’t recall a single one yet somehow your web site is still entertaining enough to continue reading. My primary respect for you is that you unquestionably love America and that is something I appreciate.
I did not know Rachel Maddow resided in Flagler County. You look a little different..
Republicans appear to have a real issue with misogyny, what with targeting coverage for birth control on the grounds of “religious freedom” (with no mention of not paying for vasectomies for men), calling Sandra Fluke “a slut” for standing up for equality regarding her reproductive rights, drooling over the prospect of raking Hilary Clinton over the coals for four deaths ni Benghazi as though she personally assassinated the people who died, while giving a free pass to Condoleeza Rice for much MUCH worse during her tenure as Secretary of State (because, you see, she was acting as a mouthpiece for big White Daddy at the time), Conservatives have a marked tendency to produce candidates who support measures like forcing women to endure mandatory ultrasounds before exercising their right to terminate a dangerous or unwanted pregnancy (while screaming all the while about imagined invasions into THEIR rights and privacy.) Republican Doctors making speeches about how it is impossible to get pregnant as a result of rape–You have to wonder where these, um, gentlemen, come from . They LOVE to talk about the sanctity of life but propose measures such as sterilization of women on welfare (without, of course, any mention of what should be done about their male impregnators.) I can only imagine that some women are stupid, brainwashed, masochistic or have Daddy complexes a mile wide…I cannot think of any other reasons why an intelligent woman with any self-esteem or sense of survival, let alone sisterhood, would throw in her lot with the Republican Party. One wonders if Bridget Kelley has learned HER lesson now.
Rush Limbaugh unintentionally made Sandra Fluke a celebrity. Now she wants to run for Congress. Her only qualification is that she was ridiculed relentlessly by an articulate bigot with a microphone and an audience. Rachel Maddow is also quite articulate and could sing Sandra Fluke’s praises all day long to no avail because so few people watch her show. Those who do would automatically vote Democrat anyway.
@anonymous says–Maybe Rush Limbaugh sounds more articulate to you these days because he has been sober for a while from his well-documented addiction to drugs (well, sober according to his own account, anyway) For someone with HIS history to make moral judgements about other people is laughable.
Recycled candidates just don’t cut it. This is going to take someone with a clean record, on both sides. That leaves out Christie, Rubio, Ryan, Romney, Bush and Clinton.
Plenty of time for others to step forward.
Chris Christie is a congenital prosecutor, re: bully. He’s a mean asshole and a self serving sociopath. But he is also our best hope to save us from the ravages of that , man/boy hating, America hating, radical feminist, Hillary.
I am an Independent voter that believes she is the worst, worst possible thing that could happen to U.S.
@Teddy says–Now I’m really curious! Just who DO you think would make a good candidate for president?
You Liberal Dem media crack me up.You dwell on this Bridge gate. But you let all the Obama scandals go and believe every line of bull that is said to clear them of the scandals.I am tried of people in the Obama administration saying I take full responsibility than nothing happens.No one in this administration has taken blame for any of the failures.I don’t care about what Bush or any other past presidents have done.Mr Obama has had over 5 years to fix and has done nothing but make things worst.If you think the Affordable Health Care act was a great thing than there is no hope for you.Its a total failure,They lie about the numbers.signed up.They say they can’t tell how many have paid.What a line of bull I get a email every day. telling me I have so many days to sign up.They can’t count the amount of emails they send.I cannot afford the program.I think the voters have woken up and the Dems
are going to pay in the next election.Then Mr Obama will learn to work with congress like Mr Clinton did
I thought that this article was about Chris Christie not Hillary Clinton .
Chris Christie , the next Great White Dope, er I mean, Great White Hope.
Christie would have my vote.
Maybe if the Media vetted President Obama like they started on Christie we would not Have all Problems we have now..We all know the media is tiled far left except for maybe fox.NBC today show has became entertainment tonight except they are in the morning they spend little time on anything political unless it pro Obama or negative stuff on the GOP.That’s why we have all the uninformed voters.They don’t know the truth.So they vote for people like our present President.They listen to all the promise’s and vote,only to find out that they are all hollow promises”s.So I hope the voters wake up and we can move forward after the next election.
THE VOICE OF REASON says
It’s 2 /12 years until the election.
Even after being inundated by reminders about this in Fall 2016, all the electorate will recall is how Leno and Fallon had some pretty good jokes about it.
It’s inbred into the animal.
We shouldn’t just look at the man or woman who is running for office but at the people behind the scenes working for that candidate. Those people will wield very large degrees of power once their candidate wins office. We should have learned our lesson about this long ago. Look at Richard Nixon. Look at George W. Bush. On a positive note, look at F.D.R..While I respect John McCain in many ways, his team’s lack of judgement in pushing Sarah Palin on him (and his acquiescence of same) made me feel very relieved that we dodged that bullet. Looking at how the people behind Chris Christie are responding to this scandal, I am not in the least impressed. It scares me to think that this crew could reach even greater heights of power.
The only reason this is a scandal is because the liberal media has made it one.Mr Christie has became to first threat to Mrs Clinton..So the media has decided to take him out early.If they actually reported the news the political make up off this country would totally different.They are mouth piece for the dems.I don’t really care for Christie as a candidate for President but if he is up against Hillary there is no way I would vote for Hillary.She isn’t as bad as Obama but a close second.
Kristy Kreme eliminated the cost of living increases for N.J. retirees Typical Republican mentality!!!!