Monday, January 13, 2014

"Either Chris Christie knew...

...about it, or he should have." That's probably the most intelligent thing I've heard said about the New Jersey governor's current troubles.

What do I think? Of course he knew.

When did he know it? That's harder to say. Maybe not before it happened, but certainly sometime shortly after. Remember, this thing has been going on since September. Two Port Authority officials resigned last month. So this whole idea that the governor was "blindsided" by his aide's emails last week is just not believable.

Gov. Christie is not a stupid man. How could he not know that his administration was involved in the George Washington Bridge closing when the rest of the country did? (I barely followed the story until last week but I assumed -- like everyone else -- that his administration was behind it.)

But, again, the governor is not a stupid man, so I don't expect any smoking gun to appear in the form of an email or text; he's way too smart to have written anything down. The only chance to implicate Christie will be if one of his staffers talks. And that may take a while.

My guess is that the governor created an atmosphere where those who don't play ball with him get punished. After all, as the first Mayor Daley once said, "Politics ain't beanbag." (Especially in New Jersey.) But it also goes without saying that you don't tell the Big Guy anything he doesn't NEED to know (wink, wink). Whatever you do, the governor has to be able to credibly deny that he knew anything about it. And, like the old Mission Impossible series, if you or any of your crew should happen to get caught, we'll disavow any knowledge of your actions.

If any conversation took place, it probably went something like this:

"Hey, you know that thing we talked about?"


"Well, we took care of it."


So if questioned, Christie can say, "I thought he was talking about cutting my grass!"

For the third time, Gov. Christie is not a stupid man. Does he really expect us to believe that on the second or third or fourth day of a huge traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge that he didn't pick up the phone and find out what in the heck was going on up there? Are we to believe that he was told there was a "traffic study" and that he simply shrugged his shoulders and got back to work? Come on! Gov. Control Freak didn't identify the responsible party and rip him a new you-know-what? And if Christie was really and truly innocent wouldn't he have gotten to the bottom of this a long time ago? If everyone in the New Jersey press corps suspected that the order originated from his office why didn't he ask his staff some more questions? Simple: he didn't want to know.

Oh, well. If nothing else, this whole mess should disqualify Gov. Christie from the White House. I never thought he was big enough for the job anyway. (He reminds me more of some sleazy alderman who finds himself elevated to mayor of an old Rust Belt city than a serious candidate for President of the United States.) Maybe this just shows how truly thin the Republican bench is. I mean, can you really imagine a President Rand Paul? How about a President Ted Cruz? Yeah, me neither. Just like 2012, we may start hearing a lot of Draft Jeb Bush talk before too long.

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