Here’s the deal: This past August, a governor’s close aide e-mails one of the governor’s appointees, saying “traffic problems” should occur in a specific city. The appointee makes some calls and, on September 9th, voila, problems emerge. The city’s mayor contacts the governor’s administration to complain. The appointee e-mails the aide and another official, misleading them about what caused the problem.
An appointee of the neighboring state’s governor then orders the problem stopped. In the midst of this, the governor is re-elected by a wide margin. After joking about the incident, the governor says he knew nothing about its cause.
And then it all blows up for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie…
Since October, all manner of things continue to swirl about: subpoenas, hearings, impeachment threats. The appointee who made calls to cause the traffic problems resigned, and Christie fired the aide who sent the “traffic problems” e-mail. The appointee who resigned recently said Christie knew about the lane closures when they occurred…as though traffic could halt on the world’s busiest bridge and Christie – and a few million other people – would not know.
Add to that, Hoboken’s mayor accused Christie’s administration of bullying her over Hurricane Sandy relief funds, but her story doesn’t add up, and there is no corroboration. Now, concerns about her diary entries pertaining to a 2013 wrongful termination suit damage her credibility, including the fact she was accused of perjury in that case.
The DNC ran a Superbowl online ad about the re-inventing drama of the governor’s troubles, reading in part, “And it’s only the first quarter. It’s going to be a long game.” That could be true for Christie’s attackers as well: as Democrats and the press yell “Fire!”, it is not that easy to see even smoke in this “scandal”. As ABC News notes, “there has been no evidence linking him directly to the scandal.”
So why is the press spending so much time on what they admit is a non-story, especially when we have more Obamacare train wrecks occurring, “traitors” nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and a Texas Democrat struggling with the truth about her own life story?
Because none of those other items pose a threat to the presidential aspirations of one Hillary Rodham Clinton.
A UK publication said it, straight out: Republicans can’t blame Clinton for Benghazi while absolving Christie of Bridgegate. How that statement could be made with a straight face goes a long way toward explaining the liberal mind, and not only in the US. Somehow:
• Not knowing about a “traffic study” (Christie) is equal to not admitting what you know about a terrorist attack (Clinton)?
• Staff members lying about bridge lane closures (Christie) is equal to staff members denying requests for increased security (Clinton)?
• Four months after the incident occurs, holding a press conference to take responsibility for what occurred is equal to telling Congress “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
It is unlikely that many reasonable people will see an interstate traffic jam as equal to an international terror attack, but the effort to show equivalence be made. If it is not, then how can a woman who lost to Barack Obama in 2008 prevail against anyone who would hang her involvement in his failing presidency around her neck, as Christie might?
Therefore, the strategy Obama employed against Mitt Romney in 2012 comes against Chris Christie in 2016…even though it is only 2014…and even though the party presidential primary elections remain 2 years away…and even though neither Christie nor Clinton have announced their candidacy for the nation’s highest elected office. The “Kill Romney” strategy irrelevancies and deceptions to distract people from the Obama record and focus them on an illusory version of his opponent’s history. The strategy was arguably effective, but the 2012 election was closer than many might think.
However, Democrats may believe the margin was narrow because they did not seek to “Kill Romney” soon enough. To correct that error, they seek Christie’s blood nearly two years before the presidential primaries, and are employing a full-court press. At the state level, New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski, a Democrat has issued subpoenas and launched investigations. At the federal level, Obama’s HUD Inspector General is looking into whether Christie misused Hurricane Sandy relief funds. Interestingly, Republicans are tacitly on board for Christie’s demise, running their own investigation of Christie.
It’s not difficult to appreciate the Democrat motivation for attacking Christie; they seek the “Clinton Coronation” they failed to deliver in 2008. Six years ago, Hillary Clinton ran a great campaign: she knew the issues, had good messaging, the best political strategists, and made no mistakes. All things were ready for her to win…except the fact that Democrat voters, wanted someone else, and leading Democrats jumped off the Clinton bandwagon. Now, the party wants to make up for its “betrayal”.
The Republican motivation for killing Christie may not seem obvious until you remember the Obama praise and “bro hug”
(which Christie says did not happen), which get credit for helping the president win re-election. Before that, there was Christie’s keynote address at the 2012 Republican National Convention address, which appeared to support his own presidential aspirations more than support the party’s nominee, Mitt Romney. At least in the eyes of the GOP establishment, Chris Christie simply is not as “part of the family”.
Consequently, the issue of betrayal will keep “bridge-gate” with us for some time to come. Republicans will use it to punish Christie for his betrayal in 2012; Democrats will use it to whitewash their betrayal of Hillary Clinton in 2008 and, in the Democrats’ calculus, no Christie means Hillary can’t lose.
So, the long knives are out for Christie on the Democrat side, and revenge-minded Republicans have a few stilettos of their own. The political class does not want a Chris Christie presidency: the Democrats want to apologize to Hillary Clinton for 2008 by nominating her in 2016, and the GOP…well, no one knows who they want…but it ain’t Chris Christie.
However, if Hillary Clinton couldn’t beat Barack Obama with a near-perfect campaign in 2008, who can she beat in 2016, when she has to answer for Obama’s policies?