Skip to main content

Chris Christie's "Bridgegate" scandal feeds into an existing narrative about Christie. Thus, Christie might be about to learn the lesson that Willard Mitt Romney learned in 2012 after his "47 percent" remarks were caught on video -- that stories which reinforce an existing narrative about a politician typically won't go away quickly.

In the case of "Bridgegate," the evidence indicates that Christie's now-terminated Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelley, schemed with David Wildstein, a high school classmate of Christie's and a Christie-appointed official and confidant at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close off several local lanes of traffic to the George Washington Bridge -- the nation's busiest -- in Fort Lee, New Jersey, apparently because the Mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, did not endorse the Republican Christie in the most recent New Jersey Governor's race. As a result, Fort Lee experienced horrendous traffic jams for several days last September, including the first day of school. During that time, emergency responders were delayed in attending to several medical situations, including one where a 91-year old woman was unconscious and later died. Additionally, the lane closures may have slowed a police search for a missing four year-old girl. Moreover, children were trapped in school buses on the bridge. In the email exchanges between Christie aides and appointees regarding these schoolchildren, one message states, "I feel badly about the kids." However, Wildstein's reply comes back, "[t]hey are children of Buono voters," referring to Christie's Democratic opponent in the election for Governor, Barbara Buono.

The problem for Chris Christie is that Bridgegate occurred in an atmosphere in which Christie already had a reputation for bullying, angry outbursts and exacting petty vendettas on political opponents. Thus, Christie's situation could be similar to that faced by Mitt Romney in 2012, who was seen as a Mr. Moneybags with offshore bank accounts, car elevators and dressage horses, who didn't care about regular Americans, so that when Romney's "47 percent" video was aired, it cemented Romney's elitist reputation.

If Chris Christie ordered or knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures as revenge against a Democratic Mayor and is now lying about his involvement, Christie's political career could be over. If Christie didn't order the lane closure or even know that it was happening on his behalf, as Christie maintains, then top officials in his office were running amok, taking drastic political action and hurting the people of New Jersey, New York and elsewhere without Christie's knowledge or control. That itself would be a terrible indictment of Christie's management ability, a key requirement for anyone who wants to be President.

At this point, anyone who seeks the White House in 2016 needs to start his or her campaign fundraising and networking now. While the "Bridgegate" controversy might fade away, at this moment the 2016 Presidential election for Chris Christie could be a bridge too far.

[Originally posted at Messaging Matters]

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site