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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chris Christie Shocked—Shocked!—to Learn of His Staff's Involvement in the Traffic Scandal

Posted by on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

In the Morning News, we learned that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's staff left an e-mail trail linking Christie's office to a traffic scandal. It's a ridiculous, very involved story—read more here—but basically, higher-ups in Christie's office conspired to cause bad traffic jams in a town whose mayor didn't endorse Christie for re-election.

Christie, according to Time's Dan Hirschhorn, has finally gotten around to responding to the scandal:

“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” Christie said in a statement. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”

Uh huh. Still, I've seen lots of people on Twitter claiming that this bridge scandal ruins Christie's presidential chances in 2016. That's ridiculous. Are you kidding me? Unless there are actual, provable ties to Christie, this is only going to make him more appealing to Republicans. They love petty, nasty politics and provincial bluster. (Unless it's "Chicago-style politics," in which case it's practically grounds for impeachment.) This is not enough to ruin a political career, especially for a politician who prides himself on his in-your-face management style. Unless someone has a smoking gun tying Christie to all this, it's just another bit of color on an already colorful résumé.

UPDATE 2:55 PM: Oh, shit. Matt Pearce just linked to this story, and it looks like things might be getting serious after all:

Emergency responders were delayed in attending to four medical situations – including one in which a 91-year-old woman lay unconscious – due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, according to the head of the borough’s EMS department.

The woman later died, borough records show.


Comments (18) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
You're still considered a rookie politician on the East Coast until you've been involved in your first scandal.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 8, 2014 at 2:52 PM · Report this
I agree to a point. It won't hurt him a bit with primary voters....but that Sandy/Obama thing may have killed that anyway.

But if Christie gets to the general? The last successful selling of conservative agenda came wrapped in "A guy you'd like to have a beer with." How will, "I'm not sure about his policies and he seems like a major league asshole" going to go over?
Posted by BornAgainInBellevue on January 8, 2014 at 2:58 PM · Report this
guerre 3
Paul you forgot the first rule of politics: Don't fuck over well off white people. Repubs are usually only vindictive when the victim in their mind's eye is brown and/or poor. I remember the last knuckle bruiser, Rudy G, not getting past the gates. This is going to play horrible in Iowa/NH, and southerners vote for their own in SC. NV (like MN) is Rand Paul libertarian land, so what state will he win? N'cest pas the ads don't write themselves? Fuck even Newt used Romney's plant closings against him.
Posted by guerre on January 8, 2014 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
It won't ruin his chances? First, to become president one has to be able to garner votes from outside your own party. Second, unless you think the mythological "rogue staffer" is a real creature, especially at a time when any savvy pol (which Christie seems to be) knows enough not to have one aboard, then this IS the smoking gun that ties him to all this.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 8, 2014 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 5
WOW and all this time I thought they just used cement shoes and the river. But I guess that's old fashion. Now it's like nation states/cities fighting one another ala South Sudan or something. Will he turn off the water and power next?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 8, 2014 at 3:14 PM · Report this
Geocrackr 6
What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable.


But seriously (heh-heh) - it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.
Posted by Geocrackr on January 8, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
A 91 year old lady who's unconscious in an ambulance is usually going to die.
Posted by The CHZA on January 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM · Report this
This is a big deal, and really really big deal in NJ. This is the thing that will bring down Christie.
The Bergen Record, aka has much better coverage of the scandal that really shows the extent of the conspiracy and the planning:…
Christie's staff tried to cover their tracks by using their personal email accounts. They planned the gridlock weeks ahead and intentionally violated all sorts of procedures to make sure that it would cause as much disruption as possible. That's the thing that's really burning them now…Jersey drivers don't like to get stuck in traffic, and they now see that they were being fucked over directly by Christie in a petty fight with another politician.
Posted by SPG on January 8, 2014 at 4:34 PM · Report this

Well, if the ambulance has to sit in a traffic jam for a couple of hours sure.

But, you'd be surprised how many little old ladies (and little old men) with no other serious medical issues are transferred from one place to another via ambulance. According to my brother who's been an EMT for nearly 30 years, that's the majority of what he does on a daily basis; the racing to the scene of an accident with sirens blaring actually represents a much smaller percentage of what they normally do.
Posted by COMTE on January 8, 2014 at 4:41 PM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 10
So is he going to fire the guy he claims went behind his back with this, or is he going to hope it all goes away?
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on January 8, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Republicans may love Christie's pettiness and he may win their primary but there is no way that this pettiness plays well in a national election where he has to win some Democratic voters and Independent voters over to his side.

Posted by Patricia Kayden on January 8, 2014 at 5:49 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 12
Christie's presidential campaign just ended, before it ever began (I never really took him seriously as there is little chance he wins in places like SC or FL).

But yeah this scandal was the lead story on NBC's Nightly News and they reminded folks that this is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the WORLD.…

Couldn't have happened to a bigger jerk, the guy who loves to yell at teachers and hates marriage equality.

Posted by passionate_jus on January 8, 2014 at 6:28 PM · Report this
Scandal or no scandal, the day Jeb Bush throws his hat into the ring for 2016, the republican primary is over. The Bush brand has a lot of institutional power with Corporate, Military, and intelligence sector as well as the GOP. He will suck up all of the money and endorsements and that will be that.
Posted by neo-realist on January 8, 2014 at 6:51 PM · Report this
seatackled 14
Manslaughter. Negligent homicide. Who's going to turn on whom?
Posted by seatackled on January 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 15
@14 There SHOULD be a criminal prosecution coming out of this. I wouldn't bet much that there WILL be.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 8, 2014 at 11:42 PM · Report this
seatackled 16

I'm thinking Christie isn't going to have a lot of friends. Check out Jon Stewart's report. He showed a clip of Christie sarcastically dismissing the traffic jam by saying, sure, he did it, he was out on the road in a hard hat setting orange cones.

Posted by seatackled on January 8, 2014 at 11:56 PM · Report this
Hey, my dad is 90, alive and kicking sane and sensible, because of his last trip by ambulance to the hospital, so fuck you #7.
Posted by judybrowni on January 9, 2014 at 12:20 AM · Report this
Christie better hope that that 91-year old lady didn't leave behind loving and telegenic relatives.
Posted by Marooner on January 9, 2014 at 8:38 AM · Report this

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