by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
So New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held a marathon 2-hour press conference about the Washington Bridge 4-lane-shutdown traffic jam scandal.
He was properly remorseful, and apologized to everyone. He took responsibility. And he said his aides lied to him.
Well, I believe he is lying to us.
Listen up. It's a historical fact that he's vindictive and punishes his enemies. So what happened at the Washington Bridge is how he rolls. It's part of an established pattern.
But here's the main fact why I believe he is lying.
We know his gang of cronies organized the bridge disaster. A whole bunch of them. Five of them so far are implicated. And it went on for days. Afterwards, rumors about what had happened flew around for months.
Are we to believe for one second that, during all this time, not a single one of his cronies ever told him what was going on, or that his cronies never shared a chuckle with him about how they were screwing with the democratic Mayor because that “little Serbian” had withheld his endorsement from Christie? Wouldn't he be the first one they tell?
Give me a break. The lane closings go on for four days. The whole thing becomes a months-long scandal. A whole cadre of his underlings are in on it. Christie even cracks a joke about it. And he knew nothing about it? Come on. Most probably the whole plan originated with him, or in discussions with him and his inner circle.
Finally, when emails reveal that his aides and friends set this whole thing up, Christie is forced to explain himself. On the day it all comes out, he releases a terse written statement.
The next day he has his press conference. By which time his written statement has bought him enough time to dream up a story with which to blarney us.
They lied to me, he says. His close aids lied to him. His friends lied to him. Bullpoop. Not one told him the truth? Would he have us believe that there was this big plot by his friends to leave him in the dark about a burgeoning scandal? Let me tell you what I think most probably happened when the emails forced his hand. He had a crony tell the woman who wrote the most damning email, that he had to throw her under the bus. He probably let her know, don't worry, gal, tough it out, and when I become President, I'll make sure you get a bigger job than the one from which I'm firing you to cover my ass.
I know I'm engaging in speculation here, but I don't think Christie's story makes sense. Not as much as my speculation does anyway.
Let's face it, Christie is in big trouble. The Democrats in New Jersey are fired up. They're not going to let him get away with this. This is what Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, a Democrat who has been leading the investigation, said:
“You have an administration that is very hands-on. It strains credibility to say that somebody in as high a position as a deputy chief of staff, somebody in as high a position as the governor's principle spokesperson, somebody in as high a position as his campaign manager, all of whose names are in these emails, didn't ever communicate this to the governor.”
The New York Times was uncharacteristically blunt. “Mr Christie has promised to cooperate with investigators — a vow he and his staff must honor. At this point, the governor has zero credibility.”
This comes as close to saying the man is lying as dammit.
Another clue that Governor Blob is lying: he said in his press conference that he feels so humiliated and sad, there hasn't been time for him to get angry, although that will happen. The fact is, Christie's first reaction to anything bad has always been anger and belligerence. Why should we believe him that, all of a sudden, his uncharacteristic contrition has trumped his characteristic rage? Sounds pretty trumped-up to me.
What should Christie have done? Well, he should have learned from Nixon, and from Anthony Weiner, and from countless other examples, that the cover-up is worse than the crime.
He should have followed the Hugh Grant strategy, who after he was caught with a prostitute, immediately went on as many TV shows as he could, and said he's very sorry. Really simple. And it really worked. Folks took Grant's apology to their hearts; he was more beloved for that than he was before he stepped in doodoo.
Christie should have said: “I'm sorry. I screwed up. I did a bad thing. I was a bully. But now I have learned. This will make me a changed man. I will work very hard to remedy my bullying ways. I will search my soul and become a better man for this. I want you to watch how I handle myself in the future, and I ask you to help me become a better man than I have been.”
That would have worked. That would have been a feather in his cap if he actually starts a run for president in 2016. But now? Doubts will linger. And if and when the truth comes out, as it always does, he will be ruined.
We don't like liars. But we love people who come clean. I don't believe Christie came clean. And I believe that, like it was for Nixon, Weiner and others, this will be his downfall.