Tag Archives: Bridgegate

Gov. Christie, we hardly knew ye

We’re two weeks and two days into 2017, so why not take a quick look back at the biggest political winners and losers of 2016?

The biggest winner? No question: Donald J. Trump. He’s the next president of the United States. He won an election almost no one thought he’d win. Not me. Not most of the so-called “experts.”

One of my Facebook friends, though, said she called it early on. She knew Trump would win all along. Bully for her.

Enough of that.

The biggest loser? It’s not who you think. I am going to give the Biggest Loser Award to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Sure, Hillary Rodham Clinton lost big in 2016. Christie, though, imploded in a curious way.

He started the year running for the Republican presidential nomination. He was full of bluster, bravado and boastfulness. He was going to kick a** and take names. He was no pushover.

Then he got steamrolled by Trump, who flattened the field of 15 other GOP contenders/pretenders.

Christie then endorsed Trump and became his go-to guy. He would run his transition if Trump got elected.

Then what happened? Trump actually got elected and just like that Christie was removed as transition boss; Trump gave that task to the vice president-elect, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Christie, meanwhile, has been fingered in that on-going, never-ending “Bridgegate” scandal emanating from the closure of the George Washington Bridge because Christie was mad at a New Jersey mayor who declined to endorse him for re-election in 2014 … allegedly!

Christie’s poll numbers have tanked. He is coming up for re-election and he now stands a good chance of being thumped.

There you have it. Stand tall, Donald Trump and Chris Christie.

Gov. Christie trips over his own mojo

It’s been reported that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has gotten his “mojo” back after a rough few months fighting off reports of possible cover-up in that infamous George Washington Bridge lane-closing kerfuffle.

In a way, he has. He hired a law firm to do an internal investigation of whether the governor knew anything about the lane closure, which reportedly was done to get back at the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for refusing to endorse the Republican governor’s re-election.

The firm hired by Christie then cleared the guy who hired it of any wrongdoing. Imagine that. Shocking, I tell ya.


Then he jets off to Las Vegas to meet with prominent Republican donors where he — oops! — refers to those so-called “occupied territories” now known as Gaza and the West Bank bordering Israel.

Well, it seems that one of those GOP fat cats is one Sheldon Adelson, a big-time Republican donor and a long-time ardent supporter of Israel, where the term “occupied territories” is stricken from the political lexicon.

As The Hill reported: “Many Israelis object to referring to areas where Palestinians live but Israel maintains a military presence as ‘occupied territories’” because they believe the term implicitly suggests that Israeli troops should not be in the area.”

Christie apologized to Adelson, who accepted the governor’s mea culpa.

It just goes to show how politicians need to be sure they don’t let their mojo get in the way of better judgment and use of words.

Rudy blasts Democrats for ‘piling on’ Christie, really?

Rudy Giuliani needs to get out more.

The former mayor of New York City and one-time Republican candidate for president of the United States has blasted Democrats for piling on Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the bridge lane-closing controversy that is threatening to blow up into a bona fide scandal.


Really, Mr. Mayor?

Is it a surprise that members of the “other” party would go after a leading politician who’s been caught up in a controversy? Gosh. That’s never happened before.

Oh wait. Yes it has. It has happened when Republican politicians began pouncing all over Democrats, starting with Bill Clinton and the Whitewater investigation, which turned into something resulting in the impeachment of a Democratic president. It is happening now with Republicans continuing to roil the waters over the Benghazi, Libya consulate attack in September 2012. It’s also happening with GOP lawmakers making hay over the IRS controversy and the agency’s vetting of conservative political action groups’ efforts to obtain tax-exempt status.

So now Democrats are going after a Republican governor.

Big deal, Mr. Mayor.

From my perch out here in the middle of the country, that’s how politics is played.

Christie ‘scandal’ getting pretty darn curious

My friends on the right are outraged at the “mainstream media’s” addiction to the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” scandal.

They’d better get used to it, because it doesn’t appear as though it’s going to wither away any time soon.


A letter has surfaced now that suggests Christie knew at the time that one of his key aides ordered the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge, the busiest span in the world — and that it might have been in retaliation for the refusal by Fort Lee, N.J.’s Democratic mayor to endorse the Republican governor’s re-election effort.

The letter’s assertion contradicts Christie’s statement that he didn’t know anything until he read about it in the press.

This is what happens when a high-profile politician who portrays himself in a certain manner is accused of doing things that run counter to that public image. Christie, who many people believe wants to run for president in 2016, has cast himself as a hands-on, no-nonsense chief executive. If that’s the case, then how could he not know that his chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, would order the lanes closed, resulting in a horrendous traffic bottleneck.

Now we learn about alleged misuse of federal relief funds dedicated to help New Jersey residents recover from Superstorm Sandy.

No one has accused Christie of ordering lane shutdown himself. Frankly, I don’t think he would be so stupid.

However, this controversy is beginning to take on a life of its own the way other controversies have grown into full-blown scandals.

Two examples stand out: The Watergate burglary in 1972 turned from a criminal investigation into a constitutional crisis involving presidential abuse of power; Whitewater turned from a probe into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s real estate ventures into a scandal that involved a presidential dalliance with a White House intern and his lying under oath to a federal grand jury about whether he did those nasty things with the young woman.

It’s looking as though, regarding Gov. Christie’s involvement in this bridge lane-closing, that history may be about to repeat itself.

Fired aide may hold key to Gov. Christie’s future

A special committee assigned to investigate the bridge lane-closing scandal that just won’t go away has within its power the ability to determine one key question.

What did Gov. Chris Christie know about the lane-closure and when did he know it?

I should add that the panel can determine the motives behind the closure.


Just ask Bridget Kelly, the fired former deputy chief of staff to Christie.

Someone ordered the lanes closed on the world’s busiest bridge, the George Washington, which connects New Jersey to New York City. At issue is why. Some have alleged the lanes were closed to get back at the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who had declined to endorse the Republican governor, Christie, for re-election.

Now … is that why Kelly wrote the email that declared it was “time for some traffic problems” on the bridge? Only she can answer that.

What’s more, did she tell her boss in advance of the closure that it was going to happen? She has the answer to that one, too.

Put the woman under oath and make her tell the truth under fear of prosecution for perjury. Then we might get to the bottom of this matter.

I have no particular desire to see Gov. Christie caught in a lie. I hope he told the truth the other day when he said he didn’t know in advance of the lane closures, or that he didn’t even know that the bridge traffic had been constricted so terribly.

Why is this story so important? Because Christie is considered a possible — if not probable — candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

My desire, though, is to find out from the one person — Kelly — whether the governor knew about the closure, whether he ordered the closure to get back at the mayor and whether he felt he needed to teach the mayor some kind of cruel lesson that simply got out of control.

I’m actually a little weary of this story. Tell us what happened, Bridget Kelly … and why.

Spotlight gets hot as it shines on Gov. Christie

Welcome to center stage, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Now that he seems to have implied an interest in running for president of the United States in 2016, the media are looking at him with intense attention to everything he says or does, or doesn’t say or do.

That’s how it goes.


This is nothing new in politics. The media are trained to do this kind of thing, irrespective of party. My friends on the right can spare me the “liberal media are out to get Christie” nonsense.

I will remind them of what happened to Sen. Barack Obama when he ran for president in 2008. You’ll recall the Rev. Jeremy Wright mess and his association with a Church of Christ pastor who said God should “damn America.” Also recall all those questions about the senator’s birth and whether he was constitutionally qualified to hold the office of president. Let us nor forget, either, the associations that young Barack had with the likes of William Ayers and other members of the infamous Weather Underground anti-Vietnam War crowd.

The media were quick to pounce all over him.

John McCain got the treatment during the 2008 campaign, as did Mitt Romney in 2012. Bill Clinton’s love life became media fodder during the 1992 campaign. Michael Dukakis and convicted murderer Willie Horton were joined at the hip — so to speak — during the 1988 campaign because of a furlough that Dukakis granted Horton while serving as governor of Massachusetts; the furlough ended tragically, if you’ll recall.

The media’s mission is to report these things, to expose candidates to the people who will decide whether they are the right fit for high office.

The bridge fiasco in New Jersey is a legitimate news story insofar as it will determine whether Chris Christie is a bully. It also might determine if he is truthful when he said he didn’t know in advance that key staffers ordered the lane closures of the world’s busiest bridge to get back at a political opponent.

The media will tell the story. It will be up to individual Americans to determine for themselves if it’s a story worth telling.

That’s the way it is, the way it’s been and the way it always will be.

Another ‘Gate’ scandal joins the ranks

Now it’s become “Bridgegate.”


Now many “gate” scandals — or controversies, if you will — must we endure?

I refer, of course, to the boiling mess involving the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge this past year. Did the Republican governor of New Jersey order the lanes closed to get back at the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. because the mayor didn’t endorse the governor for re-election? If so, what will be the consequences? If not, will the media let the story die?


It’s become yet another in an interminable line of “gate” stories.

I feel compelled to remind everyone there is only one “gate” scandal that matters. The Watergate scandal of 1972-74 brought down the 37th president of the United States, Richard Nixon.

On June 17, 1972, a team of bungling burglars broke into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and office complex in Washington. They got caught. Then over the course of the next few days — we would learn later — the president of the United States ordered federal authorities to quash the investigation into whether the president’s re-election campaign or the White House were complicit in any way.

Therein launched a constitutional crisis of enormous proportions. The debate has swirled ever since ass to whether it merited the attention it got. I believe it did. President Nixon used the power of his office to stymie a federal criminal probe. That’s a very big deal indeed.

He quit the presidency on Aug. 9. 1974, thus ending the Watergate scandal for keeps … or so we all thought and hoped.

The “gate” part of that terrible time lives on as goofballs attach the suffix to every political controversy large and/or small that comes along.

I’m weary of it. There can be only one “gate” scandal. It was enough of a doozy to stand alone forever.