When it Comes to the New Jersey Bridge Scandal, Chris Christie is Completely Full of It

christie-bridgeDuring my pursuit of a degree in Political Science, and my work in the field thereafter, it goes without saying that I’ve learned quite a few thing about politics and politicians.

First, most politicians are egomaniacs.  Especially those who have presidential aspirations.  You don’t become the President of the United States — or believe you’re the right person for quite possibly the most powerful “job” in the world — without having a good sized ego.  I’m not saying that they’re all raving egotistical maniacs, but I think it’s safe to say that they do have a bit of an ego.

Another thing I’ve learned is that many politicians are control freaks.  After speaking with a few campaign managers, a common problem they all seem to talk about is working with politicians who try to run their own campaign.  What most campaign managers want is a politicians who will sit back, trust his or her staff to do their jobs right, and listen to what they say.  Sure, the politician has influence and input, but the “plan of action” is crafted and orchestrated by the campaign manager and their team.

And it goes without saying that politicians become much more egotistical and “hands on” the more they advance up the political ladder of success.

Now, it’s true that the more power a politician has the more they must delegate.  A governor has to rely on aides and staffers to handle some of the everyday stuff they simply don’t have time to do and trust that they’re doing it right as their representative.  Same goes for the president.  President Obama, for example, (or most presidents for that matter) isn’t as hands on as most people might think.

That being said, the New Jersey bridge scandal simply makes no sense when I listen to Chris Christie tell the story.  For me to hear the Governor of New Jersey act as if some rogue staffers collaborated with the Port Authority (Christie’s high school friend) and took it upon themselves to seek some kind of lame retaliation against a mayor simply because he didn’t endorse Governor Christie — I’m calling bullcrap.

Why would this aide have cared so much about one mayor not endorsing Christie?  Governor Christie was headed for an easy victory last November — why would some aide even focus on an endorsement from one mayor that wouldn’t have made any difference in the election?

Are they that loyal to Christie?  Do they care that much about his political career?  And if they do, why would they risk it by putting together such a pointless stunt that accomplished — nothing. Well, nothing besides create traffic jams on a bridge, and massive headaches for thousands of people.

And you’re telling me this open emailing and texting was going back and forth among these people and nobody mentioned it to Governor Christie?  It wasn’t as if they were using code words, or even seemed to be masking what they were planning — how did this not get around to the governor?

But again, why would some aide take it upon themselves to plan of all this?

The answer is simple: They wouldn’t.

This bridge scandal seems like some order from a petty man who had their ego bruised.  I could see someone like Christie saying, “How dare this nobody mayor refuse to endorse me, doesn’t he know who I am?”  But Christie is a smart guy.  If he ordered this lame retaliation against that mayor, he was smart enough to not leave any paper trail that could be linked back to him (at least none that we know about as of yet).

This whole situation just reeks of an egotistical man (which history shows Christie is) thinking he can get away with whatever he wants (a sign of an egomaniac) ordering an aide to retaliate against the mayor who didn’t endorse him in some small way he didn’t think anyone would notice — except it didn’t turn out small, and people did notice.

Otherwise this whole situation doesn’t make any sense.  I can’t see an aide risking Christie’s presidential chances by putting together such a lame stunt.  I can’t imagine that Christie’s high school friend agreed to do this without asking if Christie knew about it.  And as loose as the communication was between these people, for nothing to get back to the governor would have simply been mind boggling.

When something like this happens it’s always good to ask yourself, “Who benefits most from this?”  The aide doesn’t.  The Port Authority gentleman doesn’t.   Christie’s ego is the thing this stunt would benefit.

Can I prove Christie was behind this?  Not with the evidence we have right now.  If Christie did in fact order this, he was smart enough to do so verbally, avoiding any chance of a paper trail leading back to him.

But when you look at all the facts as we know now, ego was clearly the driving force behind why this happened.  And there’s only one person whose ego would have been hurt by the lack of an endorsement from this town’s mayor….

And that’s Governor Chris Christie.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Jim Bean

    “ABC, CBS and NBC have responded [the bridge scandal] with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage” according to the report. Whereas, “since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.” – Begging the question, “Is the MSM serving the American people or have they become a political action committee for the Democratic Party. (Sorry, Allen. Just trying to keep it real.)

    • Pat

      Since you seem to know every second the main stream media gave the bridge scandal, then you should also know exactly how much time Fox News give this Republican Party hopeful’s bridge scandal. Want to tell us that Jim Bean? Come on now, that would only be fair!

      • Jim Bean

        I don’t the know exact amount. I’ve been watching since 6 AM. They cover it at least once every 15 minutes and have been reporting on it continuously the entire time I was writing this and will be after I hit post. Its the lead story on Fox news dot com at the moment. (A check of MSNBC reveals that the top story there right now is NOT: Obama appoints large campaign donor to investigate IRS/Tea Party scandal.) You could turn it on, you know. I promise it won’t kill you, and any psychological harm is covered by Obamacare.

      • Jo Clark

        Funny, because that flies in the face of everything I’ve heard elsewhere. Word I heard was Fox would barely touch this story, which is no big surprise. I can’t say for myself, because hell would have to freeze over and pigs would sprout wings and fly, simultaneously, before I’d ever turn my TV to Fox … well except for that one time Rove melted down. That was too good to miss.

      • Jim Bean

        You’ve made a conscious and deliberate decision to choose ignorance and rely on assumptions. I’ll make a note.

      • Why5ks

        Jim, you are the one who watches and relies on FauxNews what could be more of a “conscious and deliberate decision to choose ignorance and rely on assumptions?” FauxNews has mentioned this story but they are still reporting it as a witch hunt and trying to paint Christie as the victim. And their TV reporting gave it even less notice. You are aware that FauxNews, in a court of law, argued that they didn’t have to tell the truth in the stories they post on their news shows. They said they had the right to create, alter, and ignore facts so they can create a story their viewers want to see? So how is it news when you can’t determine what is the truth and what is made up in what they are reporting?

      • Jim Bean

        We are having this discussion on, and following an article appearing on the Forward Progressives website. I can do more than one thing at once and I make sure I get both sides. And ‘no’ to everything else you said. Fox TV has covered it non stop. They are not portraying him as a victim. They loudly acknowledge that his claims will be challenged and that if ANY evidence surfaces that he was in on it he is finished. FP, conversely, has declared him guilty since the first ten minutes of the news breaking.

      • Jim Beam (not Bean)

        You are talking about yourself again, JB. Gotta quit that damn drinking!!!

    • Why5ks

      It doesn’t beg any question at all. The major networks stopped covering the ” IRS Tea Party Scandal” because there was no scandal. It was a situation completely created by Daniel Issa. Issa asked the GAO to compile a report and only give statistics on conservative groups that were delayed or denied tax exempt status. His request specifically asked not to include liberal organization. That is how the fake scandal started. Once the GAO was asked to review ALL tax exempt requests for both conservative and liberal groups the scandal disappeared. Because the full review showed all political sounding groups were funneled to one office to assure all were handled using the same procedures. There were in fact more liberal group requests that were delayed than were conservative groups. Finally, not a single conservative group was denied tax exempt status but three liberal groups were. That is why the news media stopped covering that story, although I agree more coverage should be given to Rep. Danial Issa’s abuse of power and taxpayers’ money.

      • Jim Bean

        How do you account for the fact the Holder just appointed a major Obama donor to lead the investigation into this ‘non-scandal’ (that has now become a bigger scandal)? No MSM coverage of that either. Curious, huh?

      • Guest

        Show me a link to that please, because the only story I can find about an IRS Special Prosecutor is from back in May of 2013 when some reporter was just asking if Holder should appoint someone. The only other recent stories about Special Prosecutors is about finding the sources of unauthorized leaks of security information. I think you have sketchy misleading information.

      • Jim Bean

        I will try (link) in a separate reply. If it doesn’t post, google ‘Obama donor leading Justice Department’s IRS investigation’. (You should google it any way just to get sense of how consistently the news agencies relied upon by the ‘high information voters’ go out of their way to keep them poorly informed.)

      • Why5ks

        I found your story on the Faux News website. Yes the Justice Department hired a lawyer to investigate the whole affair. In case you are unaware this happens all the time. When something happens in the government the Justice Dept. generally assigns someone to investigate what happened in why. That doesn’t mean there is a scandal, it only means the lawyer will look at the situation and see what happened and determine if the process used was appropriate. That is how Congress and the Justice Dept. determine changes in rules that determine how things are done. The only scandal here is that the Republicans don’t like who was appointed, which unless it was a Tea Party supporter they would have cried just as much. That is why no one but FauxNews covered the story, because it is a non story.

      • Jim Bean

        So you’re saying that if a big Christy donor is appointed to lead the investigation into the bridge scandal, all the Liberals are going to be OK with it?

      • Why5ks

        Only if the guy heading the investigation is the incoming Attorney General of NJ who is smack dab in the middle of this mess. Christie say the guy has assured him he was not involve so case closed, but he said this at the same presser where he announced the firing of someone who lied to him about their involvement. But since the Justice Dept. is looking into this also there is little chance they will assign a big Christie donor to investigate.

      • strayaway

        Did somebody say “Lois Lerner”?

        No need to go to Fox. Even FactCheck, a liberal leaning outfit, has a list of lies coming from the IRS. Its article, “IRS Officials Misled Congress, Public” (It can be googled) begins “IRS officials gave false or misleading information on numerous occasions regarding its now discredited practice of targeting conservative groups that sought nonprofit status.” it goes on to list the lies.

        But to get this back on topic, whether it is Christie or Obama who is in charge, transparency would head some of these liars off. In both cases, no one has been sent to jail or even to trial.

      • S. Phillips

        There’s a firewall between the Executive Branch and the IRS, btw, but don’t let that get in the way of your deflection-o-thon.

      • strayaway

        Believe what you want. There is supposed to be a firewall between the IRS and the Executive Branch. It failed under at least Nixon and Obama. Jeanne Lambrew is a “deputy assistant” to the President. Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information with IRS officials according to emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Christie seems to fit the Nixon Obama mold.

      • S. Phillips

        That’s not the President Obama the rest of us have observed, and later investigation clears him also.

      • strayaway

        I’m not aware of anyone who said that Obama gave the orders so I don’t know what investigation cleared him of giving orders. This has only been traced as far as his White House employees and IRS appointees. What we do know is that Lambrew exchanged confidential tax information improperly from emails and that Lois Lerner lied to Congress about the IRS involvement, and that confidential IRS information somehow got int the hands of Romney’s opponents in the 2012 campaign. These are serious offenses yet no one has gone to jail. All of this became yesterday’s news when the Snowden revelations and the Clapper’s lies took over the news before 5M people lost their health care insurance. I fully support an investigation into Christie’s bridge affair for all of that though. Christie shouldn’t be protected either.

      • Why5ks

        What makes this whole story even more of a non story is that not even one of those groups needed this tax exempt status to be a non profit organization and take donations. Most of the liberal groups who had applied did just that and operated until they received their approved status. The only thing this tax exempt status offered these groups was the ability to keep their donor lists secret in their tax filings. So most of the conservative groups filing for exemptions were ham strung until they got their tax exempt status because they couldn’t risk disclosing where their donations were coming from. Also, part of the investigators responsibility is to determine if there is a way to accurately determine if a groups political activity exceeds the limitations of the law in order to maintain this tax exempt status, which might explain another reason Republicans don’t want a Liberal leaning person to lead the investigation.

  • Gary Menten

    Cover-Ups in 5 Easy Steps

    Step 1. Deny everything.

    Step 2. Destroy the tapes, delete the emails, shred all the documents.

    Step 3. Have a fall-guy or two standing in the wings in case you botch Step 2.
    Step 4. Hold a press conference. Disavow the actions of the fall-guy. Claim you were betrayed. Promise a full investigation. Claim to be the victim.

    Step 5. Buy off the fall-guys with a full pardon and arrange for them to get cushy, well-paid job with a GOP aligned PAC, think-tank or lobby group as a reward for their loyalty.

    • Why5ks

      The only problem with that scenario in this case is that effecting traffic on the GWB makes it an “interstate” crime instead of an “intrastate” crime. That means Federal Laws may have been broken and if so a Governor’s pardon is useless. Seeing as Christie is the most viable Republican candidate for gaining the White House they need to really hope this blows over so he can win election and pardon them from the POTUS throne he seeks.

      • Gary Menten

        Republicans live in a world of self-delusion these days? Remember election night when they couldn’t believe they’d lost?

  • Jo Clark

    If you haven’t seen it, check out Rachel Maddow’s alternate theory that she aired last night. It doesn’t change much of Allen’s story … the same points generally apply, Christie’s ego and all of that, but it does give a plausible explanation that we might be wrong on Christie’s target, which in her theory is the State Dems, especially the leader, whose district just happens to be Ft. Lee. and the kerfuffle which happened the day before with court appointees that had Christie in such a rage. It makes a lot of sense and we’ll just have to wait and see what develops.

  • charleo1

    Was this stupid? You bet. Have politicos pulled stupider stunts? Well, as
    Nixon headed for the biggest landslide reelection in National history, until
    Reagan in ’84. Somebody thought it would be a good idea to beak into the
    Watergate Building, to see what the Dems were up to. Just for fun, I guess.
    Proving, now that Clancy is gone, no one can make this stuff up.

  • rossbro

    His ego is as big as his gut. I think he’s lyin’ through his teeth.

  • strayaway

    Glenn Greenwald “I Would Say To Democrats IMAGINE If The NSA Was In The Hands Of Chris Christie”.

    Greenwald did acknowledge that Democrats were concerned about misuses of the NSA under Bush. Now, after the IRS scandal and ongoing new revelations about the NSA under Obama, some Republicans are concerned.

  • PDK

    Don’t forget that the far right is still pissed at Christie for his approval of the President’s response to hurricane Sandy. They want him to fail.

  • MLR

    I’m going to withhold judgment until there’s evidence linking Gov Christie directly and so far there’s nothing. And no, I’m not defending him but as a Progressive I like to get the facts before I accuse. I think it is possible that someone high up in his administration (higher than his deputy chief of staff) ordered the “traffic study”. And someone else in this comment section mentioned Rachel Maddow’s alternate theory that the retaliation might be against some Senate Dems and not so much the Mayor and I think that makes more sense. But they still called the poor Mayor an idiot and “a little Serbian” which makes me believe that they might have decided to “kill two birds with one stone”. That’s my alternate theory to the alternate theory.

  • Giuliana S

    David Chase is already casting this one…

  • Batters Box

    Christie; has not held anyone accountable yet. Firing someone for a major act of Domestic Terrorism is not being held accountable. Christie wants no real investigation he knows where it will lead and the other dirty little secrets he and his organization have been involved in. Imagine if people with middle-eastern names or links jihadist groups caused this the perception would be it was a terrorist act which it was. How many people may have been fired themselves for being late to a job from these traffic lane closures, may have lost important work interviews how many peoples lives and health were at risk that’s terrorism that was the operative and desired outcome to inflict hardship. This was the work of psychopaths who completely objectified the very people they were to serve. The woman that ordered it is a psychopath and probably it was those traits that were valuable to Christie probably himself one. This was a major crime, this was not a case of a employee not preparing a report or filing some papers on time , or repeatedly not ordering toner for the office printer. There needs to be real criminal charges against all involved..and some real jail time befitting a act of domestic terrorism..