Another Christie Self-Inflicted Wound—Is it Fatal?

Rob Garver

Listen, it doesn’t matter anymore whether Chris Christie knew about “Bridgegate” or not. As far as his presidential aspirations go, it doesn’t matter if subpoenas issued by the New Jersey legislature on Friday reveal that he flew in a State Police helicopter over the traffic-choked city of Fort Lee laughing and snapping selfies with his iPhone.

Any voter with even a modicum of common sense already has more than enough information to determine that this man has no business as chief executive of even one state, much less the entire country. 

Related: GOP Moderates Break Their Silence to Defend Christie

What we now know about how things have been run in Trenton over the past few years leaves voters with two choices about how to view Chris Christie. Either the governor of New Jersey is a vindictive bully who uses his executive authority to punish his enemies, or he’s the kind of guy who not only gives wildly irresponsible people positions of authority in his administration, but also fails to supervise them afterward.

Christie is already on the record asserting that he had no idea that a senior member of his staff had ordered the closing of access lanes to the main artery connecting Northern New Jersey and New York City for four days last year as apparent political payback against the mayor of Fort Lee.

Last week, multiple outlets reported Christie’s claim that he hadn’t seen an email sent out by his office that trashed his former schoolmate David Wildstein, in part by dredging up things Christie’s former schoolmate allegedly did as a 16-year-old high school student. Wildstein, of course, is the man Christie appointed to a job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who ultimately ordered the bridge closings on the instructions of Christie’s aide Bridget Kelly.

The email from the governor’s office was sent to the media after Wildstein’s attorney released a letter claiming that there was evidence that the governor knew of the bridge closing at the time it happened.

At this point, Christie has no winning options. If he knew all along what was happening in Fort Lee, his political career is dead. If his position is that he didn’t know what happened, but he hired and trusted the people responsible, his political career is, or at least ought to be, dead.

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