“Chris Christie has a bridge problem.”
At this point, I’ve lost track of the amount of people who’ve said this (or some iteration of it) to me.
Despite what MSNBC would have us believe, Christie doesn’t have a bridge problem. How do I know this? The answer is quite simple: Democrats have spent half a million dollars, and have come up with nothing. In fact, Christie appears to be continuing his strategy of “dancing” it off (as I wrote about here).
In the most recent investigation, New Jersey Democrats were left grasping at straws. In fact, in the minority report, Republicans made it quite clear that Democrats have no credibility on this issue (read the whole report here).
It’s very clear that the media wants to use this “issue” to sink Christie before the campaign starts (CNN devoted 26 seconds to the recent reports clearing Christie but 8.5 hours on the first day of the allegations, according to MRC. In fact, back in January, there was 44 times the amount of “bridgegate” coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC in two days than on the IRS in two months on those networks).
The facts are very clear that despite extremely disproportionate media coverage, Christie himself is not at fault for the ineptitude of some of his aides.
In Maryland, we have seen no shortage of scandals during Martin O’Malley’s tenure, yet they are never used as means to disqualifying his nascent presidential campaign.
I wrote the following about a year ago, and it is probably even more relevant now, given Maryland’s historic repudiation of O’Malley’s tenure by electing Larry Hogan to succeed him:
“Here in Maryland, Larry Hogan and Change Maryland have done an excellent job investigating several scandals in O’Malley’s administration that should end his political career. If a lane closure renders Christie ineligible for higher office, consider the following:Half of the students in Maryland schools who are non-native English speakers or who have learning disabilities were prohibited from taking standardized tests that determine our “success in education.” The Washington Post reported that control of a Baltimore prison was “essentially handed over…to gang leaders,” with one of the inmates, Tavon White, impregnating four of his corrections officers. Despite warnings for over a year, Maryland’s state health care exchange imploded upon its launch, with its director resigning after only 2 months. Finally, we are the only state in the nation that taxes the rain.
So let me be clear: Christie is ineligible to be president, and Steny Hoyer thinks O’Malley is a valid alternative to Hillary Clinton? Speaking of Hillary, I was absolutely shocked when The Daily Caller reported that Michael Whouley, who is one of the founders of the largest pro-Hillary group, manufactured a traffic jam during the New Hampshire primary in 2000, to ensure that Al Gore defeated Bill Bradley, and in so doing, locked up the Democratic nomination.
Gore Campaign manager, Bob Shrum, wrote in his memoirs:
Michael Whouley came up with a last-ditch scheme: Send Gore into areas of southern New Hampshire where there was a lot of Bradley support among upscale voters and commuters who worked across the border in Massachusetts. Many of them cast their ballots late in the day after driving home. Gore’s motorcade — candidate, press, Secret Service, and police — could snarl traffic and keep some of the commuters from ever getting to their polling places or even trying to.
The Daily Caller goes on to write that although “Gore was irate” at having to sit in traffic, he “‘got the point’ after Whouley explained that ‘they’re mostly Bradley voters.’”
Christie fired those on his staff who were responsible. Hillary Clinton lets them run her shadow campaign for President.”
To be clear, despite the education and prison scandals under his watch, O’Malley faces no criticism. And Clinton has retained a strategist who has admitted responsibility for the very thing the media accuses Christie of having done. I think at the end of the day, once voters know the actual facts of this matter that they will disregard it. I also think these investigations can only help Christie in the primaries. After all, Democrats spent thousands of dollars investigating him and came up with nothing, so there won’t be any October Surprises to worry about here.
For more reporting on this than most people will ever read in a lifetime, check out Save Jersey’s archives on Bridgegate here.