First, I should be open and say I used to be a fan of Chris Christie, but that was years ago now. If, God forbid, he got the Republican nomination for president, I might have to consider voting third party.
Having got that out of the way, I watched most of his marathon press conference yesterday and was impressed. I thought he handled the situation about as well as it could be handled, and he certainly came across as sincere about it.
My first reaction afterwards was that he will probably weather this. But on further reflection, I am not so sure.
Although closing the I-95 bridge into New York City may be an outlier, it is not isolated. Christie has a reputation as something of a bully. “I am not a bully” could come back to haunt him. And his staff. . . . Let’s just say his staff has a bipartisan reputation for being . . . not nice. (LANGUAGE WARNING)
I have had Congressmen, Governors, and the staffers of Congressmen and Governors tell me horror stories about dealing with Christie’s people. All of them seem to dread it.
One congressman told me he wanted to talk to Christie about a matter and the staff would not put him through and would not even give him the Chief of Staff to talk to.
A Governor told me that Christie’s staff treats incumbent governors as if they are low level staffers there to serve as Chris Christie’s advance team.
A Chief of Staff of a Governor once told me that Christie’s staff began lecturing the Chief of Staff’s Governor about the set up of an event and what that Governor needed to say. Both the Chief of Staff and Governor were rather hacked off by the arrogant tone.
Another senior staffer told me that after dealing with Christie for an event, they decided they’d rather focus on drawing celebrities for instate functions because the riders and demands of celebrities tend to be much easier to deal with.
No wonder Republicans have not exactly been rushing to the microphones to defend Christie.
Christie surrounded himself with . . . not nice people and they have acted not nice. That is Christie’s fault. And several in the news media are no doubt sniffing around for other instances of not nice scandalous bullying. So I doubt the political damage to Christie is done.
And I have no problem with the news media looking into the dealings of Christie and his staff. If a big state governor and presidential contender and/or his staff is running his state this way, that is indeed newsworthy, and I am glad to see it come out.
But I do have a big problem with the media double standard here. Take just one of the Obama Administration scandals, IRS targeting. Using the IRS to target and muzzle political adversaries is an outrage of much more import than disrupting bridge traffic. And Obama appointing political thugs to the IRS in large part brought this about, not unlike Bridgegate. But has the news media gone after that with much zeal?
The Media Research Center has provided a measure of just how enormous the media double standard is here. In 24 hours, the Big Three networks gave 17 times more coverage to Bridgegate than they gave in the past six months to the IRS scandal.
Again, my problem is not the attention given to Bridgegate. I am glad to see it. The problem is with the news media downplaying and enabling the Obama Regime’s IRS abuses.
On a lighter note, there is another Christie quote that will likely be repeated: “I am enormously flattered that folks would talk about me in my party as someone who they think could be a candidate for president.”
Expect slightly edited clips to abound of Christie saying, “I am enormous.”
There. I think I’ve annoyed everyone now.